How PTSD and Addiction Are Linked

ptsd and addiction

PTSD, also known as post traumatic stress disorder, is often linked with addiction and substance abuse disorders. If you aren’t familiar with PTSD or addiction, or how the two can be intertwined, Anchored Tides Recovery is here to share with you more information regarding the two disorders. 

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Evelyn lost her parents at the age of 8 to a terrible accident. Since then, she has suffered several panic attacks and exhausting emotional outbursts.

Some nights, she hardly sleeps. And some days, anxiety and depression disconnect her from friends and family.

To cope with loneliness and feelings of depression and anxiety, she started experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and eventually became addicted to these substances. 

This is just one of the many examples of a person experiencing PTSD and addiction. Most people who, at any point in their lives, suffered trauma can often overcome the experience on their own. However, when PTSD ensues, the symptoms hardly go away.

 

What is PTSD and Addiction?

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is a mental health and anxiety disorder. It happens when a person witnesses or experiences a life-threatening or traumatic event. Examples of such events are:

  • The death of loved ones
  • Sexual abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Fatal accidents and injuries
  • Natural disasters
  • War
  • Terrorist attacks

Sadly, you don’t need to have to witness any of the events above before suffering PTSD. You might develop PTSD when a loved one experiences life-endangering occurrences.

In another case, having a history of mental illness can also lead to PTSD. And if you’re a woman, the chances of having PTSD are unfortunately higher. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, women are more likely to develop PTSD than men.

How to Tell If You Have PTSD

When a person suffers PTSD, they may display specific symptoms. The common symptoms include (but are not limited to):

  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia and nightmares
  • Persistent anger
  • Mood swings
  • Excessive agitation and fear

Some people with PTSD may turn to alcohol and drugs to manage and cope with the symptoms, and ultimately end up becoming addicted to said substances. If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD and addiction, please don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

At the earliest stages of PTSD with early intervention, it’s very possible to recover from PTSD without medications. However, when the symptoms of PTSD become disruptive and unmanageable, getting prescription drugs or treatments is a good option. Presently, the widely-approved medications for PTSD are antidepressants. Antidepressants are likely to suppress PTSD symptoms such as anger issues, fear, and agitation.

Another medication is Prazosin. It helps to suppress PTSD symptoms such as sleeplessness and nightmares.

How PTSD and Addiction Are Linked

The two disorders share a mutual link/nature. PTSD alters brain chemistry just as much as substance abuse.

For that reason, a singular trauma can simultaneously trigger PTSD and substance. And that is why substance abuse can lead to PTSD. Sudden withdrawal from drugs or alcohol will develop post-traumatic stress disorder in an addict.

Another connection between PTSD and substance abuse is PTSD medications. Indeed prescription drugs can help manage the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, one of the dangers of prescription drugs is that people living with PTSD often abuse them. For example, antidepressants such as Ativan and Xanax (Benzodiazepines) tend to create a high feeling. If someone suffering from PTSD takes too much of those, they are at risk for developing an addiction. 

Anchored Tides Recovery Can Help

Hope is not lost. Anchored Tides Recovery’s women’s drug rehab will help you live an addiction-free life. We are a comprehensive dual-diagnosis program created specifically for women who need help. 

We provide different levels of addiction treatment services including an Intensive Outpatient Program, Women’s Partial Hospitalization Program, Outpatient Program, and an aftercare program. If you or your loved one is struggling with PTSD, contact us NOW and begin your journey to full recovery.

 

Planning a Sober Girls Get Together

Going to a party or planning one when you’re sober doesn’t have to be a challenge. The remarkable thing about planning a sober get together is that you can control the presence of alcohol and other things that may trigger past trauma. More so, being among women who understand and support your journey might just be what you need to plan a perfect get together. Socializing and being around other people are a crucial component to addiction recovery, and is something you definitely shouldn’t miss out on just because you no longer drink alcohol or use drugs. 

Why Should Women Support Women in Sobriety?

Women supporting other women in sobriety is a beautiful thing, and something we focus on at Anchored Tides Recovery. Having a safe place where women can feel free is one of the keys to being happy and maintaining long term sobriety. 

It’s not uncommon for a woman before getting sober to feel distraught or uncomfortable, especially in social situations. A coping mechanism a lot of women use to ease these feelings is drinking alcohol or doing drugs. Now that you’re in recovery, or about to pursue a path to recovery, you may find yourself wondering “what will I do for fun now when I go out with friends?”. Please know you aren’t alone in this, and it should by no means be a reason to not quit drugs or alcohol.

