What Role Does Trauma Play in Addiction?

The connection between trauma and addiction (commonly referred to as substance use disorders) is substantial. Decades of research and hundreds of research studies have shown a direct correlation between trauma and the development of drug or alcohol addictions. Data from a 2018 study found that more than 20 million Americans over the age of 12 met the diagnostic criteria for a substance use disorder in 2018. Although this number is high, it is far lower than the staggering number of individuals who struggle with a history of trauma. The same survey showed that approximately 70% of adults (more than 220 million people) struggle with symptoms stemming from a traumatic event.

The risk factors for developing a substance use disorder will almost always include trauma. It is not uncommon for exposure to trauma to lead to substance use disorders, and conversely, individuals with substance use disorders to have a greater likelihood of experiencing trauma. Although women are statistically more likely to experience trauma than men, it does not mean men are immune to trauma-related substance use struggles.

What is Trauma?

The American Psychological Association defines trauma as “an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster.” Depending on the individual, symptoms of trauma exposure may occur immediately following the event or, it may take time for outward signs that a friend or loved one is struggling with trauma to appear. Often, in the hours and days immediately following the event, shock and denial are two of the most common symptoms one experiences. However, other reactions such as flashbacks, physical symptoms such as headaches and nausea, and unpredictable mood swings or emotions may also occur as trauma victim struggles to process their emotions.

What Causes Trauma?

There are several primary sources of trauma. In general, trauma directly results from someone experiencing or witnessing a painful or overwhelmingly negative event or situation. A traumatic event causes a lasting and sometimes overwhelming impact on one’s emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Trauma sources can be violent or psychological. Some common sources of trauma include domestic violence, natural disasters, the death of a loved one, witnessing a traumatic event, rape, and severe illness or injury.

It is important to note that one does not need to be a direct witness to or victim of trauma to struggle with trauma symptoms. It is possible to struggle with trauma after learning of harm that occurred to a loved one. This is common in children who witness harm happening to a parent or sibling. The most effective way to navigate trauma symptoms is to seek mental health treatment.

How Does Trauma Relate to Addiction?

There are several links between trauma and addiction. The most common is self-medication. When you or a loved one experiences painful or unpleasant symptoms linked to trauma, it is not uncommon to use drugs or alcohol as a way to numb the physical or emotional pain. Although substances are successful for a short time, the effects inevitably wear off, leaving you to struggle with your symptoms once more. This leads many to begin using or drinking at higher amounts and more frequent intervals to achieve a lasting escape from symptoms. Unfortunately, this dependency on drugs and alcohol is a step on the road to addiction.

The Best Women’s Trauma Recovery Program in Santa Barbara, CA

The best way to put struggles with trauma-related addiction in the past is to seek help at the best women’s trauma recovery program in Santa Barbara, CA. At Casa Serena, members of our treatment team will work with you to ensure you receive the most comprehensive, compassionate treatment possible. We understand that the journey to overcoming trauma is not without challenges. Revisiting and talking about the difficulties that led to addiction can be emotionally and spiritually challenging. We are here to provide support and guidance throughout each step.Beginning supported detox and continuing through detailed aftercare planning, we are here to help you learn more about the role trauma plays in addiction and how you can put both in the past. If you or a loved one are ready to begin your recovery and lasting wellness journey, contact us at Casa Serena for more information about our women’s rehab in Santa Barbara.

How to Find Women’s Alcohol Rehab Near Me

Millions of people across the nation struggle with alcohol use disorders and problematic drinking. Having an unhealthy relationship with alcohol does not necessarily indicate that someone is an alcoholic. However, it is important to understand the signs of problematic drinking and know that several stages or degrees of severity are used to describe alcohol use disorders.

In most cases, the occasional drink with friends or glass of beer or wine with dinner does not represent problematic drinking. Often, people who choose to drink occasionally with friends do not experience challenges with alcohol that evolve or progress into an alcohol use disorder. However, millions of Americans have experienced profound challenges regarding safe alcohol consumption.

