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​​PTSD and Addiction Treatment in Washington


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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an emotional and physical response to a distressing event or situation. Examples include a serious accident, violence or death. It is one of the most common co-occurring mental health disorders that develop alongside an alcohol or drug addiction. 

Trauma and other mental health disorders can intensify the effects of substance addiction. Addressing both conditions simultaneously has proven to be extremely effective. Because they occur alongside one another, substance addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders should also be treated concurrently.

The PTSD and addiction treatment at Hotel California by the Sea offers an exclusive trauma-focused program. Our dual diagnosis treatment centers in Washington offer a variety of intensive programming options. A curated collection of specialized behavioral therapies, medically managed treatments and social support services are among our specialized treatments. 

Many patients enter into substance abuse rehab programs with trauma-related mental health conditions. By creating a treatment plan addressing both conditions, patients have a greater chance of recovery and maintaining long-term sobriety.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the result of a person experiencing a disturbing memory caused by a current or past event. These events or situations can be so startling. For that reason, they can cause lasting effects on a person’s psyche long after it has passed. 

Trauma is also a well-known risk factor in the development of a substance use disorder (SUD). It can also trigger the development of other co-occurring mental health disorders.

Reactions to trauma can be triggered by anything from violence to physical and psychological abuse. These traumatic experiences cause chemical imbalances in the brain. Trauma can also activate symptoms associated with the development of a mental illness.

PTSD can lead to issues of self-worth, self-esteem and the failure to cope with stressful emotions. Some symptoms of trauma can include anxiety, interrupted sleep and much more. Other symptoms can mimic signs of other mental health conditions, making it tricky to recognize and diagnose. As a way of coping with these distressing emotions, many turn to mind-altering substances in hopes of escaping uncomfortable feelings.

What is the Relationship between Trauma and Substance Addiction?

PTSD and addiction are conditions that often occur alongside one another. The simultaneous treatment of both is crucial to the success of addiction recovery. Research shows trauma experienced at an early age in life often leads to a higher chance of developing an addiction to substances as an adult. 

Many people turn to drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication. It comforts them and helps them regulate, control or completely mask the pain of their intense emotions.

At Hotel California by the Sea in Washington, PTSD and addiction treatment target both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. With the help of a clinical team of experienced rehab professionals, clients learn to build effective and healthy emotional coping skills. Through trauma-related treatment therapies, clients will improve their ability to manage uncomfortable situations and create a strong support network.

Do I have a Trauma related Substance Addiction?

Trauma is a subjective experience and can affect each person differently. Signs and symptoms can be dependent on factors such as gender, age, culture and environment. 

Signs of trauma can begin appearing as soon as a few months after the incident. Some signs can occur up to a year after. The following are indicators to help identify the signs and symptoms of PTSD and trauma:

  • When a person re-experiences symptoms, they have flashbacks, nightmares or disturbing thoughts that often affect their daily routine.
  • A person purposely changes up their daily routine in order to avoid certain places or events due to triggered feelings it can bring up.
  • Arousal and reactivity symptoms occur when a person is easily startled and is constantly feeling on edge.
  • Cognition and mood symptoms happen when a person has continued negative thoughts and/or loss of interest in activities they once loved due to the previous distressing event in their life.
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Co-occurring Mental Health Conditions are often associated with PTSD and Trauma

PTSD and trauma are forms of co-occurring mental health disorders. For a patient with both a co-occurring mental health condition and addiction, it is important to treat both disorders. Addressing every aspect of substance addiction will result in a higher chance of long-term sobriety. 

In some cases, trauma can be a primary predictor of future drug and alcohol abuse. It may even lead to the development of other co-occurring mental health issues. At Hotel California by the Sea, our specialized therapies have been proven to effectively treat trauma-related substance and alcohol use disorders.

Specialized treatment methods for addressing Trauma-related Addiction

Upon entrance into our PTSD and addiction treatment program, each patient will receive a full biopsychosocial assessment. This will help diagnose all psychological conditions that may be present at the time of treatment. Throughout the duration of their rehab stay, clients will be given regular assessments.

Evaluations help monitor client progress to make any necessary adjustments to their treatment plan. A successful treatment plan will address all co-occurring mental health conditions associated with the substance use disorder.

Hotel California by the Sea in Washington offers various treatment options. Our treatment for PTSD is especially beneficial for clients suffering from anxiety, depression, emotional dysregulation and other trauma-related mental illnesses. Our unique therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), EMDR therapy, group therapy and family counseling.

Other non-traditional methods can include loss and grief counseling, meditation and other mindfulness and holistic approaches. These specialized treatments help clients uncover the root causes of their trauma and how it affects their addiction. Patients will learn effective methods to cope with their disease.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

With dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), patients suffering from PTSD and addiction can greatly benefit from elements of this therapy. DBT works to identify painful emotions and how to effectively manage them. Patients learn to tolerate uncomfortable emotions, learn coping techniques and how to make positive changes for the future.

