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Trauma and Addiction: Why does Addiction Lead to Trauma?

Unfortunately, trauma increases the risk of one entering into the dismal realm of substance abuse. In many cases, people who have survived life-threatening ordeals, or who witnessed an extreme act of violence, will find themselves unable to process what happened in a healthy manner and look at things with a fresh perspective. According to the AMA, trauma increases the risk of developing substance abuse, and addiction significantly increases the likelihood of people being re-traumatized by engaging  in destructive behavior that can destroy their life, or place them in high risk situations. Furthermore, people who abuse drugs or alcohol are less likely to cope with the traumatic events that started the abuse, as well as the post-trauma from abusing substances. It is critical that if you or a loved one has survived a traumatic event but have turned to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope, that you need to contact Serenity Trauma, a mental healthcare center that treats trauma and addiction, and helps people recover and live the best version of their life.

Is Substance Abuse Really A Typically Seen Coping Mechanism for People Suffering from Trauma?

A plethora of things can cause an individual to feel enabled, desensitized, or become isolated, for example,and these are all symptoms for people who have survived traumatic events who have turned to drug abuse to cope with their anxiety. People who may have survived abuse (or any type of horrific experience) may depend on substances so they can feel calm, alleviation from anxiety laced with confusion, or energized–that temporary feeling of being “alive”. These people feel they can’t survive life without thee substances, so they generate the feeling of joy, but this is not coming from a clear state or one that enables them to make sense of their triggers and deal with them in a healthy way by working with a trauma and addiction therapist like the best ones at Serenity Trauma. In situations like this, the chance of falling prey to opioid abuse is very high. People battling addiction to substances stemming from their anxiety simply create additional anxiety, as they find themselves slipping away from being supportive for family, they often perform poorly at work, and they alienate friends and family. Before they know what is happening, they can lose their job, lose their friends, and see that their community of support has crumbled around them.

What are Some Symptoms that People are Abusing Drugs as a Result of Unresolved Trauma?

There are many signs one can recognize within people who are abusing substances and have psychological trauma. Some of the most common ones we help people recover from at Serenity Trauma include the following:

  • Changes in friends
  • Lack of care in appearance and hygiene
  • Need to use a substance on a routine basis
  • Financial problems due to substance abuse
  • Evasion of normal life activities
  • A decrease in work or school performance
  • Failed attempts to quit using substances
  • Self destructive, dangerous behavior
  • Engaging in unusual and unsavory things like lying, burglary, or prostitution to aquire substances
  • Problems at home
  • Obvious and routine intoxication
  • Lack of sleep
  • Depression
  • Violent behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Change in personality and temperament
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Mysterious conduct like sneaking around
  • Manipulating others

If you or a loved one recognizes these symptoms, be them in yourself, or in a family member or friend, they need to seek treatment from an anxiety treatment center that specializes in addiction and trauma. Call Serenity Trauma in Malibu, CA today!



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