When medical or mental health treatment providers diagnose alcohol use disorders, they describe one’s relationship with alcohol in degrees of severity—the degrees of severity range from mild to severe. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists eleven specific criteria addiction treatment professionals use to help determine how severe your struggle with alcohol is. It is not necessary to exhibit all eleven to have an alcohol use disorder. The ability to recognize what problematic drinking “looks like” can help ensure you or a friend or loved one seek help early to overcome addiction.

What are the Signs of Alcohol Abuse?

The signs of alcohol abuse look different from person to person, making recognizing alcohol addiction challenging. Although long-term alcohol abuse will inevitably lead to significant physical and psychological health challenges, the time it takes for someone to develop an addiction to alcohol will vary. When someone abuses alcohol, the signs of their harmful relationship with drinking will be physical and psychological. When left untreated at a women’s alcohol rehab, struggles with ongoing alcohol abuse can lead to severe and life-threatening consequences.

As noted above, recognizing the warning signs of alcohol abuse early on can help ensure you or a loved one receive early access to vital alcohol addiction treatment. Although alcohol abuse will look different from one person to the next, several common symptoms appear in most cases. These include:

  • Increasing isolation from friends and loved ones.
  • Drinking alone and/or making excuses to drink.
  • Sudden and frequent mood swings.
  • New or worsening physical and mental health symptoms.
  • Difficulties with short-term memory or experiencing “blackouts”.
  • Legal or financial problems related to alcohol or drinking.

How Does Alcohol Affect Women

Alcohol addiction affects men and women, although women often experience alcohol use disorders at a lower rate than males. However, women who struggle with alcohol may be more vulnerable to the harmful effects of alcohol use. This is due to a variety of biological and emotional factors that influence how women drink and process alcohol.

First, women metabolize alcohol differently from males due to body-fat composition. The female body generally has more water than males, and therefore, blood alcohol levels remain higher for a longer time because the body processes alcohol slower. Also, women may reach higher blood alcohol levels faster for similar reasons. Because women’s bodies process alcohol differently, they may be at a higher risk for long-term physical injury, including damage to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and liver.

What are the Benefits of Women’s-only Alcohol Rehab

Men and women face and recover from addiction differently. Because of these differences, choosing a gender-specific or “women-only” program ensures the treatment your receive focuses on the unique needs of women looking to overcome alcohol addiction. At Casa Serena, our alcohol treatment programs are designed around therapies and support proven to help women looking to get sober.

In addition to the physical differences between women and alcohol use, women struggle with unique emotional challenges related to getting well. At a women’s-only alcohol rehab, our treatment models teach coping skills and relapse prevention techniques that focus on how women best recover from alcohol addiction. Women also experience specific social and emotional needs as part of the treatment process. For some, the roots of addiction may be linked to experiences involving the opposite sex. In these cases, she may feel uncomfortable in a co-ed treatment environment. Therefore, a women-only rehab provides the level of safety and security needed to begin working towards recovery.

Finding the Best Women’s Alcohol Rehab Near Me

At a women’s alcohol rehab, our treatment providers understand the unique challenges women may face when they are ready to seek help to heal from alcohol addiction. Many factors contribute to why someone began drinking. Many of those factors also contribute to challenges and struggles related to getting and staying sober. At a women’s alcohol rehab, we can help you learn ad practice the tools you need to put those struggles in the past. Contact us today to learn more about our alcohol rehab programs for women.

The Signs of Cocaine Use in Women

Cocaine may also be known by other names. “Blow,” “snow,” “flake”- many names for the same highly addictive stimulant drug. Although illegal here in the United States, cocaine has been used as a natural stimulant in South American countries for centuries. Cocaine, in its current form, was introduced in America around 100 years ago. For a time, physicians used it in various tonics and elixirs to address multiple conditions. It was even found in popular beverages and used as a form of surgical anesthetic. Before long, researchers and members of the medical community realized that although cocaine was effective as it was being used, it was dangerous and highly addictive. Regular cocaine use proved to have significant and harmful effects on users. Unfortunately, despite all we know about cocaine today, the drug is still responsible for a substantial number of overdose deaths each year. According to some statistics, cocaine was linked to one out of every five drug-related overdose deaths in America in 2017. 

