ICARUS Online in the News


At the beginning of the week I was interviewed by a journalist from my local paper the Press and Jornal and talked about the work that me and David Bellamy are doing to help bring change to the military charities sector and also to speed up access to treatment for veterans, uniformed services & their immediate families.

Have a read and please share.

Thanks

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeenshire/1438690/turriff-based-ex-marine-sets-up-new-helpline-for-former-military-personnel/

Life Design


For a long time I thought I was happy with my job, I was doing what I’d set to do in joining the Royal Marines. I worked with like-minded people, got paid to stay exceptionally fit, got fed four times a day and was provided with a roof over my head. The trade-off was that I was expected to do what I was told do whether I liked it or not and, some of the things I was asked to do I really didn’t like. However I was still happy living my dream.

Or so I thought.

Continue reading Life Design

A Day In the Life of a Dad With Combat Related PTSD


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I have spoken to and worked with many serving military personnel and veterans with PTSD and have heard some horrific stories that match some of my own. I never ask for any content of stories and just allow them to tell me what they need to say out loud, in their own way.

There are surprisingly innocuous triggers for flash backs, which is one of the many frustrating aspects of PTSD. Those who suffer with it find themselves getting lost in a flash back from minor little daily events that have no apparent connection to anything they have experienced. This recollection is from someone with PTSD and will hopefully go someway to help you understand what PTSD sufferers can be going through on a daily basis.

Continue reading A Day In the Life of a Dad With Combat Related PTSD

Addictions and Hypnosis


Addiction-300x232

This is a subject that is highly relevant to my work at the moment as I am involved in a pilot project in Aberdeenshire working with drug and alcohol addiction, so I have been re-reading these research papers again myself. There are many levels to addiction and also influence from and transference from other presenting issues in an addicts lifestyle that can complicate the recovery process.

So What is the difference between a habit and an addiction?

Addiction – there is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved.

Medical News Today wrote a great article about addiction.

People with an addiction do not have control over what they are doing, taking or using. Their addiction may reach a point at which it is harmful. Addictions do not only include physical things we consume, such as drugs or alcohol, but may include virtually anything, such abstract things as gambling to seemingly harmless products, such as chocolate – in other words, addiction may refer to a substance dependence (e.g. drug addiction) or behavioral addiction (e.g. gambling addiction).
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/addiction/

Habit – it is done by choice. The person with the habit can choose to stop, and will subsequently stop successfully if they want to. The psychological/physical component is not an issue as it is with an addiction.

This is a fascinating topic that I hope you will again find interesting reading in terms of the application of and the success in the use of hypnosis. 

Study 1: Hypnosis and Cocaine
Hypnosis For Cocaine Addiction Documented Case Study
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8259763

Notes: Hypnosis was successfully used to overcome a $500 (five grams) per day cocaine addiction. The subject was a female in her twenties. After approximately 8 months of addiction, she decided to use hypnosis in an attempt to overcome the addiction itself. Over the next 4 months, she used hypnosis three times a day and at the end of this period, her addiction was broken, and she has been drug free for the past 9 years. Hypnosis was the only intervention, and no support network of any kind was available.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1993 Oct;36(2):120-3
By: G. W. Handley, Ohio State University, Lima, OH USA 45804

Study 2: Hypnosis and Methadone
A comparative study of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy in the treatment of methadone addicts.
http://www.hypnosis-review-quarterly.com/drug-addiction-hypnosis-studies.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6486078

Notes: Significant differences were found on all measures. The experimental group had significantly less discomfort and illicit drug use, and a significantly greater amount of cessation. At six month follow up, 94% of the subjects in the experimental group who had achieved cessation remained narcotic free.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1984; 26(4): 273-9
By: A. J. Manganiello

Study 3: Hypnosis and Marijuana, Cocaine and Alcohol
Intensive Therapy: Utilizing Hypnosis in the Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders.
http://bscw.rediris.es/pub/bscw.cgi/d4584094/Potter-Intensive_therapy_Utilizing_hypnosis_substance_abuse_disorders.pdf

Results: All subjects were given 20 daily hypnosis sessions and then followed up a year later where it was found that using hypnosis in this fashion led to a 77% success rate.

Notes: This paper reports on 18 cases over a 7-year period where hypnosis was used to treat a variety of addictions. Fifteen cases involved alcohol, two involved cocaine and one involved marijuana. All subjects were given 20 daily hypnosis sessions and then followed up a year later where it was found that using hypnosis in this fashion led to a 77% success rate.
Tools: The following tools and suggestions are given for use in hypnosis;

(A) Direct Suggestion. Direct suggestion can be used for creating a positive expectancy. The therapist can also use direct suggestion to inspire confidence, commitment, motivation, and perseverance in the client to achieve the stated goals, as well as encourage the proper behavioral changes.

