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Addiction is a traumatic experience for everyone who experiences it. Often called a “family disease”, addiction impacts the life of more people than an individual struggling with addiction itself. Friends, family members, partners, business associates, and acquaintances can all feel the effects when someone they know is living with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or harmful behaviors. Watching a loved one lose control of their lives to mind altering chemical substances and/or harmful behaviors is traumatizing for outsiders. Addiction can cause drastic changes in appearance, demeanor, personality, and lifestyle. A person’s life is overtaken, undermined, and transformed by addiction. Such a whirlwind of changes can be traumatizing from the inside perspective as well. Few take time to consider that addiction is traumatizing for the person experiencing addiction first hand as well. Drugs and alcohol can cause euphoria and desensitization, as well as a lack of regard for negative consequences. People living in active addiction can still be cognizant of what is happening to their lives, though it feels out of their control. For the many men and women who experience addiction, addiction is an experience of trauma.

Trauma is considered a primary contributing factor to addiction. Treatment for recovery from trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues, takes trauma into consideration. Clinicians will explore what traumas occurred before and during active addiction. People who do not experience any significant trauma in their lives prior to addiction might still display symptoms of trauma in the early stages of their recovery. For them, their experience of addiction is the trauma. Reaching what many people call “rock bottom” can be traumatizing. Even more traumatizing still is the experience of hitting rock bottom and starting to make the climb out.

Detox and the many uncomfortable symptoms that come with detox, like hallucinations, can be traumatizing. Coming out on the other side- realizing that the worst is over, addiction is behind, and a hopeful life of recovery lies ahead, can feel like a fresh dose of a new reality. The altered state of mind, the poor decision making, the total dependency on outside substances or behaviors- realizing that was life and that life is different, can be both liberating and traumatizing at once. Thankfully, the worst is over, and healing can finally begin.

If you are struggling with addictions, mental health issues, or other struggles related to trauma, you are not alone. Help and recovery is available. There is hope for you. The Guest House Ocala offers private customized residential care for trauma related issues. Call us today for information: 1-855-483-7800