Drug addiction is a difficult disorder to overcome. Fortunately, with the help of professional drug addiction in Tennessee as well as other places in the United States, recovery is possible. However, just because a person becomes sober does not mean their journey is over. Drug addiction can have severe negative impacts on a person’s health, finances, relationships, and more. Since nearly every aspect of one’s life is affected, drug addiction can lead to several traumatic events. Because of that, can a drug addiction cause PTSD?

Understanding Drug Addiction

Drug addiction of any kind is a serious mental and physical problem for a person to overcome. This is largely because drug addiction causes significant changes to the brain and body. Over time, the body is forced to adapt to the repeated use of drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine, and opioids. In doing so, these substances often become less effective to the person consuming them, making them more likely to consume larger or more frequent quantities of them. 

For the brain, drug addiction can be the source of immense structural change. Drug addictions of any kind typically disrupt and damage the brain’s reward system. In doing so, a person is more likely to engage in immediate, unhealthy pleasures – like a drug addiction – instead of pursuing healthier, more natural pleasures. Once a drastic change like this is made to the brain’s reward system, it is highly unlikely one can remedy it.    

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a medical condition that some individuals develop after a traumatic, terrifying, and/or life-threatening event. In situations such as these, the human brain and body react in one of two ways: fight or flight. A person either reacts by defending themselves or fleeing from whatever is happening. 

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However, it is still much more complicated than that. Within these two main reactions are a flurry of emotions and reactions. For most people, these feelings and reactions fade over time. However, for some, they do not, which is how PTSD develops. 

It is also worth noting that PTSD is not always caused by a terrifying or life-threatening event like a car accident, fire, or gunfight. PTSD can also be caused by events that are not life-threatening but make a major impact on a person, such as the sudden death of a loved one.

Can Drug Addiction Cause PTSD?

Answering the question, “can drug addiction cause PTSD?” is not simple. Although both disorders affect the brain, they affect every person differently, so it is difficult to determine that any person’s drug addiction caused them to develop PTSD or vice versa. However, that does not mean it is not possible. PTSD can be caused by any kind of traumatic experience, including the experience of having a drug addiction or experiences one has while living with drug addiction. 

A drug addiction almost always affects all areas of an individual’s life. This includes their health, relationships, occupation, finances, education, and more. Because of this, it is likely that an individual with a drug addiction will experience some form of trauma in relation to one or more of these areas. Unfortunately, that trauma and the individual’s reaction to it can potentially develop into PTSD.  

Looking for Drug Addiction and/or PTSD Treatment? 

If you or a loved one is living with drug addiction, PTSD, or both, help is available in your area! At Knoxville Recovery Center, our caring and experienced staff offer a variety of treatments and therapies designed to help those affected by drug addictions, mental health issues, and more. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you or your loved one!  

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