underlying issues of addiction

The Importance of Identifying the Underlying Process of Your Addiction

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Addiction is a very complicated disease that millions of people suffer with. The amount of Americans who struggle daily with some type of addiction addiction has risen greatly over the past 20 years. Thankfully there have been huge improvement in rehabs centers to better assist those who are struggling with addiction.

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health issues in America, they seem to go hand in hand with addiction. Over 23 million Americans struggle with drug or alcohol addiction, around 80% of those people are struggling with either depression or anxiety. Some of those addicts have never been properly diagnosed, this causes those issues to remain untreated. Without the proper counseling these issues will go untreated and only get worse with time. This will lead to a dangerous progress of the disease of addiction.

Understanding the underlying issues of addiction and alcoholism will help one find the correct treatment center. If these issues remain untreated the chances of a relapse are much higher. BY learning about, treating and learning how to cope with various emotions and mental health issues, the addict’s chance at long term success will be much greater.


Trauma and PTSD

When someone goes through a traumatic event it doesn’t mean that person will develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol. There have been multiple studies done on the link between trauma and addiction. The research suggests that trauma is a major underlying factor in addictive behaviors. These statistics help show the strong correlation between trauma with drug and alcohol addiction. The trauma can occur at anytime in the addict’s life, trauma has the hardest impact when it happens during one’s childhood years

Witnessing or being a victim to violence  is one of the main causes of PTSD. It is estimated that 25 and 75 percent of people who have experienced violent trauma will develop symptoms that go hand in hand with alcohol and drug addiction. People who have experienced a natural disaster, been part of or witnessed a bad accident or illness are also prone to develop symptoms of PTSD and addiction; around 23%. When someone is diagnosed with PTSD will be at a much greater risk of becoming a victim of addiction or alcoholism

Depression, Anxiety and Bipolar

“Bipolar disorder, once commonly known as manic depression, is a serious mental disorder that is characterized by sudden and intense shifts in mood, behavior and energy levels.” Depression isn’t just feeling sad, it’s much more than that. It’s an intense feeling of hopelessness combined with a severe loss of appetite, loss of energy and motivation, disrupted sleeping patterns (either too much sleep or too little), feelings of worthlessness and suicidal thoughts or ideations. Anxiety is “a mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities”. If you feel like you or a loved one are struggling with depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder it is important to seek out professional help.

How to Get Help for Addiction and the Underlying Issues

If your loved one has a history of anxiety, depression, PTSD or something similar, you need to make sure that you are looking for a “dual diagnosis” center. Almost 80% of all addicts and alcoholics struggle with mental health issues on top of their addictions. A dual diagnosis center will treat both the addiction/alcoholism as well as the underlying mental health issues. If those issues are left untreated the chances of a relapse are much higher. EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. is an extremely beneficial type of treatment for those who are struggling with PTSD and trauma. It can also be used to help with grief and loss.

Are You or a Loved One Struggling?

If you or a loved are struggling with mental health issues as well as drug addiction or alcoholism please reach out today.  At First Steps Recovery, we never give up on residents. Our dual diagnosis program will help you with both the addiction and the mental health issues that come with it. Alcoholism causes too much pain and heartbreak in our country, help stop the pain today. Please call us today if you or a loved one are struggling, 1-844-BIG-STEP (1-844-489-0836).

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