PTSD is a mental disorder caused by trauma that someone either witnessed or experienced. People with PTSD often resort to using drugs, including prescription medication to deal with the fear, stress, and anxiety associated with the condition. Lion Rock Recovery helps those with PTSD and prescription drug abuse problems to overcome their conditions and dependence.

Can PTSD and prescription drug abuse occur at the same time?

PTSD and prescription drug abuse may occur at the same time. In many cases, people who have experienced trauma use prescription drugs to deal with some of the symptoms of PTSD. These drugs may be obtained legally or illegally and abused.

The brains of patients with PTSD produce less endorphin, the hormone that makes us happy. Therefore, they often turn to prescription drugs and alcohol to boost their moods. With time PTSD patients abuse prescription drugs as they continue to take more hoping to relieve all their feelings of anxiety and depression.

Symptoms of PTSD

The symptoms of PTSD often vary and may occur a week after the trauma, or it might take several months or even years for the condition to come about. The disorder affects the part of the brain responsible for emotions and memory.

A healthy person’s brain can tell the difference between the present and past memories. However, the brain of PTSD patients cannot differentiate between the past and the present. Therefore, PTSD patients often react to current situations that remind them of their trauma as if they are still in the past.

A common effect of PTSD is the development of suicidal thoughts. PTSD can also trigger cravings for drug use. The thoughts of committing suicide may intensify if the patient starts to abuse drugs and alcohol.

How is dependence different from addiction?

Some people use the terms dependence and addiction interchangeably to mean the same thing while others abandon them altogether. The scientific community often prefers to use the term substance use disorder. Therefore, there is a lack of consistency in the use of the two terms.

The term dependence often denotes excessive physical reliance on something or a substance. Someone dependent on a given substance has developed tolerance to the substance and develops withdrawal symptoms when the substance is unavailable. Dependence does not necessarily lead to addiction. However, most people who are dependent end up becoming addicted.

Continued dependence on a substance alters the biochemical composition of the brain and leads to addiction. The change in brain composition causes a change in behavior that makes substance abuse the main priority for the addict. Once a person is addicted, he pays little attention to the harm he causes to himself or those around him. Addiction causes irrational behavior when the substance a person is addicted to is not in their system.

The trained staff at Lion Rock Recovery helps PTSD patients to deal with the symptoms of PTSD as well as dependence and addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol. We believe all patients can recover provided they get the love and support they need. Reach out to us to consult one of our addiction specialists.