(B) Anchors. In hypnosis, anchoring happens when a posthypnotic suggestion is paired to a feeling state. Therefore, when an individual has a craving for the drug, the posthypnotic suggestion is used to bring about the anchored feelings

(C) Metaphors A metaphor used in therapy usually consists of a story that has a short metaphor embedded within. The whole story is not metaphoric, but captures the client’s attention so the metaphoric message can be subconsciously embedded. For example, Wallas’s (1985) “The Boy Who Lost His Way.” All metaphors are altered, paraphrased and structured to fit the individual’s situation in order to make a therapeutic impact. For example, for female clients “the boy” in the metaphor becomes a girl.

(D) Reframes. There may be many issues that arise while working with addictions that can be reframed. For example, the way a person views New Year’s Eve; or what it means to go fishing or boating. Any situation in which the client has consumed alcohol or used their drug of choice can be reframed to exclude the substance.

(E) Affect Bridge. The affect bridge (Watkins, 1971) is used with clients who have particular emotions associated with the use of drugs. By following the emotion through the affect bridge to the first time the client felt that particular emotion before using the drug, the client can become more aware of and break the connection with that emotion and the drug.

(F) Self-hypnosis Self-hypnosis is routinely taught to all clients. It is left up to the clients as to how they use it.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Jul 2004 vol.47(1) :21-28
By: G. Potter

Study 4: Self-Hypnosis for Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Self-Hypnosis Relapse Prevention Training With Chronic Drug/Alcohol Users: Effects on Self-Esteem, Affect. and Relapse.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15190730

Results: While the rate of relapse for all four groups was roughly the same (13%), those who were taught self-hypnosis and who listened to self-hypnosis recordings at home 3 to 5 times a week were more serene, had higher levels of self-esteem, and had greater control over anger and impulsive behavior.

Notes: This study recruited 261 veterans who were admitted into a residential program for substance abuse. The aim was to find out if self-hypnosis could help chronic abusers of drugs and alcohol improve their sense of self-esteem, control their emotions and prevent relapses. Participants were broken into four groups and were assessed before and after they entered the program and then again 7 weeks later.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 2004 Apr;46(4):281-97
By: R. J. Pekala, R. Maurer, V. K. Kumar, N. C. Elliott, E. Masten, E. Moon, M. Salinger, Coatesville VA Medical Center, Coatesville, PA 19320-2096, USA

Study 5: Case Study – Hypnosis for Chemical Dependency (and future related Imagery)
Refraining of an Addiction via Hypnotherapy: A Case Presentation
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00029157.1991.10402944#preview

Notes: “A chemically dependent man was treated using hypnotherapy and related psychotherapeutic techniques The majority of the sessions focused on age regressing the patient to events correlating to drug and alcohol abuse. During these events I introduced myself via hypnosis as “the voice from the future” to redefine the events and extract the useful learnings. With a new-found positive self-image, the patient was hypnotically age progressed to review future scenes. In each scene he successfully abstained from drug and alcohol use. The patient remained drug and alcohol free during treatment and the 6-month and one-year follow-ups.”

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Volume 33, Issue 4, 1991, pages 263-271
By: David J. Orman

Study 6: Hypnosis and Heroin
The use of hypnosis with an injecting heroin user: brief clinical description of a single case
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ch.69/abstract

Notes: This paper describes the use of hypnosis with an injecting heroin user. This client was finding it very difficult to keep to his methadone prescription and was frequently using heroin ‘on top’. He received three sessions of hypnosis in order to facilitate relaxation and visualization, and resolution of ambivalence concerning his drug use. The results suggest the client has responded well to treatment. Details both of the client and of the three hypnosis sessions are given and the outcome is discussed.

Contemporary Hypnosis, Volume 13, Issue 3, pages 198-201, October 1996
By: Bill Drysdale, Clinical Psychologist, Barnet Drug and Alcohol Service, Woodlands, Colindale Hospital, Colindale Avenue, London, NW9 SHG

Addiction-CyclesAdditional References:

http://www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/addiction

https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/addiction

http://www.actiononaddiction.org.uk/home.aspx

http://www.bps.org.uk/search/apachesolr_search/Addiction

PTSD and Hypnosis


Over the last year I have been conducting my own meta-analysis of the efficacy of hypnosis in the treatment of a wide variety of different conditions (47 in total) as you can see below.

