PTSD & Addiction: How to Help Your Spouse Find Addiction Treatment

ptsd addiction treatment

Watching a loved one struggle with PTSD and addiction can be its own kind of emotional torture. Not only do you experience the pain and helplessness of seeing a loved one suffer; but also, you aren’t numbing that pain with drugs and alcohol for relief. Instead, you’re feeling every minute of the heartbreak. Finding addiction and PTSD treatment for your loved one can give your entire family relief and healing. Here’s how to start. 


Addiction treatment could be helpful for your loved one if they are engaging in any kind of substance abuse that has negative effects on their life or yours. That may be occasional abuse that has lasting effects, or it may be something as serious as physical dependency. 

For example, the definition of binge drinking is often categorized as five drinks within two hours for men and four drinks in the same time period for women. For some people, though, even one drink or dose of a drug is too many, setting into action a tornado of consequences that impact their relationships, finances, and very life.

Addiction treatment can help binge users learn how to live life without the dangerous release that drugs or alcohol provide. For more serious users, addiction treatment may include medical detox that can help them navigate the dangers of withdrawal.


Addiction and substance abuse are never really the entire issue, though. Rather, they are the symptom of deeper emotional and/or mental issues. That could include childhood trauma and painful memories as well as illnesses like PTSD, depression, and anxiety. 

When a mental health diagnosis is found alongside addiction, it is called a “co-occurring disorder.” This is more common than you might think. According to a 2018 study in the Alcohol Research journal, ​​"Individuals who had problems with alcohol were almost three times as likely to have a co-occurring mental disorder as those with no alcohol problem.” 

In another recent study of Iraqi and Afghanistan war veterans, researchers found that more than 90% of those who served and had addiction issues also had a co-occurring disorder such as PTSD.

So many people turn to alcohol or drugs to numb the pain of PTSD and find out that they are hooked when it is too late.


Successfully treating PTSD and addiction requires treating both simultaneously. You cannot successfully treat PTSD while someone is abusing drugs or alcohol, and you cannot treat addiction or substance use disorder without treating the co-occurring disorders and traumas that fuel it. 

At reputable residential addiction treatment facilities, you can treat addiction and co-occurring disorders from a trauma-informed perspective. That means that staff members approach addiction as the symptom of those deeper issues, and not as a moral failing. 

Country Road is proud to offer a trauma-informed, dual diagnosis approach to addiction, as well as customized tracks such as our veterans addiction treatment program. We see the family’s healing as fundamental to the individual’s recovery, so we offer extensive family programming as well as visitation and communication with your loved one where appropriate. 

To learn more about how our programming could help you and your loved one start a new road to recovery, call us today.