It was not always widely accepted or believed that your more trying experiences may directly affect the likelihood of your dabbling in substance abuse and plunging into the depths of drug and alcohol addiction. Whether you blame it on a lack of awareness or plain old ignorance as to the underlying effects that life’s painful realities have on behavior is up to you, but the fact remains: alcoholics, addicts, and their families often did not receive the kind of treatment needed to both treat the addiction and treat the individual.

Perhaps most troubling is recent evidence signaling the connection between victimization – that is, experiences that, whether at the hands of a physically traumatic event or an emotional/psychological one victimize an individual – and increased substance abuse.

The Facts: Substance Abuse, Victimization, and Violent Crimes

One study comparing experiences across individuals victimized by sexual abuse, neglect, physical violence, and assault found a number of disconcerting yet very telling truths, namely that individuals suffering from a horrific event or issues with sexual identity (i.e. gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons) are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism than those who lead relatively “uneventful” lives. Further complicating this reality is that it produces a sort of vicious cycle of violence and oppression as evidenced by the fact that “up to 86 percent of homicide offenders; 60 percent of sexual offenders; 57 percent of men and 27 percent of women involved in domestic violence; 37 percent of assault offenders; and 13 percent of child abusers” were drinking at the time they committed said crimes.

Indeed, you may view this as speculative, but to us, it’s quite clear: victimization increases the likelihood of substance abuse, and substance abuse further fuels the possibility of affecting another individual in much the same way that you have been affected.

Dual Diagnosis toward Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Rehab is not an island unto itself. If we’ve said it before, we’ve said it a thousand times: you simply cannot treat addiction without treating the person, which is why Cornerstone Recovery Center fully embraces dual diagnosis as a means of promoting drug and alcohol addiction recovery. Dual diagnosis works to address the physical implications of addiction while delving deep into your psyche, stripping away the defenses you’ve built up over the years and staring down the realities of physical, emotional, and psychological trauma. Without dual diagnosis, without looking deep inside the complexities of your past and the present it wrought, addiction treatment will fall flat. It is only through individualized addiction treatment coupled with the ballast of dual diagnosis that true and honest recovery can take effect.