Hypnosis Research Articles

With my area of expertise being PTSD and Trauma, I could not miss an opportunity to dig deeper into this field and as with all the other subjects, I found that hypnosis either outperformed other modalities or greatly enhanced their performance in the treatment of the illnesses and conditions listed in my research. The papers and articles referenced in the links are available for you to read at your leisure and make your own conclusions, however, in the course of my research I have reinforced and deepened my understanding and belief that hypnosis is a hugely powerful form of treatment for so many afflictions of the human mind, body and spirit.

Study 1: Hypnosis and Combat-Related Post Traumatic Stress Insomnia (Hypnosis As Effective or Better Than Ambien)

Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Chronic Combat-Related PTSD Patients Suffering From Insomnia: A Randomised, Zolpidem-Controlled Clinical Trial

http://www.medecine.ups-tlse.fr/du_diu/fichiers/ametepe/1212/PTSD_et_Insomnie.pdf
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207140802039672

Results: Those in the study given hypnotherapy had improvement in all sleep variables assessed: quality of sleep, total sleep time, number of awakenings during the night, ability to concentrate upon awakening and morning sleepiness. The hypnotherapy group had better quality of sleep, better concentration, and lower sleepiness than the group that received Zolpidem (a prescription insomnia medication sold under brand names such as Ambien). The hypnotherapy group and the group given Zolpidem had equal levels of improvement for total sleep time and number of awakenings.

Notes: This study evaluated the benefits of add-on hypnotherapy in patients with chronic PTSD who were suffering with chronic difficulties in initiating and maintaining sleep, night terrors, and nightmares. Thirty-two PTSD combat veteran patients treated by SSRI antidepressants and supportive psychotherapy were randomised to 2 groups: 15 patients in the first group received Zolpidem 10 mg nightly for 14 nights, and 17 patients in the hypnotherapy group were treated by symptom-oriented hypnotherapy, twice-a-week 1.5-hour sessions for 2 weeks. The hypnotherapy included age regression where participants imagined returning to earlier periods in which normal restorative sleep was present (for example, an exhausting day of games with friends during childhood). All patients completed the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C, Beck Depression Inventory, Impact of Event Scale, and Visual Subjective Sleep Quality Questionnaire before and after treatment.

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol. 56, Issue 3, 2008
By: Eitan Abramowitz, Yoram Borak, Irit Ben-Avit et Haim Y. Knobler, Israel Defense Forces, Mental Health Department, Israel

Study 2: Hypnosis for PTSD in Children Traumatized by Death of Close Relatives
Hypnotic Treatment of PTSD in Children Who Have Complicated Bereavement.

http://www.asch.net/portals/0/journallibrary/articles/ajch-48/iglesias.pdf

Results: Following the single session hypnosis, the mother reported significant improvements in her son’s skin with noticeable changes in itching, irritation, and swelling. The dermatologist was impressed with the child’s recent progress. According to the mother, at follow up, her daughter was feeling increasing relief from the abdominal discomfort. She was no longer debilitated by pain, which had narrowed her range of activities. Follow-up a month later was conducted by phone with the mother and she reported that both children had recovered completely from the debilitating somatisation (that is, the production of recurrent and multiple medical symptoms with no discernible organic cause) features. The children were no longer demonstrating intrusive morbid ideations of the course of their father’s death and were no longer experiencing obsessive preoccupations over the degree of terror and agony their father must have endured during the course of the traumatic events that led up to his death. The mother indicated that at this juncture both children were also able to reminisce about happy times with their father. The mother at this follow-up also reported the restart of grief in both children and assured us that her family would offer comfort for their mourning. (Note—It was suspected that the traumatisation/PTSD had been interfering with the children’s ability to complete normal grieving and move on, so this was a good sign.)

Notes: This paper reports on two cases where children were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of the traumatic death of close relatives in rural Guatemala. The normal grieving process had been inhibited due to the horrific nature of these deaths and the children’s grief had become a pathological psychiatric disorder. Both children were only treated with a single session of hypnosis involving the Hypnotic Trauma Narrative (a protocol the authors developed specifically to help children deal with situations like this). There was a follow-up one week later and again after two months when the authors noted that the children’s symptoms had cleared and they were now beginning to grieve in a normal fashion.