In essence, no one knows what it feels like to be a sober woman except for other sober women. Having a group of people who understand your struggles and has been in your shoes, is incredibly therapeutic and encouraging. Never undervalue the power of a good ‘ole fashioned girl get together! And if you’re going to plan one, use these tips to plan a memorable party without risking your recovery!

Choose the Guest List for the Sober Event

Your guests can potentially make or break your get together. When making your guest list, make sure to invite women you feel safe around. They don’t necessarily have to be sober, they just have to understand that you’re sober and have boundaries. 

Make Plans for a Sober Saturday Night Activity

Planning a get-together can feel a bit stressful. As a host, you probably want to make sure you plan something that all of the guests will enjoy. An easy way to ensure everyone will be engaged is to place the sober event around an activity. This will also help encourage conversation amongst the guests, especially if they don’t know each other. 

One fun activity that almost everyone enjoys is bowling. It’s fun if you’re good at it, it’s still fun if you’re bad at it (a not so good bowler usually makes everyone laugh), and there’s always good fried food at a bowling alley.

Another fun activity is a game night. Most game nights these days don’t even require having the physical game, you just need a cell phone and reliable WiFi. Heads up is a great game because it moves quickly and requires the group splitting into two smaller groups. It also requires everyone to get up off the couch at one point. 

sober girls night out

Focus on the Food

Don’t want alcohol to be the focus? No problem! You can shift the focus from alcohol by making sure there is a tasty meal or snack when the girls get together. If you’re going to gather a large group, feel free to ask other people to bring some snacks. 

Have Fun! 

Most importantly, if you’re planning a social gathering, make sure you have fun. Your life isn’t over now that the “partying” has stopped. Your new sober life in recovery will be fulfilling and fun. Below are just some tips to follow when throwing a girls get-together without putting your sobriety at risk. 

Build Your Sober Support System at Anchored Tides Recovery

Anchored Tides Recovery is a female owned and female client based addiction treatment center, with rehab programs specifically designed for women by women. We also offer women dealing with alcohol addiction a safe haven.

With Anchored Tides, you’ll get a treatment experience that leads to lasting recovery. Contact us now to begin your journey to recovery!

Becoming a Sober Mom: The Recovery Guide

becoming a sober mom

Ask ten women about sobriety and their family life. And you’ll see that, at least, eight out of ten will prioritize their family over work and addictions (particularly alcohol). Why?

Moms generally understand the importance of family. 

From William Ross Wallace’s famous poem, ‘What Rules the World‘, he stated that the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. It shows the role a mother plays in the life of her kids and family; that as a mother aims to nurture and educate a child, she makes the world a much better place.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean juggling sobriety, work and family is an easy task. Besides, ticking the boxes on a questionnaire isn’t always the same as reality.

How do we know that?

Becoming a Sober Mom

We, at Anchored Tides Recovery, are women professionals treating women. We have helped numerous sober moms cope with the demands of being an excellent mother and productive employees.

So, if you’re looking for a sober moms guide to recovery and navigating sobriety, amidst work and family demands, we can help! 

Read on to find the challenges you will face as becoming a sober mom, and how you can overcome them.

Balancing Old Routines With New Lifestyle Choices

As things stand, the responsibilities of a mother and an employee are more enough for you. Now, you might have to do a complete overhaul of your daily habits. 

How do you feel at the thoughts of that hectic overhaul?

If perhaps you can avoid cocktail get-together at work or your book club, how about coping with your children’s needs?

Moms often resort to their wine bottles to cope with stress at home. But remember, you don’t drink anymore. And that’s totally ok. 

becoming a sober mom

Partner Is Not Doing Enough

Maybe managing lifestyle choices will be easier for mothers if their partner had assisted them with home activities. Sadly, the partner isn’t doing enough.

According to a study by Harvard Business Review, HBR, over 70% of the interviewed (men and women) agree that working wives take care of the children and the home.

Out-of-home working moms particularly will feel the stress of combining work and home pressures. If such moms were in sobriety, remaining sober will be a difficult task.

Making Time for Recovery

In addition to lifestyle changes and unsupportive partners, a sober mom still has to find out ways to maintain her recovery schedules.

Remember, attending 12-step meetings and online support groups is important, in addition to individual therapy.

In the face of your workload, how can you stick to your sobriety recovery schedules?

Check out our tips below:

  • You Come First

The most important step you can take as you become a sober mom is to prioritize your needs above all else – work and family. That notion might come out as selfish. But it’s not.

Frankly, if you keep skipping your recovery meetings to meet up with work and family demands, you might fail in your quest to become the best mom.

