Alcohol and Substance Abuse in PTSD - Topic Overview
Using alcohol or drugs
Your reasons to drink or use drugs and how much you use them can indicate
- My friends or family members have said something to me
about how often I drink or use drugs.
- I sometimes feel guilty about
drinking or using drugs.
- I drink or use drugs to cope with stress
or my problems.
- I am drinking more or using more drugs than I used
- I have wanted to or tried several times to cut down on how much I use alcohol or
- I spend a lot of time getting alcohol or
- I need to drink more or use more drugs to get the same
- I am sick when I try to stop drinking or using
At times you may try to convince yourself that you don't
have a problem. This may keep you from getting the help you need. You may tell
yourself or others things like:
- "I just drink beer or wine."
- "I don't use hard
- "I'm not an alcoholic."
- "I gave it up for 3
weeks last year."
- "I don't drink every day."
never missed a day of work."
- "I'm not as bad as my
- "I can handle it."
If any of these statements are true, you may be
developing or already have a problem with alcohol or drugs.
Admitting you need help is very hard.
It may be tough to seek help because you feel shame or guilt, or because you
have doubts about whether you can stop. Remember that many people have beaten
alcohol or drug problems, and all have started with these feelings and
If you feel you are drinking or using drugs because of
PTSD, be sure to tell the people who are helping you.
- Talk to your doctor. Be honest about your use.
Your doctor can help you find counseling, group support, or another type of
- Call an alcohol or drug treatment program. You
can get education and other kinds of therapy.
- Talk to someone in your family or a close friend. Your loved ones can provide support
and help you find treatment.
For more information, see the topics
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and
Alcohol Abuse and Dependence.