The hypnotic induction consisted of simply asking the children to close their eyes. The following “Hypnotic Trauma Narrative” was then used: You’re old enough to know that when you look through telescope things that are far away look much closer. Important events in our lives can also be viewed as though you were looking through a telescope that brought them close to you. When you do that, you gain access to even the minutest details of the image that you are examining. At that point, you could see more than you need to see and could become stuck with certain images and unable to let them go. This can be overwhelming because the details that you seem stuck on are upsetting and hurtful. There is an alternative—you can turn the telescope around and view the same picture form the wide lens and then things can seem very, very far away. When that happens, you may not realise it, but many details of the image that you are examining get lost and are no longer available. Events that take place in life can be examined from either end of the telescope…. Now, I ask that you see yourself looking through the wide lens of a telescope at events that have taken place in your life, that need to be viewed from a less painful perspective, so that you can be well again. Look through the eye of your mind into the wide end of the telescope. This offers you the ability to see things in a far away, far away, far away space, place, and time.

By placing them far away, you’re able to see them in a more manageable fashion and elements of that image that used to upset you, are no longer so noticeable. Of course, horrible events in our lives do not simply disappear, but with the passage of time the details of the painful event get blurry, you start forgetting, and your mind makes room for current memories. Your mind is also capable of giving you a picture of yourself a week from today, a month from today, three months from today, and even a year from today…It’s fun to be able to look ahead and to get a glimpse of what our lives will be like in the future. As we now look ahead…. and I wonder if you are able to project ahead a week…. I wonder if you can move ahead a month or two or three, and I wonder if you are old enough to be able to see a year into the future. As you look ahead, no matter how far into the future, you find yourself able to accept all of the happy memories that you have not given yourself the opportunity to enjoy. As you put everything that is painful in its proper perspective, you grow and strengthen inside, as well as outside, and you become more mature and older. Also, any complaints that your body has been voicing that are no longer necessary can quietly follow in the same direction as the images that you are looking at through the wide lens of the telescope. As these complaints become a thing of the distant past, never to trouble you again, you become well and able to move ahead with the assignments that are appropriate for someone your age.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2005 Oct-2006 Jan;48(2-3):183-9
By: A. Iglesias, Virginia Commonwealth University

Study 3: Hypnosis for “Complex Trauma” PTSD (such as from childhood abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence)
Hypnosis For Complex Trauma Survivors: Four Case Studies

http://bscw.rediris.es/pub/bscw.cgi/d4438997/Poon-Hypnosis_complex_trauma_survivors.pdf

Results: Data from self-reports, observation and objective measures indicate a significant reduction in the trauma symptoms of these four subjects after hypnosis treatment.
Notes: This report describes the use of hypnosis to help four Chinese woman who were suffering from complex trauma. Two were victims of sexual abuse when they were children, the third had been raped and the fourth had been repeatedly battered by her husband. The hypnotic treatment involved three steps: “stabilisation, trauma processing, and integration.” Hypnosis was first used to help stabilise the victims. Then age regression techniques were used to help them to remember the traumatic events that led to their condition (and to begin to distance themselves from these memories). Finally, hypnosis was used to help them integrate and consolidate the gains they had made. When their treatment was finished they were all assessed by various self-reported and objective measurements. These all indicated that they experienced a significant reduction in their symptoms as a direct result of this hypnotic treatment. One key thing to note is that the researchers comment that adequate rapport and explanation about hypnosis must be provided before clients feel comfortable to use the tool, especially in survivors of childhood abuse who tend not to trust people easily.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2009 Jan;51(3):263-71
By: Maggie Wai-ling Poon, Clinical Psychologist, Social Welfare Dept. Hong Kong

Study 4: Hypnosis for PTSD in Immigrants who Escaped to America After Being Tortured, Raped and Abused
Indirect Ego-Strengthening in Treating PTSD in Immigrants from Central America.

http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1002/ch.227?locale=en

Results: This report focuses on the limitations of conventional therapy to help these individuals and it presents two ego-strengthening techniques involving indirect hypnosis that have proved helpful in treating this population.

Notes: As a result of civil war in Central America many refugees escaped to America suffering from PTSD as a result of being tortured, raped and abused.
Contemporary Hypnosis Vol. 18(3):135-144

By: G. Gafner, S. Benson, Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Tucson Arizona; Progressive Insurance Employee Assistance Program, Temple, Arizona

Please feel free to comment and discuss the findings and any experience you have had either personally with PTSD and Trauma or in treating people who are struggling with it, as I would love to hear about different experiences and view points.

