Unlike other diseases, the progression into addiction does not follow a prescribed a pattern. The experiences that result in this disease are as varied as the individuals it affects. As a result, the road to recovery should be broad in order to effectively manage the individual experiences of each client. Although there are multiple factors that can lead a person into a life of substance abuse, most of these factors can be integrated into one term: trauma.
What Factors Lead To A Co-Occurring Condition?
As one of the most overlooked causes of addiction with co-occurring condition, trauma’s true power lies in its ability to entrench itself in the minds and hearts of those it afflicts. These memories can make it difficult to escape a painful past, but rather force an individual to relive these agonizing moments again and again. This can be attributed to the hippocampus or the region of the brain responsible for our memories. Rather than being cataloged into our long-term memory, these traumatic experiences remain active and continue to cycle through our everyday thoughts.
In response, the amygdala (or the threat center of the brain) goes on high alert. This fight or flight reaction encourages a person to continually assess their surroundings for danger, which can cause feelings of anxiety, fear, and helplessness.
Although the intention to relieve trauma is healthy, many people lack the necessary support network to cope with these traumatic experiences in a healthy way. Instead, people may turn to self-medicating, through drugs, alcohol, and other substances. Although a temporary solution, these substances provide individuals with a liberating feeling of relief and satisfaction. Once the effects of these substances wear off, it sets in motion a vicious cycle that generally results in drug addiction.
How Do I Get Help For A Loved One Who Is Struggling With A Co-Occurring Condition?
Ultimately, addiction becomes the solution for those who have dealt with traumatic experiences. In order to successfully resolve this issue, it’s important to address the trauma & co-occurring condition that is central to the addiction. Texas recovery centers provide the perfect environment in which an individual can cope with the process of sobriety while also coming to terms with the experiences that have led them to this point.