When it comes to addiction treatment, what does “trauma-informed” mean? Trauma-informed care is an approach that acknowledges the impact of trauma on individuals struggling with addiction and mental health issues. It takes into consideration how a person’s history of trauma has shaped their view of life, relationships, and the world around them. This approach creates a safe and secure environment that allows individuals to engage in healing from the trauma that has led to, or been caused by, their addiction.
On the journey to recovery, working through past trauma with the help of a licensed professional is essential to overall well-being. Trauma-informed care helps individuals recognize what triggers their trauma, what coping mechanisms they can use to deal with it, and how to create meaningful relationships that are supportive and safe.
Understanding Trauma and Substance Use Disorders
How do trauma and addiction connect? For many of those who suffer from addiction, it could be that trauma was the root cause of their substance abuse. Traumatic experiences can lead to self-medication and unhealthy coping mechanisms. These experiences can include:
- Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
- Violent crime
- Natural disasters
While there is a pervasive myth that only combat veterans struggle with issues stemming from past trauma, anyone who has been through a traumatic event can be at risk for developing a substance use disorder after turning to drugs or alcohol as a way of coping. Trauma-informed care is a holistic approach to addiction recovery that addresses the underlying mental health issues and trauma that often lead to substance abuse.
Benefits of Trauma-Informed Care
Trauma-informed care helps individuals struggling with addiction in several ways. It can reduce relapse rates, provide support for physical and mental health, increase self-esteem, and ultimately improve outcomes for those in recovery.
One of the most beneficial aspects of trauma-informed care is that it focuses on creating a safe environment where individuals can openly talk about their experiences without fear or judgment. The approach also helps those in recovery build resilience and gives them back control over their own lives.
What Does Trauma-Informed Care Look Like in Practice?
The primary way to incorporate trauma-informed care in addiction treatment is by having compassionate and caring therapists who are knowledgeable about trauma and its impact. These professionals will create a supportive environment where individuals feel safe to talk about what they’ve been through.
There’s an emphasis on not re-traumatizing individuals, so the therapist will be in tune with what topics or conversations might bring up difficult memories or feelings. By creating an environment of trust and safety, individuals in recovery can find their own ways to work through trauma and address the root causes of their addiction.
However, approaches other than therapy can incorporate a trauma-informed approach. Medication-assisted treatment, for example, can be used to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms related to addiction. How is this trauma-informed? Medication-assisted treatment can give individuals control over what they’re putting into their body, which can help reduce feelings of powerlessness.
Find Effective Trauma-Informed Care at Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery
At Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery, we understand what trauma-informed care can do for individuals in recovery. Our experienced team of professionals will provide a safe, compassionate environment where those in our care can begin their journey to wellness. In addition to therapy, we offer medication-assisted treatment and other holistic approaches to help individuals in recovery develop their own coping mechanisms.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, contact Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery at 833.448.0127 or reach out online for more information about what trauma-informed care can do for you.