Substance abuse is a major problem in our society. Sadly, many people are currently dealing with the effects of addiction. Although there are so many possible causes of addiction, trauma is certainly among the ones that many people don’t really consider. A lot of individuals tend to think about things like depression, stress, family problems, and other such things as causes of addiction. It’s true that many of these issues could be at the root of some people’s substance abuse problems. But, trauma can definitely cause addiction so people should consider it when thinking about the underlying causes of alcohol and drug misuse. There is a true connection between trauma and substance abuse. Let’s talk about that relationship as well as how you can receive help when dealing with both of these issues.
About Trauma and Substance Abuse
Trauma is the mind’s reaction to an intense, disturbing, and distressing occurrence. Let’s break that down a little more. Think about an accident, such as taking a fall. When a person takes that fall, there might be physical trauma. Perhaps she may receive a bruise or even break a bone. When a person experiences an event, such as the death of a loved one or being physically abused, her mind receives the trauma. In a sense, the mind of a person who has had a traumatic experience receives damage. Because it’s a psychological injury and not a physical one, a medical procedure can’t help the situation. Trauma has to be treated with a psychological approach, such as holistic therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It’s important to treat trauma because it can negatively affect a person in many different ways if it isn’t addressed.
Addiction is the physiological and physical dependence on a substance. People who are suffering from an addiction problem feel as though they can’t function without using alcohol or drugs. Some people become dependent on alcohol while others struggle with drug addiction to substances like heroin or prescription medications. Unfortunately, some people struggle with dependence on several substances at once. No matter which substance is involved, it’s important to understand that addiction, like trauma, can impact people in a lot of different ways. So, even if people are in the “early stages” of substance dependence, it’s important to get help right away. Now that we’ve identified what trauma and substance abuse are, let’s discuss how they relate to one another.
How are Substance Abuse and Trauma Connected?
Sadly, women all over the world are suffering from the effects of trauma. Some have gone through grief from losing someone they loved. Some are dealing with the pain of sexual or other type of abuse. Many are struggling with the effects of childhood traumatic events, like the divorce of their parents. In each of these cases, the effects can be very difficult to handle. People often overlook trauma as a cause of addiction. But, the truth of the matter is that trauma and substance abuse are connected in a lot of people’s lives. As a person deals with the negative impact of trauma, she may turn to alcohol or drugs in order to cope with the pain. As a result, she might develop an addiction to the way those substances make her feel. So, trauma can lead to substance abuse.
Both trauma and substance abuse are serious issues and should be handled as such. If you or someone you know is dealing with either or both of these issues, it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible. Willow place for Women is a facility that works to help people overcome addiction. But, we understand that people who are suffering from substance abuse may also need help dealing with coexisting issues like trauma or eating disorders. So, we offer treatment programs to help women work through each of these problems and move towards a better and healthier life. Contact us today to learn more!