Hurricane Irma - wave hitting man (blog image)

Hurricane Irma’s Impact: PTSD and Addiction

September 11th, 2017 Posted by Awareness, Blog, Disease of Addiction, News 1 comment on “Hurricane Irma’s Impact: PTSD and Addiction”

While much of the nation’s attention is rightfully glued to their televisions awaiting updates on the current conditions of Hurricane Irma another group of people is also being impacted: addicts and alcoholics afflicted with substance abuse disorder and other dual diagnosis disorders. As these are very trying times for everyone in Florida; men and woman in recovery are uniting together to ensure the safety of their brothers and sisters in recovery.

Recovered Addicts at Risk of Relapse

According to an addiction expert at Serenity Springs Recovery Center; a nationwide leader in treating substance abuse and dual diagnosis disorders in Edgewater, Florida stated, “Individuals with active addictions and those that have recovered from addictions are at risk of relapse or binges after a stressful event such as Hurricane Irma.  It is imperative that those in recovery stay close to their support networks, 12-step fellowships, and family’s in stressful times like the natural disaster we are experiencing here in Florida.”

Flagler Ave - Atlantic Ave road sign knocked over by Hurricane Irma - filtered blog image - Serenity Springs

PTSD, Anxiety, and Addiction

When the brain experiences trauma, it releases excessive amounts of chemicals that physically and emotionally alters the body. Part of the fight or flight mechanism humans are equipped with, these chemicals are designed to help you escape imminent danger. For recovered addicts with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), the chemicals continue to be released even when danger is no longer physically present.

Extensive research proves that addiction and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) go hand and hand. Individuals with PTSD, depression, and anxiety issues are much more likely to turn to drugs, alcohol and other mind-altering chemicals to cope with the trauma they have experienced, both physically and/or emotionally.  While substance abuse can seem like an appropriate response when you’re in the thick of PTSD, it is not only dangerous but potentially life threatening. Many people will have their lives forever altered when they begin to turn to substances as a coping mechanism.

Serenity Springs Supports

“What we are seeing with Hurricane Irma is an unrepresented situation. It is amazing to be a witness to how so many of our recovered alumni clients bond together in this time of crisis. A group of recovered alumni from Serenity Springs, originally from the beaches of Monmouth County, New Jersey, and now residents of New Smyrna Beach, Florida have come together to support each other. In the light of disaster and adversity, these men and woman have come together, for each other. That’s what recovery is all about!!!!” says Stephen Gallagher, alumnus and now an employee at Serenity Springs Recovery Center.

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1 comment on “Hurricane Irma’s Impact: PTSD and Addiction”

Teri Colleen says:

Happy to be sober! In the past, I would have spent a LOT of time and effort ensuring I could drink, even if evacuating or in a shelter. This morning I discussed this with some friends of mine, and I am praying for the still-suffering alcoholic/addict dealing with this.

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