Substance Use Disorder After Traumatic Incidents

Topic: Psychiatry
Words: 937 Pages: 3

Almost all drug substance users have health significantly impacted by trauma. There is a strong linkage between trauma and substance use disorder, and it also conversely holds that substance and drug abusers suffer from traumatic issues in life courses. Thus, several people must be in a perpetual cycle of traumatic problems common to substance and drug abuse risks. Long-term trauma and substance abuse lead to psychological defects. Several linkages lead to the close connection between substance and drug abuse and trauma. They are high-risk hypotheses, self-medication, and the concept of susceptibility (Hawk & D’Onofrio, 2018). Many people who have encountered traumatic events like child abuse, violent crimes, natural disasters, war, or other traumatic situations turn to alcohol or drugs when they are confronted with feelings of guilt, shame, worry, or panic.

Traumatic incidents are more likely to happen to people with alcohol or drug use issues than to people without these issues. Many people are caught in a vicious loop whereby going through traumatic situations causes them to use alcohol and drugs more frequently, which in turn causes them to go through even more traumatic events, which makes substance use worse, and so on. Drug use disorders and issues related to traumatic events frequently co-occur. Drug users experience traumatic conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression; the opposite is true (Back et al., 2019). In addition to having detrimental effects on a person, trauma-related and drug use disorders typically negatively influence relationships with family and friends.

Medication-assisted treatment integrates solutions for supporting patients with substance use disorder, including medication and therapy sessions. MAT is most commonly used to treat drug and substance addiction, specifically heroin and opiate-containing prescription drug addiction. The MAT chemical controls bodily function, reduces the effects of alcohol and opioids, and reduces cravings while preventing the adverse side effects of the abused substance. People can safely use MAT drugs for many months, years, or even a lifetime.

Substance and drug usage are challenging because how it interacts with the brain can result in physical dependence and, in some circumstances, addiction. Drug use impacts the brain; thus, rehabilitation must also have that same impact. To treat drug use disorders, namely opioid use disorder, and prevent overdose, medicine-assisted therapy (MAT) is a sort of “whole person treatment” that combines medication with counseling and other behavioral health treatments (Bryant, 2019). The selection and dosage of drugs are tailored to each patient after a thorough examination by a licensed doctor that considers the patient’s varied situations, such as pregnancy, mental illnesses, or whether they are currently incarcerated. Another thing to consider is why the individual started taking opioids, such as pain management for a chronic disease that still has to be treated. Medicine is most effective with psychosocial counseling or therapy, which can help discover any underlying behavioral or mental disorders that may lead to drug use and drive patients to take medications as recommended.

Some doctors liken medication-assisted treatment to how they manage patients with diabetes or other conditions. While some people with diabetes may be able to maintain shape without medication, the majority fare best when medication is combined with a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, many people with diabetes or opioid addiction may require drugs for years, if not their whole lives. Drug-assisted patients, like diabetics, might “relapse” or go from well-controlled to uncontrolled sugar levels (Back et al., 2019). These patients need to make modifications and follow up with the treatment provider to get back on track.

Psychotherapy refers to the concept that allows for the mitigation of issues that affect the brain due to problems caused by substance and drug abuse. The psychiatrist can learn about the mental state and feelings of the concerned and the behavioral patterns over time. In essence, psychological and behavioral therapy all takes different approaches and processes towards enhancing the treatment and mitigation of overall effects of substance use disorder from one individual to another (Sancho et al., 2019). As the psychotherapy process, coupled with behavioral analysis, carries almost no risks, its integration into medical-assisted therapy provides a more concise and specific treatment process. Most essential, medical professionals and organizations must understand that people who have experienced trauma and those struggling with substance use disorders can heal. This group requires a recovery strategy with a focus on boosting resilience. The best outcomes can be achieved by changing the therapy paradigm to one that is trauma-informed and strengths-based. It is therefore critical that psychotherapy be included in medical-assisted therapy for better results and success of treatment.

Integration of psychotherapy helps to ensure that relevance becomes upheld in the diagnosis process, leading to shorter recovery times for patients and, consequently, higher recovery rates. The support from medical practitioners and psychiatrists goes hand-in-hand to ensure that the patients have an excellent path in the recovery experience. The broad term “psychotherapy” refers to various therapeutic techniques designed to assist people in recognizing and mitigating the effects of troubling feelings, ideas, and actions. Psychotherapy is widely regarded as a valid and beneficial form of treatment (Bryant, 2019). Addressing specific thoughts and experiences with a qualified and licensed therapist is typically a low-risk activity, although it can occasionally appear uncomfortable and painful. Counseling, talk therapy, and psychotherapy are frequently used interchangeably.

Because psychotherapy is as effective as psychiatric drugs for a variety of conditions, it is advantageous. It is one of the key findings in psychotherapy research. Psychotherapy also appears to have longer-lasting effects than psychiatric medication, as well as fewer side effects and a shorter course of treatment than medication in many cases. Contrarily, it functions better when psychotherapy and medication are combined.


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Bryant, R. A. (2019). Post‐traumatic stress disorder: a state‐of‐the‐art review of evidence and challenges. World psychiatry, 18(3), 259-269. Web.

Hawk, K., & D’Onofrio, G. (2018). Emergency department screening and interventions for substance use disorders. Addiction science & clinical practice, 13(1), 1-6. Web.

Sancho, M., De Gracia, M., Rodriguez, R. C., Mallorquí-Bagué, N., Sánchez-González, J., Trujols, J.,… & Menchón, J. M. (2018). Mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of substance and behavioral addictions: a systematic review. Frontiers in psychiatry, 9, 95. Web.

Mental Health Services and Primary Care
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder