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PTSD & Addiction

June is PTSD Awareness Month

Remember, you are not alone in your journey. This month, take the time to reach out to the people in your life who might be affected by PTSD, and be the advocate for them, or take that first step for yourself.

Do you know how to recognize signs and symptoms of PTSD? A traumatic event – combat, natural disaster, sexual assault, or an accident – can take over the way you experience life. After going through this type of trauma, it may be impossible to stop thinking about it. Whether you are active duty, a veteran or a military family member, you can learn more about how to recognize and get treatment for PTSD symptoms.

People who live with PTSD can find it hard to feel safe. Nightmares and trouble sleeping are more known signs, while feeling on edge, unsettled, and displeased with things you used to enjoy are other more subtle ones. Maybe you feel it’s just easier to be alone. Feelings like these are common after a traumatic event.

Symptoms of PTSD fall into four categories:

  1. Reliving or re-experiencing the event

  2. Avoiding things or places that remind you of the event

  3. Negative changes in beliefs and feelings

  4. Consistently being on guard.

    For someone to be diagnosed with PTSD, symptoms must fall within all four categories.

PTSD symptoms can happen at any age, and they come and go. Only a mental health care provider can diagnose PTSD, which is the first step to getting effective treatment. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, whether they are recent or have been present for years, it is important to talk with a doctor.

Among people seeking treatment for PTSD are 14 times more likely to also be diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder (SUD).

Military and Veterans with PTSD

One of the highest risk groups for both PTSD and addiction is the veteran population. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, veterans who seek out treatment for a SUD are often diagnosed with PTSD. This is most likely due to the emotional stress, physical demand, and mental strain of combat. Service members that were deployed overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan are at a higher risk of developing PTSD.

In addition, PTSD has also been linked to veterans that have been sexually assaulted or harassed during their military service or experience.  Military service trauma can happen to any service member, of any gender, during their military service. Sexual trauma includes sexual assault, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment. About 1 in 5 female veterans have been diagnosed with military sexual trauma by Veteran Affairs (VA).

Get Help Today

If you or a loved one is wanting to learn more about addiction treatment with co-occurring PTSD, contact one of Relevance’s administration navigators by calling 732-702-2242 or learning more about Relevance’s admission process and insurance coverage options. With the help and support of our healthcare staff in our treatment facilities, achieving recovery is possible.

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