Post-traumatic stress disorder isn’t something that only happens to soldiers. That said, veterans are among the group with a high rate of the condition. For several reasons, the situation connects with substance abuse. As a result, high-quality rehab must feature a PTSD treatment program.
Understanding the Importance of a PTSD Treatment Program
Mental health disorders and addiction go hand in hand. In the trade, we call it a dual diagnosis. It means that you’re struggling with a psychiatric problem alongside the substance abuse. Most people don’t realize that they even have a mental illness.
For this reason, most rehab centers will assess you for a dual diagnosis at intake. In the case of PTSD, it typically means that you’re struggling with traumatic experiences. You may have lived through them or witnessed them. It’s essential to recognize that you’re the person who defines the trauma.
What’s traumatic for one individual may not be a big deal for someone else. There’s no objective way of standardizing the experience. Examples may be fighting in a war, being a sexual assault survivor, witnessing a murder, or experiencing a significant loss. When these experiences come with intrusive thoughts or feelings, you might self-medicate for relief.
Self-Medicating Behavior Can Lead to Addiction
For many in need of a PTSD treatment program at rehab, central nervous system depressants are the drugs of choice. Alcohol, prescription opioids, and heroin numb you. They let you shut out intrusive feelings and thoughts. They also make you feel mellow.
However, the break doesn’t last long. Soon, you’re looking for the next dose. Now, you’re dealing with unresolved trauma, PTSD, and an addiction. You also fear the withdrawal symptoms.
The drug use makes your life spiral out of control. Relationships are on shaky ground. You try to quit, but the withdrawal symptoms are too strong. You want to live life like everyone else, but the PTSD won’t let you.
What a PTSD Treatment Program in Rehab Looks Like
You learn to deal with intrusive thoughts and feelings. You no longer avoid them. But you’re not doing it on your own. Therapists are with you every step of the way.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR therapy) is an effective method that helps you process the event. It takes several treatments. You work with a specialist on talking through the memory while performing a series of eye movements. Treatment assists with changing the way you perceive the memory while also minimizing its impact on you.
As useful as this treatment is, it can’t stand alone. It must combine with other evidence-based modalities that help you overcome both PTSD and addiction. Examples of therapeutic approaches include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy as a means for uprooting dysfunction in feelings, thoughts, and actions
- Individual counseling that lets you develop social and coping skills for replacing the dysfunction with healthy patterns
- Dialectical behavior therapy, which assists with emotional regulation in high-stress situations that you can’t change
- Hypnotherapy for program participants who need help with relaxation and focus
- Family therapy, which allows for loved ones to reconnect and open channels of healthy communication patterns
Depending on your progress, a therapist might also offer additional modalities. Examples include group therapy, holistic treatments, and nutritional counseling. You re-learn how to structure your day without using a drug. Moreover, you gain valuable life skills.
Getting the Help You Need is a Phone Call Away
Could you benefit from participation in a PTSD treatment program? Do you need rehab for a drug problem that you can’t shake? The caring therapists at Ocean Recovery can help. A quick call to 800-641-2388 lets you set up an appointment today.