According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), an American is sexually abused every 73 seconds, and 54% of survivors are between the ages of 18 and 34. Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and other mental health disorders caused by sexual violence can lead to panic attacks, self-harm, and substance abuse.

Survivors of sexual violence are more likely to develop a substance use disorder. Some studies report that survivors are 13 times more prone to develop an addiction to alcohol and 26 times more susceptible to develop an addiction than individuals who have not been sexually abused.

Substance Use and Sexual Assault

Perpetrators of sexual violence prey on the vulnerable, targeting marginalized or impaired individuals. The Core Institute of the University of Southern Illinois finds that 80% of college students who reported sexual assault were under the influence of alcohol. Rapists may drug targets with GBH, Ketamine, or Rohypnol to manipulate and violate them. A survivor may turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with the trauma of sexual violence.

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

The most effective treatment programs target co-occurring disorders simultaneously. For survivors of sexual violence who have developed a SUD, a treatment plan should incorporate therapy with a mental health professional specializing in sexual assault. Depression, anxiety, and other disorders caused by the trauma of assault are treatable through therapy and prescribed medication.

With the proper tools, co-occurring issues that manifest in times of duress can be managed. Overcoming the trauma of sexual violence takes time, but your therapist and support group will help you realize your immense strength. Your primary care physician will be able to recommend a specialist in your area.

If you are ready to start your journey to recovery, call Alta Loma Transformational Services today. We offer specialized care that responds to all individuals’ unique experiences, including survivors of sexual violence. You know your needs better than anybody else, and our team of mental health and addiction recovery experts will work with you to develop a unique treatment plan that works for you. At Alta Loma, we want to equip you with the tools you need to enjoy a lifetime of mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. When your mind and body exist in a healthy environment, you will progress toward recovery. Please call us today at (866) 457-3843 for a consultation.