If you suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of a military training accident and are addicted to drugs, known that addiction is a common consequence of PTSD.
PTSD and Addiction as Co-Occurring Disorders
When addiction is coupled with another psychological condition such as PTSD, the two conditions are considered co-occurring. When treating co-occurring disorders, treat each condition and also address the way that the two issues interact and influence each other. Therapy that addresses and treats both conditions is known as integrated treatment and is the most effective approach to treating co-occurring disorders.
PTSD does not only occur in combat soldiers. PTSD also occurs among those who have survived trauma under any circumstances. An accident during military training can easily result in PTSD, especially if the soldier or someone close to him or her was injured in the accident.
Addiction is common among sufferers of PTSD, as they often use drugs to self-medicate emotional pain. This situation can be complicated by the fact that the trauma that induced the PTSD often involves an injury that requires the administration of pain medication. Painkillers are highly addictive, and the potential for addiction increases the longer the medications are used.
A soldier with a serious injury that requires long-term use of painkillers is at high risk of becoming dependent on the drugs. If the soldier stops taking the pain medication, he or she is likely to experience a resurgence of the pain and withdrawal symptoms as well. This combined with the reliance on pain medication to numb emotional pain means that a soldier will come to rely on the drug.
Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Addiction
PTSD and addiction are both conditions that require professional treatment. Integrated treatment for PTSD and addiction involves counseling to address the psychological and emotional components of PTSD and deal with the effects of the trauma that caused it.
Counseling will also address the psychological aspects of addiction and the way it relates to PTSD. It will explore the behavioral aspects that perpetuate addiction. Treatment will also entail medically supervised detox services to help the patient stop using drugs safely and effectively.
If the patient needs to continue pain medication therapy due to the nature of his or her injuries, counseling can help the patient to cope with the situation without suffering the consequences of addiction.