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PTSD & Drug Addiction: 5 Early Signs Not To Ignore

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is a mental health condition that’s experienced by those who have witnessed or experienced a traumatic or terrifying event. It’s normal to feel frightened, anxious, depressed or any number of feelings after such an event. 

However, if these feelings persist for a long time, they end up negatively affecting an individual’s quality of life. Some of those struggling with PTSD turn to drugs to help them cope with their intrusive symptoms, which creates more problems for them and they end up requiring drug addiction treatment.

The most common PTSD symptoms that can disrupt an individual’s life include:

  • Intrusive thoughts – This happens when a person relieves their traumatic event. It replays itself in the mind in the form of frightening thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks.
  • Avoidance – The individual may avoid anything, whether a person, place or object, that reminds them of the traumatic event.
  • Negative changes in physical and emotional reactions – Another symptom of PTSD is that the person’s behavior changes and they may become more jumpy, short-tempered or tense.
  • Negative changes in mood or thinking –They may have negative thoughts of themselves or others along with distorted feelings of shame and guilt.

PTSD Drug Addiction Signs

Living with PTSD can make life unbearable and if you suspect your loved one has taken up drugs to cope, here are 5 signs to watch out for:

  1. Becoming more secretive and withdrawn. The individual may keep to himself or push loved ones away so that they don’t find out about his drug problem.
  2. Lack of hygiene and grooming. As addiction takes root, the person may ignore personal grooming and hygiene as all their attention is focused on getting the next hit.
  3. Neglecting or ignoring responsibilities and activities they once enjoyed. Addiction doesn’t leave much room for anything else and the individual may end up neglecting their responsibilities or hobbies as they’re fixated on feeding their addiction
  4. Taking unusual risks to obtain drugs. Your loved one may start behaving out of character in their attempt at getting drugs. For instance, they may turn to stealing, selling off possessions, or gambling to get money for drugs.
  5. Exhibiting withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms are one of the signs that an individual is using drugs. These symptoms depend on the substance being used but common ones include nausea, vomiting, anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, jumpiness, sweating, and changes in appetite, among others.

Don’t Suffer Alone

If your loved one is struggling with both drug addiction and PTSD, we at the Findlay Recovery Center can help. Our addiction treatment center in Ohio is staffed by professional addiction treatment specialists who have experience with drug treatment and alcohol rehab. We have both residential and outpatient treatment programs and are ready to help your loved one get their life back on the right track. Get in touch with us today.

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