Substance misuse and trauma have a very unique relationship. Studies have found that anywhere from 30-60% of substance abusing clients also suffer from a co-occurring diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Clinicians at CMC are trained to assess and treat both of these issues using treatment approaches that have been proven in well-conducted studies to be effective.
While most people in their lives experience some degree of trauma, not everyone goes on to develop PTSD. Many people naturally recover from a traumatic experience, while others continue to have trouble related to trauma, and continue to experience symptoms of avoidance and anxiety.
Avoidance of trauma reminders (either through behaviors like avoiding triggers or by using substances) has a powerful short term immediate pay off. The anxiety is reduced in the moment, however, the long term consequences of avoiding trauma reminders can be significant. First, the world can become a very constricted and small place. Isolation, poor overall functioning at work and in relationships, and other problems like depression and anxiety can be the outcome of untreated PTSD symptoms. Second, using substances to manage trauma-related symptoms can add a host of other problems that can ultimately result in physical and emotional dependence on drugs and alcohol.
At CMC we believe it is crucial that clients have the option to address their substance use issues, while at the same time treating any unresolved PTSD symptoms. Often these symptoms are the drivers behind substance use choices and can often lead to relapse. To that end we use evidence-based treatments such as Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Skills Training in Affect and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR) to treat traumatic disorders.
PTSD does not fade with time and can have a terrible impact on your ability to cope with and enjoy life. PTSD is, however, highly treatable. There are skills you can learn to manage your anxiety. Life does not have to be fear-based or small and constricted. You have already survived, let’s help you thrive.