A Look At the Link Between PTSD and Substance Abuse


Post Traumatic Stress is an extremely emotionally debilitating state resulting in intense anxiety, intrusive memories and vivid flashbacks that interfere with daily life.

Often individuals with Post Traumatic Stress turn to drugs and/or alcohol as a way to numb their emotional and psychological pain or to gain some measure of control in their lives. Unfortunately, chronic substance abuse creates a complicated Dual Diagnosis through the co-existence of a serious psychiatric disorder and an addictive disorder. Recovering from this Dual Diagnosis requires a careful exploration of the causes of Post Traumatic Stress, combined with treatment for drug or alcohol addiction.

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD is a condition in which an individual experiences extremely high levels of stress and/or anxiety after witnessing or being involved in a traumatic event in which physical or psychological trauma that leaves the individual feeling powerless and out of control can lead to PTSD. The most common causes of the condition include:
• Military combat
• Violent assault
• Natural disasters
• Sexual assault
• Childhood abuse

The nightmares and flashbacks experienced with PTSD tend to be based around incidents that have never been fully resolved in the individual’s psyche. For example, a soldier who survived an ambush and his friends and colleagues died may well have flashbacks related to that incident as a way to work through unresolved guilt, anger and fear. A child who felt powerless while being sexually abused by an older relative might develop and grow up living with constant intrusive feelings of helplessness, guilt and revenge.
In women, sexual abuse is one of the most common causes of PTSD and addiction. Combat is another common reason for PTSD, especially in men and this will only continue to increase as a result of Iraq and Afghanistan. In Vietnam veterans seeking treatment for PTSD, between 60 and 80 percent also require treatment for substance abuse and in the UK veterans of the Falklands and Northern Ireland are now displaying signs and symptoms of PTSD, with a growing number living homeless and committing suicide. Many are struggling with alcohol and drug addictions that complicate their situation further. Veterans of WWII never received any form of treatment and still suffer 70 years on.

Symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance of situations, thoughts and anything related to the event, severe anxiety, sleeplessness, aggressive behaviour and often severe and aggressive mood swings. These symptoms can strike the individual at any time, mainly when that person is reminded of the events in question and this doesn’t have to be consciously reminded.

People who meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD and substance abuse often experience other serious disorders, such as:

  • Depression
  • Mood disorders
  • Panic/anxiety attacks
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic illness such as diabetes, liver disease or high blood pressure

The symptoms of PTSD can be divided into three main categories:

  • re-experiencing the traumatic incident
  • avoiding experiences that evoke memories of the incident
  • symptoms of hyper-arousal, such as irritability, anger or extreme anxiety. People who experience these symptoms for at least one month can potentially be diagnosed with PTSD. Alcoholism and drug abuse fall into the category of avoidance symptoms, as the person may use these substances to avoid intrusive/traumatic memories or to numb fear.

When alcohol or drugs are used to cope with PTSD symptoms, the symptoms become more severe. As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol worsens depression and anxiety and disrupts normal sleep patterns. Under the influence of alcohol, someone with PTSD is more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviour, such as driving under the influence, or to become aggressive and/or violent towards other people.

This is a significant reason why PTSD and substance abuse often lead to legal problems, incarceration, poverty, broken homes and chronic unemployment. Getting the right treatment for this Dual Diagnosis early on can make the difference between an individual leading a satisfying, healthy life, or, losing their relationship, their job, home etc.

PTSD and Addiction
Symptoms or PTSD can be extremely real, vivid and distressing and because they place such a huge amount of stress on the person, many people with PTSD feel unable to cope and turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of escaping a distressing, altered reality. Self-medication has led to very high percentages of PTSD suffers with alcohol dependence (over 50 percent) and drug dependence (over 30 percent).

A large part of the cycle is the endorphin withdrawal process, which plays a large part in the use of alcohol or drugs to control the symptoms of PTSD. When a person experiences a traumatic event, their brain produces endorphins — neurotransmitters that reduce pain and create a sense of well-being — as a way of coping with the stress of the experience. When that experience is over, their body experiences an endorphin withdrawal, which is very similar and has the same symptoms as the withdrawal from drugs or alcohol:
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Emotional distress
• Physical pain
• Increased cravings for alcohol or drugs

According to Alcohol Research & Health, many with PTSD will turn to alcohol as a means of replacing the feelings brought on by the brain’s naturally produced endorphins. However, the positive effects of alcohol are only temporary.