  • Ditch the Parties If Needed

Candidly, it’s not the end of the world if you aren’t around for a cocktail party or not. If the host does care, you could always apologize for missing parties/meetings that will serve as obstacles to being the best mom for your kids. Remember – no is a complete sentence. 

  • Ask For Help

As earlier stated, managing sobriety, your work, and family can be difficult. Don’t be shy; ask for as much help as you need – even from your husband.

  • Make Friends With Moms Handling Similar Cases

Sober moms like you can also help you. More so, some of them had already mastered the solutions to your challenges. As such, make friends and connect with them.

Anchored Tides Recovery Can Help

Anchored Tides Recovery is here to help you overcome your challenges in sobriety and motherhood. We provide streamlined and mom-specific remedies for various levels of addiction.  Our treatment technique incorporates evidence-based addiction treatment and dual diagnosis modalities while incorporating a programing geared toward the issues women face. 

Get help today!

The Dangers of Prescription Pills

dangers of prescription pills

Prescription pills had always been a threat to all – even before the recent opioid epidemic. Yes, they are safe for people who have prescriptions for them and take them as prescribed. However, prescriptions can easily be abused and pills also can be purchased illegally. This is extremely dangerous and can even be life threatening. Today, Anchored Tides Recovery would like to spend some time highlighting the dangers of prescription pills. 

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, NCDAS, 53 million Americans had a case of drug abuse in 2018. And of the lot, prescription pills accounted for a significant 30%. Now, you see that prescription pills misuse and abuse poses a lot of health risk to everyone. With that said, what are those risks?

Before we discuss the risks of misusing or abusing prescription pills, let’s talk about the “what” and “why.”

What Are Addictive Prescription Pills?

Ordinarily, prescription pills are not necessarily meant to be addictive. The common prescription drugs fall into three categories, namely:

  •  Opioids
  •  Depressants
  •  Stimulants

As the name suggests, these pills are prescribed to people with certain health conditions. And the three major health conditions include pains, anxiety disorders, and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 

Even to “the administered,” doctors only prescribe the drugs under strict conditions and often as a last resort because they are strong medications. 

Why Do People Misuse or Abuse Prescription Pills?

People abuse prescription pills for various reasons. Some do so for fun (to get high), and others may start to build a tolerance to their prescription, and need to take more to feel the same effects.

Others may abuse prescription pills in the bid to study better, lose weight, or keep fit. Whatever reason you have for misusing or abusing prescription medication, they all often face the same complications listed below:

Risks Associated With Prescription Pills Addiction

 

  • Loss of Memory

 

Memory loss is often associated with depressants. Depressants generally increase the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. And that explains why it treats anxiety.

However, high levels of GABA lower brain activity. In the event of depressant abuse, your brain will then stimulate more GABA. That would eventually result in memory loss and a lack of concentration.

What’s worse is that if you suddenly stop taking depressants after a long period of use, you might experience life-threatening withdrawal seizures.

 

  • Respiratory Complications

 

Opioids are responsible for respiratory challenges in prescription pills’ abusers. They can indeed help manage pain under a doctor’s supervision.

Nevertheless, at the slightest overdose, you can experience life-endangering breathing difficulties. It is even worse when you combine opioids with alcohol.

In addition to breathing problems, opioids deteriorate sleep patterns. Over time, your immune system suffers from your misuse or overdose of opioids.

 

  • Paranoia

 

Prescription medications generally affect the internal workings of the brain. Put simply; they disrupt how the brain cells send and receive information.

In particular, they (opioids and stimulants) affect the brain’s reward sequences. As such, you get high and joyous when you take. But when you don’t use these pills, you start showing paranoia tendencies.

Stimulants especially can make you paranoid, and short doses make abusers go aggressive and withdraw.

 

  • Organ Damage and Failure

 

Prescription pills can cause heart-related problems such as collapsed veins and eventual heart failure. For starters, the medications are strong. And for that reason, the heart starts experiencing abnormal heartbeat rates.

Another organ often affected by prescription medications are the liver and kidney. These pills often make your liver and kidney go on overdrive. In other words, the two organs require more work to digest the substances in opioids, particularly.

How Anchored Tides Recovery Can Help

In the end, whatever complications or risks you face for abusing any prescription drug, there is hope. It’s never too late to get help, and you don’t have to live a life abusing prescription pills. We can help you at Anchored Tides Recovery.

Our range of treatment services for women includes partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and other outpatient programs. Most importantly, we have some of the best guides to help you navigate your addiction! Trust us, and get help today!