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PTSD Treatment Massachusetts

At Woburn Addiction Treatment Center, we recognize the profound impact that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can have on an individual’s life and well-being. As a leading provider of mental health services in Massachusetts, we are deeply committed to offering comprehensive, compassionate, and evidence-based care for those suffering from PTSD.

(781) 622-9190
PTSD Treatment Massachusetts
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What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after a person has been exposed to a traumatic event. This may include witnessing or experiencing events that are shocking, scary, or dangerous, such as physical or sexual assault, natural disasters, serious accidents, combat through veteran affairs, or other forms of violence.

While it is natural for anyone who has experienced a traumatic event to have emotional and psychological reactions, those with PTSD have intense, prolonged responses that they may not recover from quickly. PTSD symptoms can interfere with a person’s daily life and make it difficult to carry out normal daily activities.

PTSD Symptoms

The PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types:

  1. Intrusive Thoughts: This includes recurrent, involuntary, and distressing memories of the traumatic event. Examples are flashbacks, where individuals feel they are reliving the trauma and nightmares.
  2. Avoidance and Numbing: Individuals with PTSD may avoid places, people, and activities that remind them of the trauma. They may also avoid talking or thinking about the event. They might feel detached from others and emotionally numb.
  3. Negative Changes in Thinking and Mood: This may involve persistent and distorted beliefs about oneself or others (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted”), persistent feelings of fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame, and feelings of estrangement from others.
  4. Alterations in Arousal and Reactivity: This might manifest as being irritable and having angry outbursts, behaving recklessly or in a self-destructive way, being overly alert (hyper-vigilance), being easily startled, or having trouble concentrating or sleeping.

PTSD symptoms may vary in intensity over time. They may be more severe when the individual is stressed in general, or when they are directly reminded of the trauma.

Who is at Risk for Developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

While anyone can develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after experiencing a severe, shocking, or life-threatening event such as those experienced by military veterans, certain factors increase the likelihood of an individual developing this condition. These factors include the intensity and duration of the traumatic event, having a history of previous trauma, having a family history of behavioral health disorders, lacking a strong support system, and having recent, significant life stressors.

Additionally, first responders, military personnel, and healthcare workers, who are regularly exposed to traumatic situations, are at a heightened risk. Gender also plays a role, as women are more likely than men to develop PTSD.

It is important to understand that PTSD is not a sign of weakness; it is a serious mental health condition that can occur in anyone who has been exposed to intense trauma. Early intervention and treatment are key to managing the symptoms of PTSD and improving an individual’s quality of life.

The Connection Between Addiction and PTSD

The relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction is complex and deeply intertwined. Individuals with PTSD, a severe mental health disorder, often struggle with intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their traumatic experiences that persist long after the event has ended.

To cope with the distressing symptoms of PTSD, which can include flashbacks, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event, some individuals may turn to drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication. This pattern can lead to substance use disorders, creating a cycle where drug abuse or alcohol abuse exacerbates the symptoms of PTSD, and the distress caused by PTSD leads to increased substance use.

In some cases, partial post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition where individuals experience significant distress from trauma but do not meet all the criteria for a full PTSD diagnosis, is also associated with an increased risk of substance use. The reverse is also true; people struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism are more likely to have experienced severe trauma and may have unrecognized PTSD or other mental disorders.

Prolonged exposure to substance use can further worsen the mental health of an individual with PTSD. It can complicate the course of PTSD, making the symptoms more severe and recovery more challenging. It often results in a negative cycle where the individual uses substances to alleviate their distress, but the substance use ends up increasing the distress and dysfunction.

Treating both PTSD and substance use disorder simultaneously in an integrated approach is generally the most effective way to achieve lasting recovery. This approach addresses both the root causes of the trauma and the behaviors associated with drug or alcohol abuse, providing individuals with the tools they need to manage both aspects of their dual diagnosis and move towards a more stable, healthy future.

Solutions for People Struggling with PTSD and Substance Abuse

Get The Care You Need and Deserve

Woburn Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

(781) 622-9190

Understanding PTSD and Substance Use Disorders

Individuals with PTSD often experience a range of symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, and emotional numbness. These trauma symptoms can significantly impact an individual’s mental health, leading to self-medication through substance use as a way to cope with distressing emotions. Our approach acknowledges the interconnectedness of these disorders and focuses on addressing both simultaneously.

Tailored Treatment Approaches

Our experts recognize that successful outcomes require a holistic approach. Each treatment program is designed to simultaneously address the underlying trauma and substance abuse issues. Through evidence-based therapies, we work on reducing PTSD symptom severity while providing comprehensive substance abuse treatment. This approach ensures that clients receive the best chance at sustained recovery by addressing both aspects that contribute to the cycle of substance use.

