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. Addiction and trauma recovery can happen at the same time when trauma is addressed in a safe, supportive way. Trauma-informed care includes therapies and approaches that are sensitive to the impact of prior traumatic experiences and seek to create a safe, non-judgmental space for healing.
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 for more on trauma-informed care in Colorado.
How Does Past Trauma Affect Addiction?
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 part of the brain is important for forming memories, and it can be suppressed after experiencing trauma.
- The amygdala – This area of the brain is responsible for fight-or-flight responses, and trauma can cause it to become overactive.
- The prefrontal cortex – This part helps with decision making, and trauma can make it harder to think clearly.
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.
Types of Trauma
Trauma can take many forms, from abuse of any kind to the death of a loved one. It can be caused by physical, emotional, or sexual violence; natural disasters; or even witnessing a traumatic event. It’s also possible to experience trauma through indirect means, like hearing about a loved one’s death or bearing witness to a traumatic event without directly experiencing it.
Any kind of trauma can have an effect on mental health and, as a result, addiction. Trauma can lead to feelings of fear and helplessness that drive a person to use drugs or alcohol to cope with the emotions associated with the trauma. If not addressed, this can lead to addiction and other mental health issues. Addiction develops as a result of the brain’s attempt to cope with the impact of trauma, and it can form a vicious cycle.
What Is Trauma-Informed Care?
In a trauma-informed care program, clients will work with a team of professionals to address the issues caused by trauma. Treatment plans are tailored to each individual and focus on addressing the underlying issues rather than just the addiction. The goal of trauma-informed care is to create a safe, supportive environment and guide clients through the healing process.
Therapies used in a trauma-informed care program can include cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and even family therapy. These therapies will help clients understand their trauma, address any triggers, and learn coping skills to manage symptoms.
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.
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.
Find the Right Trauma-Informed Care for You at Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery
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.