Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a very challenging mental illness that can be extremely disruptive and even debilitating. Co-occurring substance use disorders can amplify and complicate the symptoms of this condition. PTSD requires compassionate and professional care and treatment if someone hopes to recover, and this is even more important when problems with substance abuse are also present.
What is PTSD and Trauma Treatment?
Both trauma and PTSD are much more common in those with substance use issues than in the general population. Treatment for PTSD is aimed at reducing the added stress and disruption that this condition produces in someone’s life. This condition can also intensify substance abuse behaviors, and these conditions can often synergize with each other leading to poorer treatment outcomes if appropriate care is not provided.
It is estimated that around half of all people seeking treatment for a substance use disorder also have some form of PTSD. This is striking, and it also illustrates the close connections and complex interrelationships between these two distinct conditions. Furthermore, the treatment outcomes for those with co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorder are often poorer than those with only a substance use disorder. The subjective experience of those with both conditions includes stronger cravings, more intense withdrawal symptoms, and a higher rate of relapse than in those with only a substance use disorder. 1
Importance of Treatment
Without competent and professional treatment, someone suffering from both PTSD and substance use disorder has little hope of recovery. Studies show that when someone suffers from both conditions, the symptoms of each are more resistant to treatment, they are more intense, and treating only one condition is often ineffective. This often results in relapse and a further escalation of symptoms. Getting comprehensive treatment that can address these conditions with multiple avenues of treatment often provides the best outcomes and the best possible chances for successful, long-term recovery. 2, 3, 4
At The Summit Wellness Group, we use a multifaceted treatment approach that aims to address the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects that are affected by these two conditions. Studies again show that, where PTSD and substance use disorder are concerned, the more tools that are directed at treatment and recovery, the better the outcomes often are. We utilize the latest medications, psychiatric practices, clinical therapies, and holistic treatment techniques with the goal of helping someone recover from a life of substance use and mental illness, and build a new, happier life free from the bondage of addiction.
Types of Treatment
We have multiple treatment programs, and while they all offer a very high level of care, some of them are more insulated than others. Depending on someone’s unique situation and needs, one program may be preferable over another. Whatever someone’s needs or schedule, we have a treatment regime that will work with them and meet them where they are. These programs include:
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): This is our standard level of dual diagnosis mental health and substance abuse treatment program that offers well-rounded care, while also remaining extremely flexible. The IOP program is 9 hours per week and sessions are available during the day or evenings, whichever best suits our client’s schedule.
- Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): Our PHP program is our most comprehensive level of care and is 30 hours per week. This program is indicated for those who may have serious issues with an addiction and a co-occurring mental health issue and is designed to provide the highest level of care possible.
- Sober Living: Our sober living facilities are safe and healthy living spaces located near our treatment facilities that provide a healthy living space while someone undergoes treatment.
Aside from the different treatment program styles that we offer, each program is comprised of multiple treatment modes, techniques, and components. These aim to provide someone with the most tools with which they can begin the healing process and overcome their issues with addiction and PTSD or trauma. Some of these treatment components include:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Art Therapy
- Adventure and Fitness Therapy
- Yoga and Chiropractic Care
- Psychiatric Care
The comprehensive and multifaceted treatment approach that we use at The Summit Wellness Group is designed to not only help someone recover and heal from trauma but to also be happier and healthier as they move forward in their life. The treatment practices we use are intended to be used in all aspects of someone’s life, with the goal of living life to the fullest. The first step is to find freedom from addiction and the pain of PTSD, but there is still a whole life beyond these conditions. We aim to walk with our clients through their struggles and introduce them to a more enjoyable and full life.
- Current Psychiatry Reports: Treatment of Co-occurring Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Use Disorders
- US Department of Veterans Affairs: Treatment of Co-Occurring PTSD and Substance Use Disorder in VA
- American Journal of Psychiatry: Substance Use Disorders in Patients With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder – A Review of the Literature
- Current Psychiatry Reports: Concurrent Treatment of Substance Use and PTSD