Treatment Options for PTSD and Drug Addiction

Published On October 27, 2017 | By Clare Louise | Health

Post-traumatic system disorder is often associated with war veterans, but even those who have never experienced the horrors of battle can suffer from PTSD. People who suffered from a terrifying event can lead to PTSD or addiction.

The two are not mutually exclusive, either. In fact, in most cases they are interrelated. Holistic rehab centers are sometimes considered to only deal with “New Wave” treatments for mild cases.  Truth is, alternative rehab centers like Ranch Creek Recovery also offer dual diagnosis treatment, as well, as part of their 30, 60 or 90-day residential packages.

Not many people know it, but PTSD doesn’t manifest itself immediately in some cases. Sometimes, the symptoms are not felt and seen until years after the event. That’s what makes it so scary when the person doesn’t know what triggered the reaction, only that the effects are debilitating.

12-Step and Non-12 Step Approach

Rehab facilities are classified by the treatment method they adopt. In the 12-step approach, the patient will strictly follow 12 core principles and traditions on their path to sobriety. This was developed initially for alcoholics although it has been adapted to addictions of all types.

Whereas traditional rehab employs the 12-step program to the patient, Ranch Creek explores other options. Among these holistic and experiential therapies are:

  • Equine-assisted therapy
  • Garden therapy
  • Yoga and meditation for addiction
  • Fitness and exercise for addiction
  • Acupuncture and massage
  • Gong sound healing therapy

Holistic treatment centers like Ranch Creek Recovery, for instance, also offer treatment options for those hooked on hard narcotics or prescription drugs like opiates, heroin, meth, and cocaine. They also assess if the patient is a candidate for the dual diagnosis program, which requires a different protocol and dedicated procedures.

Other Tested and Proven Methods to Combat Drug Addiction

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy – This has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to treat PTSD. The idea is that thoughts are so powerful that they influence behavior and mood. During the group and individual sessions, patients are taught how to control their behavior by acknowledging the external factors that typically trigger a subconscious but violent reaction. By changing the negative behavior, they can better live with the symptoms.
  • Amino Acid Therapy – Basically, the concept is to help repair the damaged neurotransmitters as well as promote a balance of the chemicals (serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, etc.) in the brain. Prolonged drug use will result in a high tolerance in which case, the person has to increase the intake to get the same type of rush. In doing so, however, he or she only accelerates the damage to the brain. The amino acids such as DLPA, GABA, L-Glutamine, L-Tyrosine, and 5-HTP can be administered through an IV method or ingested via powdered milk.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy – When PTSD or the addiction has come to a point when the person is already at risk of self-harm, DBT is usually employed. It doesn’t always follow but patients with borderline personalities typically are more prone to developing PTSD, bipolar disorder, depression and eating disorders.

In order to cope with their condition, they may turn to alcohol or drugs. In these cases, the patient is recommended for dual diagnosis treatment. In the sessions, the patients will learn mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance and finally interpersonal effectiveness.

It must be noted, however, that healing and sobriety won’t be fully achieved without the help of the immediate family and other support groups. It doesn’t matter how good dual diagnosis program of the rehab facility is, the interaction of doctors and counselors are limited to the time allotted to them. This is why Ranch Creek’s holistic facilities offer family counseling programs, which give loved ones the opportunity to also learn what the addict is going through. As an added bonus, they get to confront their apprehensions, feelings and individual problems, as well.

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