The ultimate goal of DBT is to learn how to change and avoid intense emotions, negative behaviors and distressing situations. All of which may be related to their trauma and addiction.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) teaches patients to re-evaluate their negative thought patterns related to their trauma and addiction. In CBT, patients learn effective strategies to help them reprocess distressing emotions in a positive and productive manner. This type of “talk therapy” is often used on patients suffering from a dual diagnosis. They are often diagnosed with mental health disorders such as PTSD and other trauma-related illnesses.  

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy)

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy was developed to treat intense emotional distress, disturbing experiences and trauma. EMDR therapy is a fairly new technique used for substance use disorder treatment. EMDR uses specialized eye movement tracking techniques while simultaneously exposing patients to traumatic events or memories. Through a series of eight steps, patients will be able to better cope with their trauma-related addiction.

EMDR therapy was traditionally developed to treat patients suffering from PTSD and trauma. Today, it can also be applied to treat all types of co-occurring mental health disorders. This type of therapy reworks and redirects how the brain processes traumatic experiences related to drug and alcohol disorders.

Grief and Loss Counseling

Grief and loss counseling can be highly beneficial for patients suffering from trauma due to a loss of a loved one. Common symptoms patients experience when dealing with grief include shock, disbelief, guilt, and anger. Grief can also present with physical signs such as weight loss or gain and insomnia.

This type of counseling offers patients the right tools and resources to heal in a healthy manner. Patients will learn effective coping techniques and ways to adapt and manage distressing emotions. There are typically five stages of grief a patient will experience that include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Peer Support Groups and Group Therapy

PTSD, trauma and addiction can be very isolating and lonely. It can also be difficult for family, friends and peers to understand the depths and intricacies of addiction. Group therapy and participation in recovery peer support groups are highly recommended as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. They are great resources to help patients build a strong support system during their addiction recovery.

These groups are comprised of members who have experienced similar life situations and can offer advice to one another. Group sessions create a safe and welcoming space for all members to share, listen and offer support to one another. 

Mindfulness, Meditation, and other Holistic Treatment methods

Mindfulness, meditation and other holistic practices are alternative methods of treatment for individuals who suffer from trauma-related substance use disorders. Treatment for addiction is very personal and each client receives a plan that will best fit his or her needs. Sometimes this can include non-traditional alternative approaches to treatment.

Research has shown that trauma and PTSD can cause major damage to the structures and chemical composition of our brain. Creating lasting damage to critical areas of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Through the practice of mindfulness and meditation, patients can begin to heal these parts of their brain.

Mindfulness, meditation and other similar practices are great alternative methods for treating trauma-related disorders. These holistic practices help patients create a sense of awareness of the space between their thoughts and emotions. This approach to healing teaches patients to identify destructive thoughts and actively make changes to support balanced emotional well-being.

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PTSD and Addiction Treatment for Men

At Hotel California by the Sea in Washington, our PTSD and addiction treatment offers specific gender-targeted programs for men. Men can face unique challenges when it comes to trauma-related addiction. Social and cultural conditioning on the “role of men” plays a significant role in the development of mental health issues. 

It has resulted in men believing they do not need treatment for their unresolved trauma. Consistently suppressing emotions and distressing feelings leads to a build-up of psychological issues. If left untreated, it could lead to the development of mental illnesses, substance use disorder (SUD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD).

In our PTSD and addiction treatment program in Washington, patients receive rigorous therapies such as CBT, DBT and EMDR therapy. These unique therapies help target co-occurring mental illnesses such as trauma. Within our dual diagnosis treatment centers in Washington, we offer a safe and non-judgmental environment. In this setting, male patients feel more comfortable opening up to treatment. 

Peer and other recovery groups help clients build a supportive network as they heal from their trauma-related addiction. Patients will be able to achieve and maintain long-term recovery with the guidance of physicians and other certified rehab clinicians.

 PTSD and Addiction Treatment developed uniquely for Women

Research has shown that women are more likely to experience traumatic events throughout their lives including during their addiction. Statistically, women face a higher rate of mental illness. Women face unique obstacles and have different needs when it comes to the treatment of their addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions. Having a targeted, gender-specific PTSD and addiction treatment program for women can be greatly beneficial for females struggling with sobriety.

Hotel California by the Sea’s PTSD and addiction treatment offers exclusive trauma-targeted programs to help female clients. In our dual diagnosis treatment centers in Washington, female patients learn different approaches to help them manage their addiction. Treatment methods include learning effective coping skills, developing a solid foundation of peer support, and learning how to safely maintain the management of medications. 

PTSD and addiction treatment offers various levels of care. This includes detox, residential treatment, partial hospitalization program (PHP) and intensive outpatient program (IOP). With the help of a female-targeted approach to treatment, patients can receive the best care and guidance to maintain long-term recovery.

Get Help at our PTSD and Addiction Treatment Program

At our dual diagnosis treatment centers in Washington state, we know how difficult treating multiple disorders can be. Many patients suffering from a SUD or AUD also suffer from PTSD, trauma and other co-occurring mental health conditions. Our PTSD and addiction treatment programs are specifically designed to address these dual diagnoses.

Call us today to learn more about how we treat trauma and addiction at Hotel California by the Sea. We offer various levels of care and a rigorous course of therapies to help clients address every aspect of their addiction. There is no one size fits all for treatment. We work with each of our patients to ensure they get the treatment they need to heal.

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