A Better Today

Self-Medicating Trauma
with Drugs & Alcohol

How Trauma Affects Your Loved One’s Substance Abuse Problem

A Better Today Recovery Services understands that trauma is often present in individuals who are addicted to Alcohol and drugs. If your loved one has a history of trauma, then it’s important to know that this could be the very root of his or her drug and Alcohol addiction. Trauma creates wounds that are invisible to others but can be felt deeply by the individual who experienced the traumatic event.

Those who have experienced trauma seem to go through life feeling like there is something wrong with them; the continuing effects of trauma can last long into adulthood. It can cause anxiety and depression in your loved one. Once he or she begins to suffer from the effects, falling into substance abuse to self-medicate is a high probability. Your loved one sometimes can even forget about the specific traumatic experiences and may not realize the profound effect that it has had on their life.

It can be very painful to go through life with mental and emotional wounds related to trauma. Our mission is to help our patients identify the roots of their addiction so that they can have a chance to begin the process of healing. Everyone deserves to heal from the traumas they have grown used to carrying on their shoulders.

Empowering Our Patients with Knowledge

Around 75 percent of women who enter drug & Alcohol treatment have reported a history of sexual abuse or assault.

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It is estimated that 25 to 70 percent of those who survive abuse or trauma develop drug & Alcohol addictions.

Drug & Alcohol Addictions Can Begin With Good Intentions and Casual Use

A Better Today Recovery Services understands that individuals who have experienced trauma and then turn to drugs and Alcohol are trying to meet a need. Unhealed trauma creates a lot of terrible feelings such as anxiety and fear.

It could be that your loved one began using drugs or Alcohol in an attempt to help push back those negative feelings. He or she may have been searching for something to help bring back that feeling of control, not realizing the implications of what they were getting themselves in to.

No one wakes up one day and says, “I’d really like to ruin my life with drugs and Alcohol.” It often begins as a way to cope, feel safe, push back unwanted traumatic memories, or numb the pain. Our goal at A Better Today Recovery Services is to help our patients find healthy coping mechanisms and heal from the traumas they have experienced.

Our individualized treatment helps them get to the bottom of what they were trying to achieve with drugs and alcohol. We understand that drugs and Alcohol are often the only tools they know how to use, and we want to equip them with new healthy tools that will bring healing and growth.

Fueling the Depth of Their Addiction: Trauma, Substance Abuse & The Brain

So how does trauma affect the brain? Advances in neuroscience have given us a lot of insight. Trauma affects the amygdala centers of the brain. The amygdala is the part of the brain that perceives and detects threats. Trauma pushes the amygdala center into overdrive- causing a person to continuously be on the lookout for threats, even when they are obviously safe. This can cause your loved one anxiety, fear, and a sense of vulnerability.

The hippocampus, which processes memories, is another part of the brain that is affected by trauma. Trauma can cause the hippocampus to go awry – reminding the person of the same traumatic memories repeatedly.

Lastly, the cortex which is deep inside the brain, and known as the control center, can go into constant survival mode. This can override logical thinking and negatively impact cognitive processes. When the cortex is affected by trauma and substance abuse, it can remove a large portion of an individual’s self-control.

This is why the same addictive behaviors are repeated despite wanting to stop. No matter the degree that the brain is affected, there is hope for rehabilitation in those who have experienced trauma and addiction. A Better Today Recovery Services offers individualized treatment that can get your loved one back in control.

Knowledge Empowers Long-Lasting Recovery

Learn about the addicted brain and find confidence that you can manage your addiction once you embrace living in recovery.

Trust in ABTRS to Help Your Loved One Find Their Inner Strength

Sexual Abuse & Substance Abuse Addictions: Self-Medicating to Cope

Sexual abuse statistics reveal that 1 out of every 6 males, and 1 out of every 4 women, are sexually abused in their lifetime. A Better Today Recovery Services understands that those who have been sexually abused are at a higher risk to develop substance abuse problems. In fact, women alone are more than 3 times more likely to turn to drugs and Alcohol if they have been sexually abused.

Sexual abuse leads to substance abuse more frequently than any other type of abuse or disorder. Many of those who are sexually abused, never come forward and talk about what’s happened to them. The pain is kept inside and the fear to talk about it can be overwhelming. Drug and Alcohol abuse often becomes a way to mask the pain that is associated with sexual abuse.

A Better Today Recovery Services understands that although the past cannot be changed, the future can be. If your loved one has experienced sexual abuse-related trauma, he or she doesn’t have to allow the actions of an abuser to mark them for the rest of his or her life. We want to help your loved one uncover all of these traumas and begin the true process of healing.

You deserve a fighting chance and A Better Today Recovery Services is here to help you win that fight.

What the Road to Recovery Looks Like for Your Loved One

Your loved one’s road to healing will begin when he or she enters treatment and starts to work on acknowledging the traumatic events that have had him or her running in fear for so long. Our expert level clinicians place an emphasis on helping our patients acknowledge past traumatic memories that need to be processed, shared with someone they trust, and resolve the fears associated.

We want to help our patients understand that unresolved traumas can continue to cause damage in their lives. The most important part about healing trauma is taking the power away from the fear and no longer allowing it to have total control in any capacity. If healing does not take place, then the trauma will continue to fuel their addiction and lead their life into more hurt, chaos and unmanageability.

We understand that it often takes time and that some of our patients will not feel comfortable discussing the trauma in the beginning of their treatment. We understand that the process of opening up takes time. We understand that it takes a lot of courage on their part to open and share their story, even in a therapeutic environment.

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A Message of Hope From A Better Today

A Better Today Recovery Services understands the importance of individualized treatment so that those dealing with trauma get the care that is best suited for them. We understand that each person has their own unique history and background and that many do have histories of trauma stemming from physical, sexual, emotional, or any other type of abuse.

No matter what your loved one has been through, there is hope. A Better Today Recovery Services is here with open arms. Send the message to your loved one that the anxiety and fear he or she carries from trauma does not have to steer life forever. With treatment, your loved one can change how he or she views and interacts with the world around him or her. With time, your loved one will learn better habits and coping skills that produce positive outcomes in his or her life.

Your loved one doesn’t have to go through life afraid anymore. Your loved one will learn that the past does not have to define the future and that he or she has the ability to take control of life and walk away from drugs and Alcohol. We hope to help your loved one get on the road to healing and recovery and we hope your loved one chooses A Better Today Recovery Services to start his or her journey.

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Reliable Resources About Trauma-informed Care is Needed When Patients are Struggling with PTSD

The moment you find out that your loved one has a substance abuse problem you will want to step in and help them kick their drug habit. By the time that happens your loved one can be so dependent on their drug of choice that you feel powerless to intervene. Knowledge is power and the only power you may have is the ability to educate them, guide them to seek treatment, and get them to rehab.

Finding the information that is trustworthy with your loved one’s interest in mind can be challenging. ABTRS utilizes information that is unbiased and proven or tested to be effective for substance abuse treatment and recovery. We want to empower you to help your addicted loved one by providing the sources we used below. We will continue to try to provide our patients and their families with reputable sources that are up to date and relevant.

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (US). Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2014. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 57.) Chapter 4, Screening and Assessment. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK207188/

NIDA. (2018, July 20). Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction on 2019, February 19

Banducci, A. N., Hoffman, E. M., Lejuez, C. W., & Koenen, K. C. (2014). The impact of childhood abuse on inpatient substance users: specific links with risky sex, aggression, and emotion dysregulation.Child abuse & neglect, 38(5), 928-38.


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