Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that affects hundreds of thousands of people every year. It’s a condition that can change your way of life and can dictate what a person can/can’t do. PTSD can affect anyone and everyone, and typically appears after a traumatic event. Unfortunately, some people try to cope with posted-traumatic stress disorder by using drugs or alcohol. PTSD and addiction is never a good combination and ends up creating a dangerous cycle.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious mental disorder that, when mixed with drug use, can become dangerous. It is important to get proper, professional treatment for both these co-occurring disorders. As with all dual diagnoses, it is crucial to get the proper treatment from professionals. Before treatment can begin a person must take the first steps towards recovery with detox. This is where our team at Coastal comes in.
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD for short) is an anxiety disorder that stems from a traumatic event. The person will most likely relive the situation and find themselves dealing with anxiety and other symptoms. There are several events or experiences that may trigger PTSD in a person. These can range from several situations which include:
- Physical assault
- Natural disasters
- Childhood trauma
- Sexual abuse or assault
- Intense or serious accidents
In general, stress has the ability to impact our autonomic nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system. PTSD is a form of stress that comes in the form of intense emotional symptoms. Sometimes this is seen as an ‘overload’ of emotions.
Post-traumatic stress disorder appears in the first month or so after the traumatic event. However, this isn’t a set in stone number as some may develop PTSD much later (months or even years later). PTSD can even appear in childhood in some cases. It is a disorder that continues to affect thousands of people nationwide every year.
Symptoms of PTSD
When it comes to post-traumatic stress disorder, symptoms tend to vary from person to person. With this in mind, there are a set of symptoms that are common among people suffering from PTSD. It’s important to be aware of these so you can get comprehensive treatment in a timely manner. Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Intense nightmares
- Emotional numbing
- Self-destructive behavior
- Jumpy behavior (easily startled)
- Trouble concentrating in day to day life
- Distressing images, emotions, and memories
- Physical sensations (shaking, sweating, etc.)
- Reliving or re-experiencing the event in vivid detail
- Avoidance of specific PTSD triggers (smells, places, people, etc.)
Co-occurring Disorders: PTSD and Addiction
Co-occurring disorders (also called a dual diagnosis) is an intense situation where a person is dealing with a mental health disorder and a drug addiction. People often turn to drugs and alcohol to ease and cope with their stress. After continuous ‘self-medicating’ a person may develop an addiction. Becoming dependent on a drug while struggling with a mental health disorder can be brutal.
What tends to happen is a vicious and unhealthy cycle of continuous use. It is also shown that drugs and alcohol don’t relieve mental health disorders, it usually makes them worse. There are many different drugs that people may turn to, these can vary in severity and addictiveness. Commonly abused drugs/substances include:
- PCP and LSD
- Prescription medications
- Opioid painkillers (oxycodone, heroin, and others.)
Detox Treatment for Co-Occurring PTSD and Addiction Disorders
Sometimes co-occurring disorders can actually mask each other (especially when they have common symptoms). During treatment, it’s important to treat both PTSD and addiction. If a person only receives treatment for PTSD, they will continue to struggle with addiction. This could result in their PTSD symptoms returning with full force in the future.
Flipping the equation, the problem still remains. If a person only gets treated for substance abuse they will be missing the root issue. Oftentimes, it is disorders like PTSD that are to blame for a person’s addiction. So this is why it’s important to treat both areas of the problem during a dual diagnosis.
In co-occurring disorder treatment, both conditions should be treated at the same time. A plan is usually set in place to tackle both with personalized treatment. Detox is a vital part of the process and opens the door for other more personalized treatment options.
What is Detoxification (Detox)?
Detoxification is a process that removes all drugs and alcohol from a person’s system. This is usually done in a safe and trusted environment like Coastal Detox. When drugs are removed from a person’s body, they will often experience withdrawals. Sometimes this can be an uncomfortable process, which is why medical professionals are thereby the person’s side. At Coastal Detox we offer medical supervision and certain medications to make the process safer and more comfortable.
PTSD and addiction can be a very intense situation if left untreated. If medication-assisted detox is not needed, the person can still do other things to help them cope with some of PTSD’s symptoms. This, of course, should be with the supervision and permission of a medical professional. Detox is an essential part of dual diagnosis treatment.
The Detox Process: What to Expect
Each case of addiction (and co-occurring disorders) is completely different. With all cases of detox, we make sure you are comfortable and safe throughout the entire process. We want you to know that you are not alone during the process. There are some steps that we take to ensure that the process is effective and that you are informed throughout. Let’s take a look at some of the steps involved in the detox process.
- Evaluation Phase
To ensure safety and effectiveness, we must first evaluate your case. There are a number of different assessments we use to check your medical history and the severity of the addiction (how much of a drug is in your body). Our trained team uses this information to figure out the proper medications or any specific needs for your case. If you have any questions or are in need of something during detox, the evaluation stage is the perfect time to ask.
As the name suggests, in the stabilization phase, we make sure you are stable and ready for recovery without harm. Therapeutic methods may be used to calm your nerves and make sure you are ready. In this phase, you are also given any medication needed to manage withdrawals during the process.
- Preparing for Treatment Entry
In this stage of detox, our trained medical staff will discuss with you some of the options for the rest of your treatment. In many cases, inpatient treatment is recommended directly after detox. As always, if you have any questions, our passionate staff will be ready to help you.
Holistic Detox vs. Medical Detox
There are different styles of detox that we use at Coastal Detox. With this in mind, there is a big difference between holistic detox and medical detox. Holistic detox uses healthy dieting, exercising, and more natural techniques to help clear drugs from a person’s body. On the other hand, medical detox uses medication to purge the body of substances.
Another big difference between the two is the fact that holistic detox includes a special facility outside of the hospital. Here a person can focus on natural health and can indulge in the many resources available to them. Medical detox usually takes place in a hospital setting. Since it does take place in a hospital, the technology is more advanced and scientific.
During medical detox, a person is typically supervised by medical professionals around the clock. This type of supervision is not given during holistic detox. It doesn’t matter which detox works best for it, what matters is that you get help. Detox, in general, is crucial for PTSD and addiction treatment.
Treatment After Detox
Detoxification is just the first step towards addiction treatment. There are a number of different treatment styles – some might work better for you than others. The type of treatment usually depends on the person and the severity of their case. Some of the more common types of treatment after detox include the following:
- Residential Treatment – Allows for comprehensive treatment with 24/7 supervision and guidance. A person is able to get treatment at a trusted rehab center.
- Intensive Outpatient Treatment – Outpatient treatment does not require the person to stay in a facility. It only requires weekly visits and allows convenience and freedom in the form of a schedule.
- Outpatient Treatment – Outpatient treatment takes place completely outside of a rehab center.
- Partial Hospitalization Treatment (PHP) – PHP is similar to outpatient treatment except it is much more intense and requires full days of treatment.
Don’t Wait; Start Your Recovery Today!
At Coastal we understand how crippling PTSD and addiction can be. Co-occurring disorders can completely ruin a person’s life. This is why it’s important to take the very first step towards recovery. With a trusted staff of medical professionals, we’ll make your detox safe and effective. Contact us today to learn more about detox and if you have any questions at all.