Evidence-Based Therapies

We utilize evidence-based therapies to effectively address trauma symptoms. By gradually exposing individuals to distressing memories and situations, we help them process their trauma in a safe environment. This reduces the emotional distress associated with PTSD and minimizes the need to self-medicate with substances.

Comprehensive Recovery Treatment

Understanding the risk of relapse in individuals with co-occurring PTSD and addiction, our programs emphasize relapse prevention strategies. By addressing triggers related to both disorders and teaching coping mechanisms, we empower clients to manage their mental health symptoms without resorting to substance use. Our dual diagnosis management ensures that clients receive comprehensive care that considers the unique challenges of a dual diagnosis.

Integrated Holistic Care

At Woburn Addiction Treatment Center our multidisciplinary treatment team collaborates to create a comprehensive treatment plan. Our licensed mental health professionals and addiction specialists work together to address both conditions. This integrated approach enhances the effectiveness of our programs, leading to improved outcomes.

Therapeutic Approaches for People With Co-Occurring PTSD and Substance Abuse Issues

Co-occurring PTSD and drug or alcohol use disorder can be difficult to treat, and many individuals with PTSD have poorer treatment outcomes than those who do not have PTSD. However, a trauma-focused approach can help these individuals recover from substance abuse, cope with their trauma, and live fulfilling healthy lives. Here are the top treatment methods used when addressing patients with PTSD and substance abuse problems.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is at the foundation of nearly all addiction treatment programs. CBT is a form of talk therapy that helps patients identify, challenge, and change negative thinking patterns or behaviors that are causing problems. When it comes to treating PTSD, CBT can help individuals reframe their thoughts about their trauma, let go of guilt and shame, and reduce feelings of anxiety.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is a trauma-focused approach that addresses self-defeating thoughts and beliefs regarding one’s trauma. It is a form of CBT that follows a series of steps where a person retells their trauma, identifies problematic thinking, and begins to challenge those thoughts, replacing them with healthy affirmations. The goal of CPT is to change the way a person thinks and feels about their traumatic experience.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET)

Prolonged exposure therapy (PET) is thought to be one of the most effective treatments for PTSD. This approach combines psycho-education, breathing retraining, in vivo exposure (thinking about events that trigger symptoms), and imaginal exposure (recalling the trauma).

During PET, the therapist helps the patient practice breathing and relaxation skills to try and regulate their response to distress both during and after exposure sessions. When combined with treatments targeted for addiction, PET can significantly reduce a person’s PTSD symptoms and risk of relapse.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

Another treatment that is often used for people struggling with PTSD and substance use disorder is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR). EMDR is a newer therapy that was developed in 1987 for the treatment of PTSD.

During EMDR sessions, a therapist facilitates bilateral stimulation to induce eye movements while the patient recalls a traumatic event. The bilateral stimulation is thought to reduce the vividness of traumatic memories and associated emotions. While other therapies for PTSD focus on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that result from trauma, EMDR solely focuses on memories and how they are stored in the brain.

Holistic and Alternative Therapies

Holistic therapies, such as art, yoga, meditation, massage, and music can also be used in drug abuse and PTSD treatment. All of these therapies can be tailored to meet a patient’s individual needs. Holistic therapies are meant to help individuals become more mindful, learn relaxation techniques, and find healthy outlets to express their emotions. Studies have found that practices like deep breathing, yoga, and meditation can benefit patients who struggle with PTSD.

Addiction and PTSD Treatment

At Woburn Addiction Treatment, we understand the intricate relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders, and we are committed to providing comprehensive and tailored treatment options for individuals facing these dual-diagnosis challenges.

Our integrated approach recognizes the connection between behavioral health and addiction, aiming to address both aspects to achieve optimal recovery outcomes.

Get Help Now

Find Treatment for Co-Occurring Post Traumatic Stress Disorder And Addiction Today

At Woburn Addiction Treatment Center, we offer specialized care for individuals grappling with the complex challenges of co-occurring posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder. Our integrated approach recognizes the critical connection between mental health and addiction, addressing both issues concurrently to achieve comprehensive healing. With evidence-based therapies, we guide individuals through the process of confronting traumatic memories while fostering healthier coping mechanisms.

By focusing on concurrent treatment, we aim to break the cycle of poorer treatment outcomes often associated with co-occurring disorders. Our compassionate team is dedicated to nurturing mental health and substance use recovery, offering a supportive environment where individuals can rediscover hope and embark on a transformative journey toward renewed well-being. If you’re seeking a path to recovery from co-occurring PTSD and addiction, Woburn Addiction Treatment Center is here to guide you every step of the way. Contact us today.

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Medically Reviewed By

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC Clinical Director
Learn about Inessa Maloney

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC has been dedicated to the mental health and substance abuse field for a decade, providing her expertise to guarantee quality and accuracy.

  • Specializes in outpatient services with a focus on substance abuse
  • Expertise in reality-based therapy, CBT/DBT, and motivational interviewing
  • Holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling
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