Substance Abuse Disorders and Trauma: A Public Health Problem

By Stephanie Schweitzer Dixon: For More Info, Go Here…

A significant contributing factor to why the number of people are struggling with substance abuse disorders is having to deal with trauma. Whether that trauma was a recent experience or a past traumatic event, it increases the individual’s risk of substance abuse and mental health disorders, which many people do not realize. The importance of treating the trauma and healing from it can be the key to treating and preventing further difficulties with substance use and abuse.

Over the past few years, even a couple of decades, substance use among those who experience and have been exposed to trauma has subsequently turned into a public health problem as the number of people who develop substance abuse, acute stress disorder (ASD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is increasing exponentially. For many people, they are developing co-occurring substance abuse disorder and PTSD, complicating their treatment and recovery while further deteriorating their quality of life and increasing their risk of exposure to further trauma and victimization. Substance use turns into a substance abuse and dependence disorder when one’s use becomes excessive and creates tolerance with use along with symptoms of withdrawal following discontinued use of the substance (Collins & Collins, 2005). Those who experience trauma and develop signs and symptoms of distress that do not resolve after more than three full days but within 30 days develop ASD. If the signs and symptoms of distress persist after 30 days, then the diagnosis becomes that of PTSD (APA, 2013).

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