Trauma can have a profound impact on mental health even if the symptoms are not apparent for years. Trauma and addiction are often related. However, many addiction treatment programs don’t take past trauma into account. That’s why, if you’re looking into addiction treatment programs, you should look for one that offers trauma-informed care.
At Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery, we will enroll you in a trauma-informed care program that will treat the mental aspect of the trauma along with your addiction treatment. Call 833.448.0127 today to speak with one of our therapists and schedule an appointment.
How Does Past Trauma Affect Addiction Treatment?
When someone experiences a traumatic event, it affects the brain in multiple areas. If the trauma happens at an early age, it can affect brain development as the trauma can suppress growth in some regions of the brain. Some trauma treatment programs can help cope with a current trauma, but often this is ignored or covered up by other mental issues, like substance addiction.
There are three areas of the brain that trauma can affect.
- The hippocampus — This impacts memory
- The amygdala — This part of the brain has to do with emotion
- The prefrontal cortex — This regulates emotion and impulse control
When you experience a traumatic event, your brain goes into a hyperactive state that suppresses your memory and impulse control. Many people enter a state of shock and cannot react normally, often freezing up and seemingly unable to speak. They are overwhelmed by the event and trying to cope.
Addiction can stem from a traumatic event as a coping mechanism, often hiding the original cause of the addiction for years. It can change how you think and feel, leading to several symptoms.
- Always feeling on edge
- Irrational anger
- Self-destructive habits
If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction caused by trauma, enrolling them in a trauma-informed care program can help get the addiction under control and work toward resolving the traumatic event.
What Is Trauma-Informed Care?
In a trauma-informed care program, you are asked “What happened” instead of “What’s wrong.” What’s wrong will just get you a laundry list of excuses as to why they are addicted. Asking what happened will get the participant to look at the original issue that led to the addiction.
A safe environment needs to be established where the participant will feel physically and emotionally safe. This environment will promote open conversations that may be difficult to discuss. Establish trust and boundaries by speaking clearly and making them feel at ease when talking about difficult topics.
The Key Components of Trauma-Informed Care
In a trauma-informed care program, you will see the impact trauma can have on addiction treatment and the need to focus on more than just one area of concern. With time, the participant will begin to feel the positive effects of a comprehensive treatment.
Several therapy programs are involved with trauma-informed care, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy program
- Individual and group therapy
- Family therapy
When you first come in and discuss your addiction and trauma treatment, your therapist will sit down with you and go over the best programs to treat your mental health so you can get over your past trauma and learn to control your addiction.
Finding the Right Trauma-Informed Care for You
At Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery, we understand how trauma can affect your addiction and will work with you or your loved ones in their addiction recovery. We provide a safe and encouraging environment that considers the difficulties traumatic events can have on addiction and where you will feel comfortable discussing the trauma driving your addiction.
If you or someone you know is suffering from trauma-related addiction, please call 833.448.0127 today and schedule an appointment with one of our therapists.