Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Addiction

People suffering from PTSD often self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, which can lead to addiction.

Start the road to recovery

(877) 746-0480

Call Now

Treatment Center Locator

Bowling Green Brandywine

Kennett Square, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-797-7507

Acadiana Treatment Center

Sunset, LA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-548-6273

Moonlight Mountain Recovery

Pocatello, ID

Multiple Levels of Care

866-831-4706

Indiana Center for Recovery

Bloomington, IN

Full Spectrum of Care

866-657-4490

San Jose Behavioral Health Hospital

San Jose, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-299-9809

Northlake Behavioral Health System

Baton Rouge, LA

Full Spectrum of Care

1-866-647-1447

The Haven Detox

West Palm Beach, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-409-5866

SUWS of the Carolinas

Old Fort, NC

Residential

844-811-2644

Recovery Unplugged Austin Rehab Center

Austin, TX

Multiple Levels of Care

844-817-9493

Steps Recovery Center

Irvine, UT

Full Spectrum of Care

877-696-0054

Recovery First Treatment Center – Hollywood

Hollywood, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-603-7860

Wilmington Treatment Center

Wilmington, NC

Multiple Levels of Care

877-257-1203

Park Royal Hospital

Fort Myers, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-763-3294

SOBA New Jersey

New Brunswick, NJ

Multiple Levels of Care

888-341-1174

Northeast Addiction Treatment Center

Quincy, MA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-831-4406

Clear Life Recovery

Costa Mesa, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

888-638-7182

White Deer Run

Allenwood, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-638-3697

Oasis Behavioral Health Hospital

Chandler, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

855-338-0838

North Tampa Behavioral Health

Tampa, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-870-8069

Harbor Oaks Hospital

New Balitmore, MI

Inpatient

866-468-6148

United Recovery Project

Hollywood, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

877-586-7043

Life Center of Galax

Galax, VA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-428-7940

Newport Institute – Southern California

Santa Ana, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-604-7184

Twelve Oaks Recovery Center

Navarre, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-885-1218

Ambrosia Treatment Center – Westcoast

Beverly Hills, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-970-0918

MeadowWood Behavioral Health

New Castle, DE

Multiple Levels of Care

855-609-4051

Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry

Columbus, OH

Multiple Levels of Care

866-439-6540

The Harrison House of Northern Virginia

Annandale, VA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-734-4364

Pacific Grove Hospital

Riverside, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-801-1534

Recovery Unplugged Fort Lauderdale

Fourt Lauderdale, FL

Full Spectrum of Care

855-900-6613

Southeast Addiction Center

Atlanta, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-614-6174

Huntington Creek Recovery Center

Shickshinny, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-892-1288

Ambrosia Treatment Center – Northeast

Philadelphia, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-970-0918

Life Healing Center

Santa Fe, NM

Multiple Levels of Care

844-285-2916

Silver Lining Recovery

Huntington Beach, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-940-0031

Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center for Women

Lemont, IL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-200-8406

Enlightened Solutions

Egg Harbor City, NJ

Multiple Levels of Care

855-408-7163

Recovery Unplugged – Austin Detox

Austin, TX

Detox

855-958-1650

Colorado Medicated Assisted Recovery

Thornton, CO

Intensive Outpatient

877-757-0618

Covington Behavioral Health Hospital

Covington, LA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-454-4120

Azure Acres Recovery

Sebastopol, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-872-7360

Oceanside Malibu

Malibu, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

866-275-3956

Mount Regis Center

Salem, VA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-539-2026

Sierra Tucson

Tucson, AZ

Full Spectrum of Care

855-889-6553

Bluff Plantation

Augusta, GA

Inpatient

855-331-2490

Denver Recovery Center

Denver, CO

Multiple Levels of Care

855-729-4891

Northbound Treatment Services

Irvine, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

877-918-9085

Treasure Valley Recovery

Nampa, ID

Multiple Levels of Care

855-248-2193

America’s Rehab Campuses

Tucson, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

877-484-7367

Delta Med Center

Memphis, TN

Outpatient

877-235-0382

Asana Recovery

Costa Mesa, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-899-6056

Recovery Unplugged Lake Worth Detox, Rehab, and Treatment Center

Lake Worth, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-283-0199

Burkwood Treatment Center

Hudson, WI

Residential

844-251-2961

Riverwoods Behavioral Health System

Riverdale, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-246-8017

Lakeland Behavioral Health System

Springfield, MO

Multiple Levels of Care

844-404-1846

Ambrosia Treatment Center

West Palm Beach, FL

Inpatient

866-970-0918

Wellness Counseling & Residential Detox

Stuart, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-937-0191

1st Step Behavioral Health

Pompano Beach, FL

Full Spectrum of Care

844-334-8400

Greenleaf Behavioral Health Hospital

Valdosta, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-692-1694

The Poseidon Method

Mykonos, Greece

Full Spectrum of Care

202-370-7462

Rebound Behavioral Health Hospital

Lancaster, SC

Multiple Levels of Care

855-336-7623

Options Behavioral Health Hospital

Indianapolis, IN

Multiple Levels of Care

844-530-2836

Carus Recovery

Van Nuys, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

888-616-9024

The Refuge, A Healing Place

Ocklawaha, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-990-1029

Dana Point Rehab Campus

Dana Point, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-944-2609

The Recovery Team

Lake Park, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-999-2545

Pocono Mountain Recovery Center

Henryville, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-589-1547

Newport Institute – Northern California

Sunol, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-604-7184

Cove Forge Behavioral Health Center

Williamsburg, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-225-6578

Bradford Recovery Center

Millerton, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-769-9928

Riverwalk Ranch

Mansfield, TX

Multiple Levels of Care

866-634-7479

Amethyst Recovery

Port St. Lucie, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-965-6726

Lakeview Behavioral Health Hospital

Norcross, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-337-9509

Pinnacle Peak Recovery

Scottsdale, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

844-225-8937

New England Recovery & Wellness

Concord, NH

Multiple Levels of Care

844-408-1433

Recovery First Treatment Center – Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-603-7860

Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. Those experiencing PTSD might turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate feelings of fear, anxiety and stress.