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is classified as a Schedule II substance. The U.S. Department of Justice and The Drug Enforcement Administration classify drugs based on their addictive potential and abuse rate. As a Schedule II substance, cocaine has a high potential for abuse and is considered highly addictive. Although some drugs require time for dependency and addiction to develop, experimenting with cocaine puts you at risk for developing an addiction to the drug’s effects in just one use. 

The high produced when using cocaine far exceeds what the body is naturally able to achieve through the production of chemicals and neurotransmitters within the central nervous system. Unfortunately, the effects of cocaine are also short-lived. Those who struggle with a dependency on cocaine will begin using at higher and more frequent doses to maintain a consistent high. Without treatment, this can quickly lead to a dangerous and potentially fatal addiction to cocaine.

What Does Cocaine Look Like? 

In its natural form, cocaine is a green leaf that is native to several South American countries. In these countries, indigenous populations still chew the leaves of the coca plant or brew them in tea to produce a mild stimulating effect similar to that of coffee. However, the effects are far more powerful when the coca leaves are processed into the powdered drug we’re all familiar with.

Once processed, cocaine may appear as a flake or rock before being purified into the fine white powder people recognize as cocaine. Powdered cocaine is the crushed version of the “flake” or “rock.” It is this form of cocaine and that people can snort or mix with liquids to inject intravenously.

The Signs of Cocaine Use in Women

The signs of cocaine use in women are similar to those seen in men. Early on, it may be challenging to detect cocaine addiction because many of the symptoms and effects on the body and brain are mild at first. However, it does not take long for the physical and psychological effects of cocaine addiction to amplify. If you or a loved one struggles with a cocaine addiction, the effects you may notice include appetite changes, dilated pupils, paranoia, excitability, sniffling or runny nose, and increased sociability.

As the dependency on cocaine grows, physical and possibly irreversible damage to vital body organs, including the heart and brain, occurs. As the addiction worsens, dangerous effects such as coma, heart attack, seizures, elevated blood pressure, and overdose-related death may occur.
If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction to cocaine, it is vital to seek help at an addiction treatment center immediately. Safely and successfully overcoming cocaine addiction requires the support and guidance of a skilled treatment team like ours at Casa Serena. To learn more about how our treatment at our women’s cocaine rehab can help you, contact our admissions team today. 

How to Love an Addict Without Enabling

When loved ones struggle with a drug or alcohol addiction, it is hard to know how to help. Because addiction often has a significant and harmful impact on those who use or drink, it can change their behavior, personality, and overall health. While these changes hurt the person who struggles with addiction, many do not realize the harmful effects addiction has on friends, family, or loved ones. People often want to help a loved one struggling with addiction, but they do know where to start. Also, they may want to help without feeling as though they are part of the problem. This challenge, known as enabling, is a very common struggle for those who have an addicted loved one in their lives. 

Signs My Love One is Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol

Drug and alcohol addiction looks different from person to person. It is important to know what the common symptoms of addiction may look like in your loved one so you can better understand how to help. Different substances have unique effects; however, some signs of addiction occur regardless of the substance used. Some of the more recognizable indications of substance use may include new or worsening difficulties at work or school, changes in physical health, changes to hygiene and personal appearance, new or worsening financial problems, mood swings, increased isolation, and new legal struggles related to substance use. You may also notice your loved one making excuses for drinking or using drugs or choosing to drink or use over participating in once enjoyed activities or necessary obligations. 

What Does it Mean to “Enable” Someone?

Enabling is a term frequently used when talking about someone helping someone else to continue making (potentially) harmful choices. Enabling occurs in various contexts, including relationships where one party struggles with a behavioral addiction such as gambling, eating, drinking, or drug use. When you enable someone who struggles with addiction, you will likely achieve the opposite outcome you desire. While you want to help them feel better or want to get better, enabling behavior often accomplishes the opposite. Enabling means you (often unwittingly) promote and encourage your loved one’s bad behavior without encouraging them to take responsibility for their actions. 

It is not uncommon for people to mistake helping for enabling. Sometimes this is because they do not know what enabling behavior may look like. Some common examples of enabling include making excuses for your loved ones drinking or drug use, financially supporting them (either their substance use or paying their bills because they used their money for substances), minimalizing harmful behaviors, putting their needs above your own, covering up for their behaviors, and blaming yourself for their substance use. 

