PTSD and Addiction

PTSD and Addiction

I came across an interesting book today, and I thought I would share it with everyone. Anyone who is searching for the best drug rehabs in Florida, or the best drug rehab centers anywhere, must find treatment options that include therapies designed for the individual who is struggling with addiction. For many addicts, struggling with both addiction and a co-occurring mental disorder is daily life. The great people that work in drug treatment must evaluate every patient for conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The book I found today is on the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and drug addiction, and I will include the full title of the book in my reference section at the end of the article. The book starts off with a harrowing, but ultimately hopeful, the story of a Vietnam veteran who was struggling with alcoholism. His story is probably like many others. His family worked hard to find the best possible drug rehab facility for their loved one. They finally found a program that would accept him. They told him he needed a 7-day detox period, followed by 4 weeks of inpatient treatment at a well-regarded treatment center. He completed treatment, he was told he had an anxiety disorder, and he was given medication for anxiety and told to return for outpatient meetings. He showed up to his second outpatient meeting intoxicated, and his family assumed the whole process was a waste. I am a strong believer that treatment is very rarely a waste. The outpatient counselors set him up with a therapist. During his next outpatient therapy session, he talked about his awful and violent experiences during the Vietnam War. This was the key piece of information that the people treating him needed to hear.

That patient’s name is Johnny. He never had to go back to inpatient drug rehab. Once he was accurately diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, his therapists used proven methods to treat his PTSD along with his addiction to alcohol. His family immediately saw changes that they had not seen the first time around. It turned out that before this final treatment experience, Johnny had never talked about his experiences in Vietnam while he was sober. The expert medical staff at the treatment center was able to show him how to deal with those painful memories without alcohol. In looking at several studies, the book’s authors found that over 60% of veterans with PTSD suffer from some kind of substance use disorder. The authors did not look at non-veterans with PTSD, but we know from other research that civilians with PTSD are also much more likely to have problems with substance abuse. When you are looking for the best drug rehabs in Florida, or anywhere else, it is important that the counselors and therapists that speak to you or your loved one are aware of any past diagnosis of PTSD. If there is no known PTSD diagnosis in the past, then it is important to talk with the professionals at the recovery center about any possible trauma that the person with the substance use disorder may have suffered in the past. Johnny, the Vietnam veteran from the book, did everything right his first time in treatment, but he did not realize that his past trauma from the war was the key to his ultimate sobriety. This is an important point to keep in mind. I work for Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery, and the people there have years of experience working with dual-diagnosis patients. If you are trying to find the best possible drug rehab center in Florida, for you or a loved one, please seek more information at

By Tim Cannon



The story I told is from the book “The Interrelationship of Substance Abuse and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Epidemiological and Clinical Considerations” by Terence M. Keane, Judith A. Lyons, Jessica Wolfe, and Robert J. Gerardi.