With an increased use of alcohol, the person can become chemically dependent on the drug and as such will need more alcohol or drugs to continue to produce those numbing effects that temporarily relieve their symptoms. Eventually, dependence can turn into addiction, which is characterised by compulsive use of the substance, tolerance to the drug and an insistence on abusing the drug in spite of its devastating effects. The use of alcohol to numb PTSD symptoms leads to a vicious cycle. Drinking alcohol worsens the fear and anxiety of PTSD, which leads to the release of endorphins. As the effects of the endorphins subside, the individual needs more alcohol to escape the nightmares and flashbacks of PTSD. Anti-addiction medications like naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, can block the positive effects of alcohol, breaking this destructive cycle. Naltrexone, buprenorphine, acamprosate and other anti-addiction drugs can be used in the treatment of PTSD and substance abuse to reduce the overwhelming cravings that lead to relapse.
Hypnosis has also proven highly effective in the treatment of PTSD in enabling a person to relax, calm their body and mind, remove cravings, strengthen ego and build confidence, as well as deal with traumatic memories.

Finding Specialised Treatment

Recovering from a Dual Diagnosis of PTSD and an addictive disorder demands intensive support from psychiatric and/or psychological professionals, family members and peers. People who are struggling with PTSD and a substance use disorder can be reluctant to seek treatment or even admit that they need it in the first instance. Many who experience PTSD live with intense guilt and shame caused as a result of the traumatic event and their addictive behaviour may be adding to their guilt, making it even harder to reach out and ask for help.

Once they enter a treatment programme, they may have trouble finding the motivation to use their recovery resources at their disposal unless they have support and encouragement from an integrated treatment team.

Those with a Dual Diagnosis such as PTSD and drug addiction need to work with mental health professionals and addiction experts who understand their special needs. Conventional rehab facilities are likely to be ill equipped to deal with the intense psychological problems brought on by PTSD and equally, a psychiatric facility may not have the counselling and detox programmes available that the individual needs in order to successfully overcome the addiction. What the Dual Diagnosis patient needs is integrated care, where recovery resources are centralised in a single facility, and all the professionals on the treatment team have dealt extensively with Dual Diagnoses in the past.

An integrated treatment plan for PTSD and substance abuse needs to include:

  • Individual psychotherapy/hypnotherapy to teach the client how to recognise and deal with their triggers that lead them towards substance abuse
  • Counselling sessions with other clients struggling with PTSD and substance abuse/addictive disorder
  • Couples/Family therapy and counselling to help strengthen and rebuild relationships and educate family members about the condition and how they can help
  • Help clients build their own support network outside of therapy
  • Discuss medication options as a last resort to get them through the initial early stages if their condition and symptoms are severe

Sources:

http://www.hawaii.edu/hivandaids/The%20Role%20of%20Uncontrollable%20Trauma%20in%20the%20Development%20of%20PTSD%20and%20Alcohol%20Addiction.pdf

http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-and-addiction/

http://www.bhevolution.org/public/perspectices_201203.page

http://www.bellwood.ca/programs/post-traumatic-stress/

http://www.recoveryconnection.org/addiction-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-treatment/

http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/15/how-ptsd-and-addiction-can-be-safely-treated-together/

http://alcoholrehab.com/drug-addiction/ptsd-substance-abuse/

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/problems/ptsd_substance_abuse_veterans.asp

http://www.recoveryranch.com/articles/addiction-research/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-addiction-ptsd/

http://gsappweb.rutgers.edu/cstudents/readings/Summer/Heffernan_WorkingTrauma/brown_substance.pdf

http://www.combatstress.org.uk/medical-professionals/academic-publications/journal-publications/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4124907/

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/post-traumatic-stress-disorder.htm

http://search.proquest.com/openview/ebb0d5f3fc85e2e1fbff439384205a5d/1?pq-origsite=gscholar

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/ajp.153.3.369?journalCode=ajp

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1521-0391.1997.tb00408.x/abstract

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/027273589290125R

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp.158.8.1184

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jts.2490060409/abstract

http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM198712243172604

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/ajp.149.5.664

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924977X03001779

http://psycnet.apa.org/books/10460/

http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=207281

http://journals.lww.com/jonmd/Abstract/1995/03000/Childhood_Trauma_and_Posttraumatic_Stress_Disorder.8.aspx

https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=MFyEg007YEIC&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=Combat+Stress+%2B+PTSD+%2B+Substance+Addiction&ots=ctPJqC2rSF&sig=iJPUmuMzIVOdZqBDMFX13PmKrvs#v=onepage&q=Combat%20Stress%20%2B%20PTSD%20%2B%20Substance%20Addiction&f=false

http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=495250