Trauma renders a person emotionally unstable. The very nature of a trauma causes abnormal feelings that are hard to pin down, elusive, and strange. When an individual encounters a traumatic situation, the brain, which is responsible for storing and categorizing information by type, does not allow our mind to contextualize the traumatic event, especially if and when we don’t have a mental category developed for that particular type of event. Talking about the trauma and/or going over what happened with a trained specialist are essential in facing the helplessness often associated with the traumatic event. However, if we do not process a trauma the results can be serious, and ongoing life complications such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, anger, and or feelings of betrayal, can arise. It has long been understood in the vernacular of the addictions field that those whose “lives become unmanageable” through excessive use of drugs and alcohol may be trying to “drown their pain” with drugs and alcohol. While initially, addicts may feel they have found a way to manage a pain-filled inner world, this synthetic form of mood management can, and often does, lead to addiction.
While many addicts are able to permanently overcome their addictive behavior when their unresolved emotional baggage is resolved, others also need to address the addiction directly. An addiction, once ignited, can take on a life of its own. For those with unresolved trauma driving their addiction, treating the trauma is “sufficiently necessary” but not “necessarily sufficient” to conquer the addiction. Without treating the trauma, an addict will relapse. However, even with treatment of the trauma, traditional addiction recovery treatment may be needed.
If you or a loved one is looking for treatment for any type of substance abuse we are here now to listen, answer your questions and address any of your concerns. We are committed to getting you or your loved one the help they need.