What Is The Relationship Between Trauma And Addiction?


Addiction And Trauma

Addiction can often be linked to mental health issues and a history of trauma is one of the most common causes. Trauma refers to an emotional reaction to events like assault, a rough upbringing, vehicular accidents, or war-zone experiences. Although shock and denial can be common right away, trauma can have lasting effects. To manage their symptoms, many people resort to alcohol and drugs, a practice referred to as self medication. A New Crossroad is an addiction treatment center that focuses on helping people overcome their addictions and trauma related experiences. This blog will identify the relationship between the two, along with addressing the treatment of both.


Different Types Of Trauma  

Trauma can be defined as a series or events that have an impact on one’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being. High levels of stress can lead to this condition and in result, leave the body in a constant mode of fight-or flight, causing an increase in adrenaline and cortisol. Although fight-or flight can be beneficial in the short-term, it is detrimental to the body over time. The body eventually loses the ability to distinguish between the memory of a traumatizing event and an actual emergency that requires a fight or flight response.  

Many people who have suffered various types of trauma are stuck and unable to move on in their lives. They may develop a mental condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder (also known as PTSD). Most people associate PTSD to those who have been in a war-zone, but this mental condition can also be caused by trauma from childhood or other life altering experiences including:

  •   Abuse of any kind: verbal, physical, or sexual  
  •   Sexual or physical assault  
  •   Domestic violence  
  •   Neglect  
  •   Bullying  
  •   Chronic or terminal illnesses  
  •   Accidents such as a house fire or car accident  
  •   Natural disasters  


Some of these memories can seem too painful, and people may resort to alcohol or drugs to cope with their emotions. Many people end up putting themselves at risk of another traumatic experience by doing this and they may also become dependent on the drug, which can eventually lead to addiction.  


Trauma Treatment Part of a Dual Diagnosis Program  

A dual diagnosis is when you have suffered trauma and have an addiction to drugs or alcohol. This is known as a co-occurring disorder. It is not unusual for co-occurring PTSD to be accompanied by addiction. Many veterans seeking treatment for PTSD also use drugs and alcohol to manage their symptoms. It may be tempting to use substances to control symptoms such as: 

  •   Insomnia  
  •   Agitation  
  •   Depression  
  •   Hypersensitivity  
  •   Social isolation  
  •   Anxiety  


Unfortunately, long-term use of alcohol and drugs is not a good idea. Many people develop a dependence and tolerance to the substance and end up having to consume more and more to feel it’s effects. Addiction can lead to side effects that adversely affect a person’s physical and mental health. When these effects are combined with trauma, it can make a person significantly less healthy and less mentally stable.  

Dual diagnosis can be used to address both trauma and addiction. Our dual diagnosis treatment program will offer strategies to manage the effects of trauma and provide relief for the addict. Contact us for more information regarding our treatment programs!


Seek Treatment From A New Crossroad

There is hope for those who are suffering from addiction and trauma. A New Crossroad offers the support and guidance that recovery patients require to fully recover from addiction or trauma. We treat the whole person through four distinct treatment aspects, which are as follows:

  •   Individual and group therapy  
  •   MAT Programs  
  •   Case management  
  •   Support for alumni  


Don’t let your addiction or trauma stop you from living the life you love. Contact A New Crossroad today if you are suffering from addiction. We are here to help and want to aid you on your road to recovery and healthy living.