incredible-marketing Arrow

Addressing the Deeper Issues of Trauma and Substance Use

Most individuals who develop a substance use disorder (SUD) due to trauma never confront or effectively process their trauma; this results in a devastating relationship between trauma and substance use. Individuals with a SUD are more likely to experience traumatic events because of their lifestyle. Unfortunately, this leaves millions of people stuck in a damaging cycle of traumatic experiences and an increased risk of abusing substances.

The Relationship Between Trauma and Substance Use Disorders

Trauma and substance use disorders often co-occur. There is very little motivation to seek sobriety without helping individuals cope with their terror, shame, fear, and isolation. Trauma victims use drugs or alcohol to forget or comfort themselves. Substances become a means to escape from emotional pain. Trauma can stem from various experiences and manifest in physical and psychological symptoms.

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders Simultaneously

A trauma-specific treatment approach means that trauma and substance use are treated simultaneously, in the same place. This integrated approach has been proven to have the best outcome. Underlying trauma coexists with addiction and fuels it.

Examples of components of Trauma-focused treatments would be:

  • Grief or loss counseling
  • Peer support groups
  • Individual or group talk therapy
  • Exposure or desensitization work
  • Medication
  • Coping skills development
  • Emotional regulation
  • Cognitive restructuring

Adults with both alcohol use disorders and PTSD typically develop one or more other serious psychological or physical problems.

Psychological Diagnosis

People who suffer from trauma and who also abuse substances are often troubled by other psychological diagnoses such as:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Disruptive behavior disorders
  • Addictions to more than one substance

Chronic Illness

People who suffer from trauma and who also abuse substances are often troubled by other chronic physical illnesses such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Chronic physical pain due to Illness or Injury

Recovery Is Possible

Trauma therapy allows individuals to address traumatic events in their life so that healing can happen while they work through emotions. This healing can be very effective in overcoming substance use associated with your traumatic event.

Trauma changes brain chemistry in much the same way substance use does; therefore, the disorders overlap. Recovery is possible; the vicious cycle of trauma fueling addiction and creating new trauma can be changed using trauma-based care.

Trauma-based treatment for childhood trauma-related addiction must address the medical and behavioral aspects of substance use and provide targeted and in-depth treatment for the trauma-related triggers. Identifying trauma-related substance use triggers is an important element of treatment that helps individuals in recovery succeed. At the Guest House, we provide trauma-based treatment that will help you develop healthy ways to cope with trauma to lead a full and healthy life. You will learn to set goals and take steps to manage and cope with trauma. To get started with trauma-based treatment, call us today at (855) 483-7800.