Beach House Center for Recovery is a beautiful, safe, and welcoming residential campus-based recovery center for people experiencing substance use disorders and co-existing mental health challenges like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD and substance abuse are extremely common co-occurring conditions; the Beach House team of mental health clinicians, addiction specialists, and psychiatric providers offer customized treatment plans that address the roots of addiction effectively and compassionately.

What is PTSD?

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a psychological phenomenon triggered by a disturbing or terrifying event or sequence of events. Any emotionally or physically traumatic circumstance can lead to emotional disturbances. However, events commonly known to cause PTSD include long-term sexual or physical abuse, violent assaults, and automobile collisions.

Military combat is also a highly common cause of PTSD. Beach House Center for Recovery is passionately committed to supporting our veterans with Military Addiction Treatment and as a participating provider for the VA and Tricare.

What makes PTSD different from the kind of temporary emotional instability that generally occurs after a life-altering ordeal is its progression. Although many people will endure a psychological or physical shock at some point, the emotional disruption will eventually decrease with time, support, and self-care. When a person’s trauma worsens, that person likely has PTSD.

Because PTSD disrupts the brain’s ability to self-regulate, people who struggle with the disorder often gravitate towards mood-altering substances (alcohol or narcotics) that promote feelings of euphoria. It is estimated that people seeking treatment for PTSD are 14 times more likely to have a co-existing substance use disorder.

PTSD and substance abuse often result in patterns of emotional dysregulation. PTSD causes debilitating symptoms that the sufferer addresses with drugs. Simultaneously, drug use causes the symptoms of PTSD to worsen over time while causing additional physical and emotional deterioration. This phenomenon is called an addiction cycle.

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

Common signs of PTSD include the following:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Night terrors
  • Social avoidance
  • Persistent negative thoughts
  • Joylessness
  • Mood fluctuations or irritability
  • Risk-taking behaviors
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of impulse control
  • Loss of focus
  • Suspicion of unfamiliar people or circumstances
  • Reliance on mood-altering substances

People struggling with PTSD generally experience persistent negative thoughts and feelings of anxiety. However, some social or environmental triggers can generate sudden emotional and physical responses. Minor, unexpected sounds or motions can cause a surge of adrenaline and feelings of terror. It is very common for people with PTSD to actively avoid situations that might generate such responses.

Additionally, unmanaged PTSD can have physical ramifications. A chronically elevated stress response can trigger the following physical symptoms:

  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Severe headaches
  • Muscle tension/soreness
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Hair loss

Unfortunately, recognizing PTSD is often challenging. Sufferers can learn to effectively conceal their symptoms from their loved ones. Sometimes, PTSD symptoms don’t emerge for months or years after the traumatic event. PTSD can also co-occur with other psychological disorders, like anxiety or depression.

Beach House Center for Recovery: Our PTSD and Substance Abuse Treatment Approach

Struggling with PTSD and substance abuse without experienced clinical support can be life-threatening. At Beach House, we partner with our patients to discover the safest, most comfortable, and most effective treatment plans for addressing addiction and their co-occurring disorders. We offer evidence-based clinical treatment, medically supervised detox, and a broad spectrum of intensive therapeutic interventions that allow our patients to explore the root causes of their traumas and addictive behaviors.

To learn more about our treatment programs, please contact our compassionate and helpful admissions counselors today.