Sometimes when people experience intensely traumatic events, they often have trouble resuming their normal lives. They may remain highly anxious or alert and they may have vivid experiences of reliving the traumatic event. When a person struggles with the aftereffects of trauma in this way, he or she may meet criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sometimes in order to cope with PTSD, people turn to substances. They may drink excessively to numb themselves from the pain of their traumatic experience or they may turn to other drugs in an attempt to seek some kind of reprieve or pleasure. Although both PTSD and substance use by themselves can cause devastation in a person’s life, co-occurring PTSD and substance abuse is a much more serious than either is alone.
At Twelve Oaks Recovery Center, we know the challenges that come with fighting both PTSD and a substance use disorder. Our expertly trained and caring staff can help you take the first steps towards a life of freedom from PTSD and substance abuse.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
You have no doubt been on a long and painful journey. You have likely had to watch your loved one wrestle not only with the symptoms of PTSD, but also with a co-occurring substance use disorder. You have likely tried everything you can think of to help, but it may seem as though nothing is really working. Although you may feel exhausted and burned out, there are ways you can help your loved one, such as:
- Take care of yourself. If you do not first take care of yourself, you will not be able to walk alongside your loved one in his or her journey towards healing and recovery. Invest in your own life, and nurture your own hobbies. Consider joining support groups for people whose loved ones are struggling with PTSD and substance abuse.
- Keep the lines of communication open with your loved one. He or she is likely feeling ashamed of and guilty about his or her behavior, so attempting to strong-arm him or her into treatment may not work. Instead, try to remain open and listen with a nonjudgmental attitude. Reassure your loved one that you want to assist him or her and that you care about what’s best.
- Read about PTSD and about your loved one’s drug(s) of choice and learn about the unique challenges of co-occurring PTSD and substance use. Know the signs of intoxication and overdose and develop a plan for how to handle an overdose.
- Research different treatment centers and determine which center might be the best fit for your loved one.
- Be open to helping with logistics should your loved one decide to enter treatment, such as setting up appointments with treatment staff, arranging for transportation and childcare, and helping with other needs.
- Offer to stay in contact with treatment center staff and with your loved one. Participate in family programming that the treatment center may offer.
Why Consider Treatment at Twelve Oaks Recovery Center
The abuse of substances has immense destructive potential in an individual’s life, and this destructive power increases significantly when a person is also dealing with co-occurring PTSD. If left untreated, this combination can result in a range of negative outcomes. Poor performance at work, job loss, financial difficulties, and long-term unemployment are all possible. Relationship strain, divorce, loss of child custody, and problems with the legal system can also occur. Depending on which drug(s) is being abused, the negative physiological consequences can also be dire. They may include organ damage, cognitive decline, infection from sharing needles, gastrointestinal problems, and even death from overdose. While these consequences are tragic and severe, it is possible to avoid them or minimize them by seeking proper treatment as soon as possible.
Types of Treatment Offered at Twelve Oaks Recovery Center
At Twelve Oaks Recovery Center, we have spent more than 30 years providing premiere treatment to men and women, aged 18 and older, who are struggling with chemical dependency concerns and co-occurring conditions, including PTSD. Beautifully located on the Emerald Coast of Florida on the Navarre Sound, Twelve Oaks offers patients a sense of tranquility as they work towards overcoming their addictions and learning to manage the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. Our dedicated and experienced treatment professionals are uniquely prepared to guide patients through the transformations that will allow them to pursue happier, healthier, and more productive futures. Throughout their time spent at Twelve Oaks, patients can benefit from developing an enhanced sense of self-worth as they learn to create realistic life goals and make healthy lifestyle adjustments.
As part of our mission to provide comprehensive care that is tailored to meet the unique needs of each of our patients, Twelve Oaks has three specialized treatment tracks that may be incorporated into a patient’s overall plan of care. These tracks include Resilience, our addiction-free chronic pain management track, Aspire, our PTSD recovery track, and Proclaim, our Christian track. During their initial assessment, patients’ appropriateness for placement in any of these tracks will be determined. If it becomes apparent that a patient is battling the devastating symptoms of PTSD, he or she can be recommended to our Aspire program in order to receive the most fitting treatment possible.
In addition to these three specialized treatment tracks, Twelve Oaks Recovery Center offers a variety of therapeutic interventions that may be included into a patient’s individualized treatment plan when receiving care for PTSD. These interventions are described briefly in the following:
Medically monitored detoxification: When patients come to Twelve Oaks Recovery Center and have drugs or alcohol in their systems, they may benefit from undergoing detoxification prior to beginning the therapeutic process. Under the direction of an ASAM certified addictionologist, Twelve Oaks provides high-level detoxification services that are monitored by nursing staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Each patient’s need for detox will be determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into account his or her medical history and all of his or her presenting concerns.
Medication management: In order to most appropriately treat the distressing symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, certain psychotropic medications may be incorporated into a patient’s treatment plan. The use of any medication, however, is always determined based on the specific needs of each individual. Patients meet with a psychiatrist on an as-needed basis in order to determine the appropriateness of any medication used, as well as to make any changes that may be necessary for ensuring the therapeutic effectiveness of that medication.
Individual therapy: Patients are given the opportunity to meet with an individual counselor at a minimum of once each week for individual therapy sessions. These sessions are designed to be a time for patients to process through their time in treatment, while also addressing any concerns that may arise. Additionally, counselors frequently use these individual sessions to incorporate experiential therapy options into a patient’s therapeutic process. Examples of the various experiential options that counselors may have patients engage in include:
- Guided imagery
- Recreational activities
- Beach activities (such as swimming, fishing, and kayaking)
Family therapy: At Twelve Oaks, we know how instrumental family members can be in helping their loved ones manage and/or recover from the symptoms of PTSD. For this reason, we provide family therapy sessions for all patients at least once during the time they spend in treatment with us. Additionally, if patients would benefit from additional family therapy sessions, those arrangements will be made by their counselors.
Group therapy: Patients participate in a number of group therapy sessions throughout the duration of their time at Twelve Oaks. During the week, patients take part in three educational groups and two process groups every day. On Saturdays and Sundays, there are five educational groups held, including recreational therapy on Saturday. On Sundays, a spirituality group is held, and patients also have the option of attending a local church as part of that group. Within the educational groups, there are a number of different topics covered, including the following:
- Working the 12-Step program
- Triggers and cravings
- Dealing with stress and emotions
- Conflict resolution
- Communication skills
- Spirituality enrichment study
- Addiction as a brain disease
- Big Book study
- Stages of change
- Relapse prevention
- Anger management
- 10 principles of change
Group therapy sessions are also often used to incorporate experiential activities into the therapeutic milieu for patients. Examples of activities that patients may participate in as part of these experiential options can include the low ropes course, yoga, psychodrama, guided imagery, art, and recreational therapy. Beach activities are also frequently included in group therapy sessions, including swimming, fishing, kayaking, volleyball, and time for patients to gather together around a bonfire.
At Twelve Oaks Recovery Center, we know that overcoming chemical dependency while also learning how to manage the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder can be a long process that does not simply end with the completion of residential inpatient treatment. Because of this, we offer step-down treatment options for patients who are in need of comprehensive continuing care services. These step-down options include our partial hospitalization program (PHP) and our intensive outpatient program (IOP). Staff works closely with patients to determine what the most appropriate next step is for them in their recovery process and then works to ensure that follow-up care and support is established and accessible prior to their leaving treatment.
If you or a loved one is battling the symptoms of PTSD while also struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, suffering does not have to continue. Allow the caring and compassionate staff at Twelve Oaks Recovery Center to help show you the way to a brighter tomorrow.