Addiction can hijack parts of the brain and manipulate the brain into believing that a harmful substance is necessary for functioning. It most strongly affects the limbic system and the reward system part of the brain. As a result, cravings, desire for reward, begin to happen and hazardous habits can result in long-term addictions and substance abuse. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million Americans aged 12 and older battled substance abuse in 2017. In addition 1 in 8 adults struggled with substance abuse in the same year. The most straightforward and accepted manner of battling addictions is treating the addiction itself. As you will find out, this isn’t always the most effective way to eliminate an addiction. Trauma informed therapy is one of the most effective method of treating addictions.
Trauma-Informed Therapy: The Common Way of Battling Addiction
Again, the most accepted way of battling an addiction is by treating the addiction itself. This usually involves a patient visiting a treatment or rehabilitation center. Generally speaking, that individual will be detoxed and treated by the specialists in those facilities.
Unfortunately, merely getting sober or drying out is often not enough to stop the addiction from recurring. Relapse is chronic in the addiction field. Therefore, it makes sense to try to see what might be missing from addiction treatment that could make it more long lasting.
The methods present in these facilities can greatly vary, as they have been institutionalized for several decades. In any case, there is a clear fault with using these techniques to treat those affected by routine addictions. In the next section, we will go over some of the reasons that addiction treatment may often be ineffective .
Why Traditional Treatment may be Ineffective
Traditional addiction treatment is often ineffective because it does not uncover the root behind the addiction. Instead, many treatment and rehabilitation centers focus on eliminating only addiction itself. Of course, the active addiction must stop before trauma work can begin, but the two must be linked together so that one follows the other.
Here is an example of why this sort of treatment doesn’t always work. If a person who is morbidly obese and has several health conditions visits their physician, they will likely be told that they need to change their current eating habits if they want to survive.
The physician may even be puzzled as to why that person continues to destroy their body. We believe that underneath their addiction to food is trauma experiences that have this person using the only method they know to feel safe or soothe themselves which is food. Without proper treatment they are likely to continue their same lifestyle, and U unfortunately, they may perish as a result of their lifestyle.
In the same way, it can be confusing to see a person struggle with an addiction. But from the viewpoint of trauma therapy and developmental trauma understanding, it makes sense that the addict can’t just stop being an addict without uncovering and healing the underlying issue behind the addiction. We can reasonable surmise that the morbidly obese person in the previous example is likely suffering from either depression or an eating disorder.
Similarly, people struggling with addictions also could be facing problems that are causing them to abuse harmful substances. We believe, and countless studies prove, that this level of understanding can positively impact the lives of those fighting addictions on a daily basis.
Why Trauma Informed Therapy Works
Again, when someone is being deeply affected by an addiction, it makes sense to treat the addiction. After all, the addiction is clearly unhealthy and affecting a patient’s mental health and well being.
However, when the underlying causes of an addiction aren’t identified, they will remain. This means that even when a person is “clean”, they may resort back to previous behavior if certain triggers exist. Unfortunately, addiction triggers like depression and anger exist in every environment. This simply means that anyone who has successfully received treatment can still revert if they are triggered.
For this reason, trauma informed therapy, such as is offered at Trauma and Beyond Center ® is a well sought-after form of treatment for those suffering with an addiction. Here are the benefits of speaking to a trauma informed therapist about your condition.
An addiction is defined as a traumatic event. Addictions can completely obliterate a person’s sense of safety. The purpose of trauma informed therapy is to assist individuals in redeveloping psychological, emotional, and relational senses of safety.
Participating in trauma informed therapy can help people identify, understand, explore, express, and confront feelings and memories relating to their addiction. Once these triggers are identified and nulled, the healing process can formally begin.
Developing Healthy Coping Skills
Dissolving triggers of addiction precedes the step of helping patients develop healthy coping skills. People suffering with addictions need to accept their conditions and learn healthy ways to prevent maladaptive coping strategies from reoccurring in the future.
Decreasing Traumatic Stress Symptoms
Trauma informed therapy can effectively reduce mental health symptoms association with addiction. This can decrease occurrences such as disassociation, anxiety, depression, nightmares, flashbacks, and trauma-related guilt and shame.
Processing and Integrating Trauma – The end-goal of trauma informed therapy is to help people regain control and empowerment to assist them in re-narrating their story in the future.
Trauma Informed Therapy Near Me: How We Can Help!
Trauma informed therapy is one of the most effective methods of treating addictions. Fortunately, our team of therapists at Trauma and Beyond ® are thoroughly trained to administer this kind of treatment.
At Trauma and Beyond Center ® we take pride in positively affecting the lives of our patients, and you can rely on us to find the underlying issues of an addiction belonging to either you or a loved one. Give us a call today at 818-351-3511 to learn more about how we can help you!