When Trauma And Addiction Are Linked

When a traumatic event or an injury occurs, some people are able to pick themselves up emotionally and move on in time. They seem to be quite resilient, and put up a type of compartment around the negative time in their life and seal it up. Perhaps they get the right counseling from a professional and come to terms with it or at least learn to live with it.

Field & Sunrise - When Trauma And Addiction Are Linked - MD RecoveryFor others, the journey to accepting what has happened to them takes longer and is much more difficult. It is not a sign of emotional weakness or a character flaw to have flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, sleep difficulties or tremendous stress after witnessing or experiencing any of the following:

  • Violent assault
  • Natural disaster
  • Sexual assault
  • Childhood abuse
  • Military combat
  • Serious motor vehicle accident


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that develops when a traumatic or hurtful event leaves a person feeling as though they didn’t have any control in a situation. Nightmares, flashbacks and other symptoms likely represent parts of the crisis that have never been resolved. The situation is extremely stressful and leads to an urge to escape, even for a short time.

PTSD And Addiction

PTSD and addiction are closely linked because a person who is having difficulty coping with a traumatic event or emotional injury from his or her past is going to be drawn to substances that let them “zone out” for a time. Alcohol and/or drugs definitely fit the bill to numb out some of the emotional pain they feel.

It can be very tempting to start drinking or using substances to try to treat the symptoms of the disorder instead of reaching out for help to deal with the underlying issue head on. Someone who has trouble sleeping, has nightmares when they do get to sleep, experiences flashbacks when they see or hear things that remind them of the traumatic event and/or is anxious and stressed out is going to be looking for anything to get some symptom relief, even if they know it may not be the best choice. The door to the possibility of becoming addicted is opened at that point.

Effectively And Safely Treat Dual Diagnosis

Here at Maryland Recovery, we specialize in the treatment of dual diagnosis. When a client comes to us suffering from an addiction and a mental health issue, like PTSD, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc., we effectively and holistically treat both concerns for a complete healing.

Our holistic approach to treatment provides help for the whole person. Each and every one of our clients receives an initial assessment to determine their history, needs and goals; which we then use to create a customized treatment plan that focuses on them!

You Don’t Have To Live With Trauma & Addiction For One More Day…
Call Us Now To Get The Help You Need & Really Deserve!

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About Ravikumar Bhalavat, M.D.

Dr. Bhalavat is Board Certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, and provides inpatient evaluation and consultation services at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital, Maryland Recovery Partners, and Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Bhalavat’s background includes treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, substance abuse and dementia.