Healing Beyond Hurt

Healing Beyond Hurt

Sexual abuse is a horrific event that can leave behind devastating recollections that can last for decades, if not a lifetime, regardless of how it manifests.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after Sexual Abuse

Post-traumatic stress Disorder (PTSD) may develop if those painful memories are not dealt with and drastically affects their mental health. And that's the time when victims of abuse are most likely to use alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism.

After enduring sexual assault, women are more likely to develop PTSD than men: about half of female survivors of sexual abuse will experience PTSD.

  • PTSD symptoms can make life seem intolerably difficult.
  • Patients frequently experience nightmares or night terrors in addition to difficulty sleeping.
  • Feel tense all the time, become angry, and have violent outbursts,
  • Feel guilty, blameworthy, and ashamed
  • are constantly assaulted by flashbacks
  • Feel alone and isolated, and your perspective of the world begins to warp.

PTSD can foster the circumstances necessary for addiction to develop. It can be excruciating to live in a condition of chronic, high tension like this.

Understandably, those afflicted with PTSD are simply probing for an elusion or a way to numb the pain.

While awareness of PTSD has ameliorated in recent years, few realize the devastation it can have on someone’s life. Three out of every four women starting addiction treatment report having experienced some remotely sexual abuse.

Moreover, victims of sexual abuse are far more liable to become alcoholics and considerably more prone to develop other drug use disorders. Even though most people understand the quandaries their addictions are causing, it’s a matter of emotional math: the pain caused by extravagant substance use is often less than the pain caused by PTSD.

While that math may appear to integrate up early on, the quandaries only compound until they become life-threatening. At that point, seeking treatment is critical. Nevertheless, it may seem impossible to overcome that addiction if the underlying PTSD symptoms aren't addressed.

The correct addiction treatments can avail treat both the person AND the illness. It’s about understanding and managing the underlying symptoms of PTSD and building a plan that can work in the authentic world. Substance use may hold the lure of short-term mitigation from PTSD, but it comes with a much higher price that’s paid later down the road.

Trauma comes in all shapes and sizes. Despite experiencing a very traumatic incident, not everyone relishes to identify as a trauma survivor. That’s why our programs are tailored to the individual and address PTSD and addiction together. After all, most patients aren’t just looking to quit a habit. They’re looking to amend their life. And that takes a holistic approach.

Sexual Trauma and Addiction

The relationship between addiction and sexual assault is complex and oftentimes bidirectional. Food, gambling, sex, and exercise addictions are just a few of the addictions that can arise from sexual trauma. Offenders frequently utilize drugs or alcohol to render their victims unconscious so that a sexual attack can occur. One study found that rape victims are three times more likely than non-victims to consume marijuana, and that this likelihood increases three times over time. They are also more likely to use prescription drugs for non-medical purposes 6.4 times more likely to use cocaine 10 times more likely to use hard drugs other than cocaine.


Alcohol or narcotics may be used by victims of sexual assault, including those who were sexually abused as children, as a way to numb or escape from emotional trauma or PTSD symptoms. The chance of a relapse rises when individuals try to stop taking the medication because their symptoms return.

Research suggests that treating drug addiction and PTSD in individuals at the same time is beneficial for those who work with these diseases. Anybody can experience sexual violence, regardless of their age, race, financial status, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or level of education.

However, using drugs and alcohol is one of the risk factors or vulnerabilities that leads to sexual violence victimization and perpetration. Addiction to drugs and alcohol, as well as sexual violence, transcend all social boundaries.

Being a Minority

Sexual assaulters frequently target people who are more impotent than them in society, including addicts, women, people with disabilities, the elderly, kids, teenagers, people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, immigrants, migrants, and refugees, people who verbalize English as a second language, the impoverished, people with malefactor records, the homeless, sex workers, as well as others.

Assailants categorically target people who are unlikely to report the incident or who, if they do, are unlikely to be taken earnestly or believed.

It is possible that the offender utilized drugs to make the sexual assault more facile to carry out. Substance abuse or use may have been present afore to an assault, or it may have commenced as a coping mechanism after an assault.

Both substance misuse and sexual victimization are highly stigmatized in society, and it can be concretely challenging for victims and survivors to surmount this stigma when they have experienced both. This stigma can exacerbate the difficulties associated with the rejuvenating process and heighten emotions of culpability, solitude, depression and incriminating mental health issues.

Risk Factors for Sexual Abuse in Childhood

  • Sexual abuse can happen to anyone. Sexual assault is prevalent among both sexes and can happen at any age. Still, there are several traits that can make some people more vulnerable, especially kids.
  • Individual Factors: Sexual abuse by a member of one's immediate or extended family is more common among girls between the ages of 6 and 11. The likelihood of extrafamilial abuse—that is, abuse by a friend, acquaintance, coworker, teacher, or family friend—is higher among young women (12–17 years old).3. Sexual abuse is more likely to occur in persons with special needs or those who have already experienced violent or sexual abuse.
  • Relationship Factors: A child's relationships may make them more vulnerable to sexual assault. Limited parental supervision, drug and alcohol misuse by parents, and mental health difficulties in family members can all be contributing causes.

How can Samarpan help you?

Samarpan employs Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), a commonly employed method to avail victims of sexual assault who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cognate to their experiences. It is especially subsidiary if you've seen myriad transmutations in your thoughts since the incident and you're feeling ashamed and guilty. "This is all my fault," "Why did not do anything to stop it", "I cannot trust anyone", "the world is scary," and "I will never feel any different this is it" are a few typical thoughts.

All Samarpan clinical staff have undertaken Trauma-Informed approaches to counselling, and offer a range of interventions that are seen as best practice in trauma work.

By addressing the root causes, providing integrated support, and promoting prevention strategies, society can work towards breaking the cycle and fostering an environment that prioritizes the well-being and safety of all individuals.

Samarpan is a specialized international Substance Use Disorder (De-Addiction) and Process Addiction rehab in Pune, India that accepts a maximum of 26 clients. We only accept clients on a voluntary basis and have a highly structured program that encompasses the most effective approaches to Substance Use Disorder and addiction. The facility is set in the rolling hills Mulshi, with clients having either individual or shared rooms, in a modern resort-like facility, staffed by Internationally Accredited Professionals. Samarpan is fully licensed under The MSMHA and is also an accredited GORSKI-CENAPS Centre of Excellence offering a program from 5 to 13 weeks.

If you or someone you care about is considering treatment for substance use disorder or process addictions, we can help. Contact us now on admissions@samarpan.in or phone/WhatsApp us on +91 81809 19090.

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