Injury-Related Trauma and Addiction

Injury-Related Trauma and AddictionMany people experience traumatic events over the course of their lifetimes and it is common for a person who has experienced trauma to go through a period of feeling anxious and concerned. When a person has been injured, the trauma can be exacerbated by the fact that the person may have to deal with the physical injury as well as the emotional trauma.

During this period where the physical pain is the primary focus, a victim of trauma may not be able to begin processing the emotional impact of the injury. Following an injury-related trauma, patients are often prescribed medication in the form of anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers. While both medications may be effective in reducing inflammation and relieving pain, they can also cause the patient to not have the mental clarity he needs to deal with the trauma.

Side Effects of Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

The most common side effects of anti-inflammatory medications are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, decreased appetite, rash, dizziness, headache and drowsiness. If a patient who is taking an anti-inflammatory drug after a traumatic injury experiences these physical symptoms, he may not be in a position to deal with the emotional impacts of the trauma.

Side Effects of Pain Relievers

The most common side effects of painkillers are sedation, euphoria, dizziness, fatigue, depression, tremors, sleeplessness, anxiousness, flu-like symptoms, upset stomach, dry mouth, pupil constriction, itching, hallucination, delirium, sweating, muscle and bone pain, confusion, irritability and muscle spasms. These effects can also deter a trauma patient from healing on an emotional level.

Reactions to Trauma

During the physical recovery phase following an injury-related trauma, a patient may not recognize and understand a number of emotional reactions he has to the trauma, including the following:

  • Lack of interest in daily activities
  • Agitation and excitability
  • Upsetting emotions
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Inability to focus and difficulty concentrating
  • Exaggerated reactions to common events
  • Irritability and outbursts of anger
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Feeling numb, disconnected or unable to express moods

Turning to Drugs and Alcohol Following Trauma

People who have experienced an injury-related trauma often look for relief from medication, drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, these self-medication substances have the potential to become addictive. Since the patient often does not want to participate in normal living activities after trauma, he may become depressed and isolated. A common response to depression is to self- medicate, which often leads people to turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with feelings of isolation.

Dealing with an Injury-Related Trauma

It can be beneficial for a person who has experienced an injury-related trauma to seek assistance from the beginning of the healing process. Sharing with a loved one about your potential vulnerability for developing addiction to medications, depression and isolation can help you recover from your trauma without complicating the healing process with alcohol or drugs.

Finding Help for Trauma and Addiction

If you or someone you love is suffering from trauma and addiction, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about how injury-related trauma and addiction can interact. We can also help connect you with the best treatment options for your situation. Please call now.