How to Love an Addict Without Enabling

People who enable an addict aren’t always aware of their actions. Also, many do not realize that deep down, enabling behavior is not about helping the addict but about the enabler helping themselves. When people enable, they find comfort in the feeling that they are making things better for someone. The enabling behavior continues out of the fear that your addicted loved one will not “need” you anymore or will seek support elsewhere without it. Unfortunately, part of that fear must come true for your loved one to seek and receive the help they need to overcome addiction. 
For this to happen, you must find safer, healthier ways to manage your loved one’s needs and your need to provide support. This means (sometimes) allowing challenges to happen. Ask yourself why you are giving them money? Why are you covering for destructive behaviors? How are the actions you take allowing them to continue to use? It is possible to provide support and love without enabling. Consider reaching out for help at a treatment center that specializes in family therapy. During this time, you can learn more about setting boundaries and communicating effectively with your loved one. You can also learn more about addiction and how to provide care and support without supporting ongoing harmful behaviors. To learn more about family therapy and reducing enabling behaviors in your relationships, contact us at Casa Serena today. Let us help you learn safer ways to help your loved one overcome addiction struggles.

How to Get Someone into Drug Rehab

Physical and psychological struggles related to drug addiction impact the lives of millions of Americans and their families. Many people try to quit drugs “cold turkey”, but quickly relapse. The symptoms of withdrawal can be overwhelming and difficult to manage without help from a team of treatment professionals at a drug rehab. Drug rehabs provide a range of treatment models and different levels of care to help you achieve and maintain lasting sobriety.

Drug rehab programs like Casa Serena provide potentially life-saving treatment services to addicts looking to overcome struggles with addiction. Drug rehabs offer a safe and supported environment where you can get the help you need to get sober and overcome the grip of drug addiction. Every drug rehab strives to provide comprehensive and effective care; however, each program has unique characteristics that may improve treatment outcomes for patients. At our women-only drug rehab, our team of treatment professionals will work with you to design an evidence-based treatment program focused on helping you meet your treatment needs and goals.

What are the Signs of Drug Addiction?

When you struggle with drug addiction, you experience the overwhelming urge to use. The need to use is so powerful that you will continue to seek and use drugs despite knowing ongoing use can lead to harmful physical and psychological consequences. Although there are many common signs of drug addiction, it is important to note that addiction is a disease that affects each person in unique ways. Although two people may be addicted to cocaine, the effects of the drug on the person and the difficulties they face during detox will be different.

Due to the individual nature of drug addiction, it is difficult to point to specific signs and symptoms that everyone will experience. It is also important to note that the severity of symptoms will depend on various factors, including the severity of one’s addiction, the type of substance they use, how often they use, and if they’ve sought treatment to overcome addiction in the past and experienced relapse.

Each drug produces slightly different effects when used. Some cause physical symptoms, and some cause emotional and behavioral symptoms. Some may lead to a combination of both. Common physical signs of drug use may include runny nose, difficulty sleeping, changes in weight, fatigue, bloodshot eyes, and runny nose. Behavioral and emotional signs may consist of cognitive challenges, lack of concern about personal hygiene, paranoia, changes in social circles, increased isolation, new or worsening mental health issues, and significant changes in school or work performance. Although drug use can cause a variety of other effects, this list provides a starting point for some symptoms that may indicate an unhealthy relationship with drugs.

How to Get Someone into Drug Rehab

If you were concerned about a loved one’s drug addiction and would like to learn more about the most effective ways to encourage them to get the help they need, there are a few places you can turn. First, encourage them to talk to their primary care provider or a mental health provider. These individuals can help provide guidance about the best treatment programs to help them overcome addiction. You can also contact our admissions team here at Casa Serena. Our caring and supportive team of treatment professionals are here to help you or a loved one begin your sobriety journey. We will work with you from the beginning to design a comprehensive treatment program focused on your unique treatment using goals. If you would like to learn more about how our programs can help you or a loved one get sober and start over free from the struggles with drug addiction, contact us today.

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