Alcohol and PTSD

July 27, 2011

While in graduate school I took a course “Substances and Stimulants” and in this course we talked about every conceivable drug from alcohol to the heroines and methadone and cocaine.  We visited several facilities dealing with rehab.  The thing that I came away with was that the only way that any have a chance of success is if the person will admit that they have a drinking problem and that they want to get better.

I’m not trying to lump all the drugs into one category and each has its own accompanying problems.  The easiest by far though is the abuse of alcohol.  Since it is legal is is readily available.  It is relatively cheap compared to the other drugs and if not encouraged it is certainly acceptible to the general public.  Thank God Its Friday, Happy Hours, One For the Road, Holiday Cheer, Wine and Beer Tasting Parties and movies and TV glamorizing the use of alcohol. 

The problem is that alcohol can easily be used to mask or lessen the effects of PTSD.  In a recent study up to 40% of PTSD sufferers also were heavily involved in a secondary problem with either alcohol or drugs.

When you are high or stoned the symptoms may be lessened but so are the inhibitions. We’ve all seen some famous celebrity do something completely out of character and then we find out that they were under the influence.

Since PTSD sufferers are so quick to go from one to ten on the anger scale, this just adds to the potential for bad results.  You cannot sit idly by while your spouse of family members goes down this path.  Once something terrible happens it is too late to come to their rescue.  It isn’t too late now.  We are open 24 hours a day and our blog is always available.