What happens in drug rehab when my teen already has PTSD?

If your teen is suffering from a drug and/or alcohol addiction, they need to be in a drug rehab. Part of the admissions process when you first come to the facility is a full medical history, including mental health issues such as PTSD. It is important to be as detailed as possible about the onset of the disorder, the traumatic event that caused the PTSD, any therapy or medications your teen has been prescribed by their regular psychiatrist and the contact information of your teen’s doctor(s). The more thorough you are about your child’s health history, the better his or her therapy can be tailored at the drug rehab.

We understand that most addictions have roots that lie deeper than just the getting drunk and/or high. Your teen’s addiction very well could be related to their PTSD diagnosis, such as if they are attempting to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. The therapists and doctors at the rehab facility have all been highly trained to deal with addiction that is related to another disorder, or even multiple disorders. Therapy will be tailored to address both the addictive behavior as well as the underlying disorder such as PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, ADHD, self-harming behaviors and suicidal ideations, just to name a few. There isn’t much our staff hasn’t seen before and we are prepared to care for your teen while he or she is in drug rehab in the most safe and caring environment possible.

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Addiction is an illness and we are trained to treat that illness. But the reality is that most people with addiction issues also have other mental or emotional challenges that must also be addressed whether they are related to the addiction or not and these could easily be spotted and treated at the drug rehab. You do not need to worry about your teen’s PTSD treatment; the doctors on our staff will continue treating the PTSD and/or other disorders in conjunction with their treatment of the addiction itself.

Often people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder tend to relive the traumatic moments that caused the PTSD, or some just live on constant high alert just in case the trauma is going to repeat itself. Still others live constantly in defensive mode in an attempt to be ready for anything and everything that could possibly happen to hurt them again. Living with PTSD is absolutely exhausting, both mentally and physically for the patient. That is one reason they turn to drugs and/or alcohol, to numb the feelings of being on guard all the time or being afraid all the time. At our drug rehab, your teen will learn other coping skills for when they feel overwhelmed by the PTSD; coping skills that do not involve drugs or alcohol, or risky behavior. They will learn healthy ways to verbalize or express their feelings rather than keep them bottled up inside. They will also learn to do things like keeping a journal or using music or artwork to switch off the PTSD for a while but in a less harmful, more productive and healthy way rather than getting high or getting drunk to switch it off, which is more than likely why they are using the drugs and alcohol in the first place.

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