Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Many members of the police force are ex-military, where there’s a significantly increased risk of developing PTSD. But even among police officers who aren’t veterans, the likelihood of developing trauma-induced disorders is higher. This is because the chances of being exposed to a traumatic event, such as domestic violence, murder and abuse, are much higher.
Trauma is the Ancient Greek word for wound, and PTSD refers to the brain experiencing something it can’t process. This leads to the following symptoms:
- Intrusive thoughts
- Avoidant behavior
- Memory loss
- Negative thoughts about the world and yourself
- Irritability and anger
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Nightmares and flashbacks
- Some people experience total emotional numbness
Drug and alcohol use seems like a viable solution to many of these problems because it can mask symptoms and help with emotional regulation in the short term. However, the consequences of self-medicating with drugs and alcohol ultimately make the condition worse. The only long-term solution to escaping these awful feelings is professional treatment in a calming, peaceful and supportive rehab center.