PTSD and Substance Abuse in Arizona

Co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse are so much more widespread and common than many people realize. Considering six out of every 10 men and five out of every 10 women experience a traumatic event at least once in their lives, it’s hardly surprising that eight out of every 100 trauma cases will develop into PTSD, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This translates to eight million people suffering from post-traumatic stress each year. 

Due to the stressful symptoms of PTSD, people suffering from the disorder are at a high risk of developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol as they look for ways to dampen the intense physical and emotional side-effects. Our specialists at Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center understand how difficult it can be to break the cycle of traumatic episodes and substance abuse —  and we’re here to help you put an end to your PTSD and addiction in Arizona for good.


What Is PTSD?

PTSD isn’t just something war veterans experience. Although it’s common among our veterans, anyone who has ever experienced any kind of trauma can develop PTSD. Those who have survived the horrors of sexual abuse, assault, a car crash, a natural disaster, a terrorist attack, or even an unexpected death are at risk of developing the disorder. Women tend to develop the disorder more often than men, and some people are even genetically predisposed to it. 

It is difficult to enumerate every PTSD symptom, as each person suffering from the disorder displays different behaviors and experiences their own set of side effects. However, the most commonly reported symptoms include flashbacks of the traumatic event, a looming sense of fear, intense and ongoing anxiety, mistrust of others, nightmares, insomnia, and emotional detachment. 


PTSD and Addiction

These symptoms are challenging to live with. PTSD keeps the afflicted individual in fight-or-flight mode at all times, making it hard to relax, and that’s why so many sufferers find solace in the numbing effects of drugs or alcohol. While this might seem to work for a person temporarily, it actually heightens the problem in the long term. 

Alcohol Research & Health breaks it down scientifically, explaining that traumatic episodes trigger a release of endorphins in the brain. When the episode is over, the endorphins subside, and the body experiences endorphin withdrawal symptoms that closely mimic the side-effects of drug or alcohol withdrawal. So, in order to maintain the numbness and to continue avoiding the nightmares and flashbacks, a person looks to drugs and/or alcohol to replace the endorphins, which is what eventually leads to chemical dependency. 

Over time, the body needs increased amounts of addictive substances in order to get the same sedative effect, which is when a dependency spirals into an addiction. Before a person even realizes it, they’re using the drug or alcohol compulsively and becoming tolerant to its effects. At this point, they can be diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder.


Specialized Dual Diagnosis Treatment

It isn’t easy to recover from a dual diagnosis, and it cannot be done alone — but it is possible with the right help. Many traditional rehab centers lack the expertise to treat both the addiction problem and the PTSD simultaneously, but Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center is different. Dual diagnoses are our specialty, and we offer an effective treatment program for co-occurring disorders like PTSD and substance abuse in Arizona that has shown to help patients fully heal. 

We know that PTSD and addiction problems require a custom and fully integrated approach. When you enter our treatment facility, you will undergo a comprehensive assessment and receive a personalized care plan consisting of any combination of the following treatments that are deemed most appropriate for you:

  • Medical detox: In order to successfully wean yourself from drugs and alcohol with minimal discomfort, you must complete the detoxification process. Medical detox is dangerous and must be overseen by medical professionals who can provide medication and 24/7 support. Our staff will make sure you are comfortable throughout the detox and are able to stabilize to the point that you’re ready for therapy.
  • Behavioral therapy: Behavioral therapy is one of the best ways to overcome the addictive habits that accompany PTSD. It teaches patients to handle triggers and manage stress in a healthy way and to think differently about themselves and their disorder. 
  • Exposure therapy: When it comes to PTSD, healing is only possible when traumas are faced head-on. We utilize exposure therapy to ground patients in the safety of the present by dissolving the association of frightening memories with present danger. This, in turn, helps patients overcome the constant anxiety they feel and reduces the number of hyperarousal flare-ups that happen each day.
  • Medication: Prescription medications can be a huge help to the treatment process. We often use them as a supplement to the aforementioned therapies in order to reduce anxiety, depression, insomnia, and the painful withdrawal symptoms associated with PTSD and substance abuse.
  • Counseling: Our staff ensures the active involvement of your family members and other patients during your recovery journey. This interaction will help you build a network of support and feel empowered to heal. That’s why we utilize one-on-one, group, and family counseling as part of our approach to treatment.


Why Choose Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center?

There are plenty of addiction recovery centers to choose from in Arizona, but your healing is contingent upon selecting the one that’s best for you. Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center is known for its holistic approach to dual diagnosis treatment as well as its unique UHELP (Understand, Heal, Educate, Love, and Practice) program for positive long-term change. We employ accredited, compassionate individuals who care deeply for patients and have a commitment to their success. If you are interested in learning more about our program, reach out in complete confidence today.