Adverse experiences from the past can cause mental and emotional trauma. When a person is traumatized, it can lead to long-term effects. Unresolved trauma can also lead to the development of substance use disorder (SUD) and co-occurring mental health disorders. For effective recovery, the underlying causes of substance abuse, such as trauma, must be treated alongside SUD. Professionals, including the team at Lighthouse Recovery Texas, can provide holistic healing to treat both trauma and SUDs.
How Does Addiction and Mental Health Relate?
A person who abuses substances is more likely to develop a mental health disorder than a person who does not abuse substances. However, it is also true that a person with a mental health disorder is also at a higher risk of developing SUD. When SUDs occurs alongside a mental health disorder, it is called a dual diagnosis, also referred to as a co-occurring disorder.
According to Frontiers in Psychology, mental health disorders and SUD often occur together due to the effects that both have on executive functioning. Executive functioning is a set of mental skills. These skills allow a person to remember things, concentrate, or self-regulate.
Both mental disorders and SUDs tend to be associated with a destructive lifestyle. The aforementioned article explains that this is “due to a persistent failure to control impulses and the maintaining of inadequate self-regulatory behavior in daily life.” This lack of control is an effect of the dysfunction that each disorder has on executive functioning.
In other words, a person with a mental health disorder will not have complete control of their executive functions. This can potentially lead to substance abuse, which can quickly develop into SUD.
Can I Manage Trauma and Addiction Alone?
Some people are capable of navigating their mental health alone, but a dual diagnosis can be too much for anyone to handle. For various reasons, trying to manage alone is not a healthy or sustainable way to recover from dual diagnosis.
Addiction becomes a physical and physiological concern. Substances alter the mind and body. Due to this, a person who attempts sobriety alone may not succeed.
Since substances alter a person’s nervous system and brain chemistry, their brain and body become dependent on alcohol and other drugs to function. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may be used during detoxification to wean an individual’s body from intoxicants. MAT, alongside psychotherapy, is required to properly cease addictive drug use. To make the therapy more effective, a person would need the assistance of medical professionals to help them with MAT.
Triggers are another reason a person may not be able to manage a dual diagnosis alone. Since executive functioning is altered with a dual diagnosis, a person cannot self-regulate their emotions very well. If this is the case, triggers – such as family problems – can cause intense emotions. Intense emotions can lead to relapse. This is why a person often requires professional support when attempting to establish sobriety and start their recovery.
Can I Get Treatment for Trauma and SUD?
Treating disorders resulting from trauma and substance abuse is possible. With proper holistic, evidence-based care, a person may achieve sustainable sobriety. Experienced treatment centers, such as Lighthouse Recovery Texas, understand that substance disorders do not usually occur without trauma. Holistic healing is necessary for recovery.
Receiving holistic healing means being met with care and understanding that trauma causes hurt, and when a person is hurt, they will do anything to protect themselves. This includes abusing substances, as substances can protect a person from traumatic memories. However, that is an unhealthy coping mechanism.
Through holistic healing, a person learns how to soothe and heal past hurts, and how to manage emotions and triggers to prevent further substance abuse or the development of a disorder. The mind, body, and spirit are all cared for with holistic healing. More treatment centers can prevent relapse by adopting this type of healing.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Dual diagnoses are completely manageable with the proper treatment and support. Being in a healthy, sober environment that is treatment-focused can help a person resist cravings and start their recovery.
Partial Hospitalization Program
Depending on the needs of a person, a partial hospitalization program (PHP) can be the first step to begin recovery. Lighthouse Recovery attempts to make recovery as stress-free as possible to lessen the chance of relapse. By participating in PHP, a person does not have to uproot their whole lives to participate in a detox center or residential facility.
For people who need a bit more structure in their life, Lighthouse Recovery offers structured programming to help build confidence in sobriety. With small groups and individualized programming, someone can process and begin to heal from trauma and substance abuse.
Intensive Outpatient Program
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a good option for people with time constraints, such as work, school, caring for family, or other obligations. Since life does not stop no matter the desire to get sober, it is essential treatment centers offer flexible programming, such as what Lighthouse Recovery offers. While still receiving support and care through the early stages of recovery, a person can go on with their lives and still commit to healing.
For people who cannot manage emotions and memories that may cause lasting trauma and their SUD, extended care is a more intensive option. By combining elements of PHP, IOP, and sober living, extended care helps a person build foundational integrity in their sobriety.
This program is specifically designed not to focus solely on the abuse of substances but on underlying co-occurring mental disorders. Shame and trauma can further drive substance abuse, but by participating in a holistic, intensive long-term program, a person can learn to manage and process both shame and trauma.
Are you plagued with adverse memories from childhood? Have your uncontrollable thoughts led to substance abuse? At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, we understand that one does not often happen without the other. We treat mental health disorders, addiction, and dual diagnosis. Our professional and compassionate staff is experienced at providing support and well-rounded care, both in one-on-one situations and in group settings. We offer a wide range of treatment services and programs to ensure that we have individualized care for all of our clients. At Lighthouse Recovery, you and your recovery are our top priority. Let us help you find the full and sober life you have always wanted. Call us today to learn more at (214) 396-0259.