After hearing the stories of numerous recovered and active addicts and alcoholics, one could easily find a link between traumatic experiences and substance abuse.
While most addicts and alcoholics are introduced to various intoxicants prior to a particular calamity, many of them look back on their addiction and see that they began using addictively after a trauma. At some point in time most addicts and alcoholics have the ability to control and enjoy their drinking and using. However, after a personal calamity many soon to be addicts begin to drink and use more heavily. At that point in time, coping with traumatic experiences and substance abuse become forever linked.
The individual begins to drink and use to deal with the pain of whatever experience they’ve had.
In order to quiet the mind they try to treat traumatic stress with substances. For many this works for a time. If a loss has occurred, the addict finds that through drugs, they can escape the merry-go round of the grief cycle. Unfortunately, instead of working through the problem at hand, the symptoms stemming from their traumatic experiences and substance abuse tend to worsen. Eventually they find that they crossover the invisible line into addiction. Instead of using just to cope with their trauma, they begin to self-medicate for the most minor of stressors. They believe that the symptoms of their trauma are getting worse but in reality they are also dealing with withdraws and the financial and emotional strains of maintaining an addition.
Whatever traumatic experience they may have had becomes their excuse for using.
In order to get out of this cycle of justification and self-medication they often need professional help for traumatic experiences and substance abuse. By getting into treatment and getting separated from drugs they can differentiate the symptoms and signs of drug abuse from the problems created by trauma. Getting treatment will give them the best chance to cope with their problems as they move forward toward a happy and healthy life free of substances.