Psychological Trauma and Drug Abuse
Difference Between Psychological Trauma and Drug Abuse
Those who suffer from major psychological trauma will often self-medicate themselves with drugs and alcohol. This is often seen with veterans who have experienced the terrors of war and deal with the physiological trauma that they incur by abusing alcohol and drugs. However, while this is a trend that does occur, psychological trauma managed with drugs of abuse frequently indicates addictive behavior. Meaning, if the psychological trauma is treated through methods such as therapy and psychotropic drugs and the individual is able to cope with the trauma, they should not expect to be able to use drugs recreationally without negative consequences. The treatment for this addiction is life-long abstinence, regardless of the original causality of the use.
Often the psychological trauma becomes so intertwined and is so exacerbated by the drug use, that even if the psychological trauma is properly addressed, the drugs will hinder the recovery process. Once it has progressed to the point of addiction or if the individual had a predisposition to addiction that was inflamed by the psychological trauma, then it is classified as dual diagnosed. It is important for the dual diagnosed individual to receive treatment for both conditions in tandem in order to make a significant impact on treating either. Those who suffer from both psychological trauma and drug abuse are fortunate in the sense that treatment for both the psychological trauma and drug abuse often overlap.
Many of the facilities that treat drug abuse often employ professionals who are qualified to treat psychological trauma. The reason for this is both psychological trauma and drug abuse have components to them that focus in a person’s thinking. Therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists who treat drug abuse must also be knowledgeable with a wide variety of psychological disorders. The reasons it is important to treat both conditions is the fact that they become so intertwined. The psychological trauma will fuel the drug abuse and the drug abuse will only make the psychological trauma more difficult to deal with. So if there is to be a lasting recovery from either, both must treated over the long term. Often those who suffer from psychological trauma will require the use of psychotropic drugs such as anti-depressants.
Because it is essential to treat both conditions, it can be useful and even necessary to use such drugs. This is another reason to seek the services of professionals in the field. They are uniquely qualified to determine which medications will be beneficial. They can also maintain supervision of the administering the drugs and track the effectiveness and side effects. This is vital for individuals who suffer from a drug abuse problem because they have found a solution in the use of substances so any medication should be administered with proper respect and care. Psychotropic drugs alone do not offer a long-term solution for a dual-diagnosed patient, they must be combined with other forms of therapy aimed at healing the spiritual malady.