Most people who have suffered through traumatic events eventually overcome the anxiety, depression and agitation caused by those experiences. But when PTSD develops, these symptoms don’t just go away. They might last for months or years after the event. PTSD can emerge as a result of witnessing or experiencing:

  • Military combat
  • Serious accidents and injury
  • Natural disasters
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Sexual or physical assault during childhood or as an adult
  • The death of a loved one

PTSD and drug addiction often co-occur in response to serious trauma. Getting a proper dual diagnosis is crucial to treating both conditions and getting sober.

Scroll to Find Your Insurance

Co-Occurring PTSD and Addiction

PTSD changes brain chemistry in much the same way substance abuse and addiction do. Often, these disorders form at the same time and feed off one another. The same trauma that caused PTSD can also trigger a substance use disorder.

Nearly three-quarters of those surviving violent or abusive trauma report alcohol use disorders.

- U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Don't Let Covid-19 Stop You from Getting Help

Rehabs are still open!

Following a traumatic experience, the brain produces fewer endorphins, one of the chemicals that help us feel happy. People with PTSD may turn to alcohol and other mood-enhancing drugs, which increase endorphin levels. Over time, they may come to rely on drugs to relieve all of their feelings of depression, anxiety and irritability.

PTSD often causes people to feel disconnected from their friends and loved ones.

People with PTSD are more prone to violent outbursts and panic attacks, which can be difficult for family and friends to witness. Feelings of guilt over these outbursts can drive those with PTSD to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Continued use of alcohol or other drugs in this way can lead to an addiction.

Symptoms and Effects of PTSD

Symptoms of PTSD can change over time. Some symptoms might appear within three months of a traumatic episode, or it might take years until the disorder fully comes about.

PTSD impacts the parts of the brain associated with memory and emotions. A healthy brain can tell the difference between past memories and present experiences, but PTSD interferes with this process. Someone with PTSD might react to a current environment that reminds them of past trauma. The brain responds as though the person is still in the past, triggering fear, anxiety and stress.

Suicidal thoughts are some of the most dangerous symptoms of PTSD. Abusing drugs or alcohol can intensify these thoughts.

Alcohol and drug addiction are also affected by memory. An addicted person’s brain is susceptible to triggers, or places and people associated with drug use that can lead to cravings. PTSD and addiction triggers can intertwine and intensify symptoms of both disorders.

Ready to get help?

Don’t waste another second. Enter your number to receive a call
from a compassionate treatment expert.

Make a Call (855) 826-4464

- OR -

Request a Call
(877) 746-0480

Categories of PTSD Symptoms

Intrusive Memories
  • Repeated memories of the traumatic episode
  • Night terrors about the event
  • Vivid flashbacks of traumatic episodes
  • Extreme physical reactions to reminders of the traumatic event
Avoidance
  • Attempting to avoid talking or thinking about the traumatic episode
  • Trying to avoid people, places and activities that trigger memories of the event
Drastic Changes in Thinking or Mood
  • Emotional numbness
  • Difficulty keeping close relationships
  • Being incapable of positive emotions
  • Lapses in memory
  • Negative feelings about self or others
Changes in Emotional Reactions
  • Irritability
  • Feeling “on guard” at all times
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Self-destructive behavior (binge drinking, reckless driving

It might be hard to recognize co-occurring addiction and PTSD. Someone suffering from PTSD might keep their drug and alcohol abuse from others because they feel ashamed. If a loved one seems to be increasingly depressed and withdrawn while exhibiting signs of intoxication, they might be struggling with a drug abuse problem.

If you think someone you care about is struggling with PTSD and addiction, reach out to a treatment provider now.

Questions about treatment?

Get confidential help 24/7. Call now for:

  • Access to top treatment centers
  • Caring, supportive guidance
  • Financial assistance options
(855) 826-4464

Treating PTSD and Addiction

Prolonged alcohol and drug abuse eventually rewire the brain’s neurocircuitry. Over time, the user needs the drug to feel normal. With enough time and use, the PTSD sufferer can become addicted.

Both disorders have a complex impact on the brain. It’s crucial to treat PTSD and drug addiction simultaneously to undo this damage.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help those with PTSD cope with their painful memories. Many inpatient and outpatient drug rehabs use CBT to treat addiction, as well. Clinics specializing in PTSD and addiction can coordinate CBT treatment plans for both disorders.

Physical exercise can be an effective part of PTSD and drug addiction recovery. The endorphins released during physical activity can soothe depression and anxiety. Doctors in specialized drug rehabs can also prescribe antidepressants to manage withdrawal symptoms and anxiety during detox.

Get in touch with a treatment provider to learn more about overcoming PTSD and co-occurring addiction.

Treatment professionals are waiting for your call

(855) 826-4464

Take control of your life

Our treatment providers offer 24/7 assistance.

  • Access to top treatment centers
  • Caring, supportive guidance
  • Financial assistance options

Call now:

(855) 826-4464

OR

Have us call you:

(877) 746-0480

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by one of our treatment partners below.

All calls are private and confidential. Find out more about Addiction Center.

A treatment facility paid to have their center promoted here. Learn more about how to be featured in a paid listing.