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Why Trauma Therapy Is a Key Aspect of Addiction Treatment

It is well known that when we experience trauma in our lives, it can lead to maladaptive coping, leading to addiction. Focusing on trauma therapy allows us to understand the impact of our traumas. It also helps us to learn new coping mechanisms that can help us to lead healthy and sober lives.

What Is Trauma?

Traumatic events are shocking, scary, or dangerous events that impact how we feel both emotionally and physically. While trauma often is associated with those in military service, trauma can happen to anyone. What makes an event traumatic is not the event itself but how we experience it. For one person, a car crash may be very traumatizing, while for another, it may not impact them emotionally or physically.

Traumatic events can include the following:

  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • The sudden death of a loved one
  • Natural disasters
  • Acts of violence
  • Accidents

Trauma and Addiction

It is well known that those who have experiences traumas are at a higher risk of addiction. Research has shown us that early childhood trauma, assault at any age, and high levels of micro traumas in childhood all increase the likelihood of having substance use disorder (SUD).

Trauma creates emotional and physical responses that can be hard to deal with. Drug and alcohol use is a maladaptive coping mechanism for dealing with them. Continual use of drugs and alcohol to cope with these feelings leads to physical dependency and addiction. Thus, trauma therapy is necessary to learn new coping methods as we heal from trauma.

Trauma Therapy

In trauma therapy, we can deal with the emotional and physical responses that have occurred from trauma. Whether we are diagnosed and experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or simply recovering from a traumatic event, trauma therapy can help.

Trauma therapy will look different for each person. It can address the initial trauma in ways that help us to process it. However, it can also include looking at the symptoms that have been caused by trauma.

Impact of Trauma Therapy on Addiction

Mental health and addiction are closely tied together. PTSD and trauma are well known to impact our likelihood of addiction and substance use. Trauma therapy is, therefore, vital in addressing the core issues of addiction. When trauma is not addressed, it can lead to a cycle in which we use substances to avoid our feelings, continually needing more and more.

Getting sober is more than just abstaining from drugs and alcohol. It means making changes to nearly every part of our lives. One such change is how we manage stress and emotional distress. Addiction is a common maladaptive coping mechanism to manage stress and avoid many issues. When we have had trauma or have PTSD, we are faced with many physical and emotional pains. In trauma therapy, we learn new tools to cope with the reality of our lives.

Trauma and addiction are closely linked and impact each other. However, we need to address and heal from both to make necessary changes to our lives. At The Guest House, we offer trauma-focused care for those struggling with addiction, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders. In trauma therapy, clients explore how their trauma has impacted them in a safe and supported environment. If you or your loved one is struggling with trauma and addiction, we can help. Call us today at (855) 483-7800 to learn more about our program.