Trauma can have far-reaching effects on physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Trauma can cause an individual to feel a sense of powerlessness, fear, and isolation.
In many cases, trauma can also lead to substance abuse to cope with the difficult experience. When individuals begin to rely on substances to cope with the stress and anxiety trauma causes, they are at high risk for developing a substance use disorder (SUD).
There is hope for both trauma and addiction recovery through trauma-informed treatment. This type of treatment addresses the underlying trauma that led to the development of a SUD.
By addressing the core issues, individuals can learn healthy coping mechanisms, and begin to heal from trauma.
Definition of Trauma-Informed Care
Trauma-informed care is an evidence-based approach that recognizes the pervasive impact of trauma and strives to minimize any further exposure to trauma in SUD and mental health treatment settings.
This type of care requires identifying trauma and understanding how it can impact mental and physical health.
To provide trauma-informed care, it is essential to have a team of trained professionals who are familiar with the symptoms of both trauma and addiction. This team can then work together to provide comprehensive care that addresses both the psychological and physical needs of the client.
Principles of Trauma-Informed Care
- Trust: One of the critical principles of trauma-informed care is building a trusting relationship with the care provider. This means that the care provider must be attuned to the individual’s needs, respectful of their autonomy, and open to hearing their story.
- Safety: It is essential to create a safe environment that fosters healing and growth in order to address issues effectively.
- Collaboration: Another principle of trauma-informed care is collaboration, which encourages clients to work with their peers and therapists. This principle is based on the belief that trauma survivors are more likely to heal when they feel supported by others who have similar experiences.
- Empowerment: Clients should feel empowered to make decisions about their own lives and treatment.
- Choice: Providers work to promote autonomy by providing clients with information and options, and by respecting their right to make decisions about their own life. When clients feel like they have choices and control over their own lives, they are more likely to engage in treatment and make positive changes.
- Holistic treatment: This approach is based on the belief that trauma is best addressed by considering the whole person, not just the symptoms.
Trauma, PTSD, and Addiction
Multiple studies have proven the connection between trauma, PTSD, and SUDs. Some people who experience a traumatic event end up developing PTSD, and start to use drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms. While drugs and alcohol may seem effective at numbing or masking these unpleasant symptoms, prolonged substance abuse inevitably leads to addiction.
On the other hand, some people first develop a drug or alcohol use disorder. In these cases, individuals who abuse drugs or alcohol compulsively may be more likely to experience a traumatic event.
This connection between trauma and substance abuse is well-documented and underscores the importance of treating both conditions simultaneously. By taking a trauma-informed approach to addiction treatment services, we can better support those struggling with mental health and SUDs.
Trauma-Informed Substance Use Disorder Treatment
A trauma-informed care approach is the best for those recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.
A trauma-informed approach to care is individualized, strengths-based, and focuses on resiliency and hope. The clinical professionals who work in a trauma-informed care center will focus on helping those in recovery to process their trauma to reduce the risk of re-traumatization. This ensures that the client is in a safe and structured environment that encourages self-exploration and healing.
Avoiding re-traumatization is the primary goal of any trauma-informed care environment. Re-traumatization, outside of exposure therapy, can result in a severe psychological regression and potential relapse.
Maintaining a trauma-informed-care environment requires being aware of and avoiding potential triggers and providing support and validation.
Potential triggers include:
- Loud Noises
- Touch without consent
- Specific songs
- The place or anniversary of the traumatic event
- The presence or reminders of the abuser
- Certain colors
- Unbridled negative thoughts
When implemented successfully, trauma-informed care can decrease symptoms, improve engagement in treatment, and promote healing.
The Vanity Wellness Center Difference
Trauma-informed care is not a “one size fits all” approach, and it requires careful adaptation to the unique needs of each individual and community.
At Vanity Wellness Center, we know that trauma often occurs in the context of systemic oppression. Therefore, trauma-informed care must also be culturally competent and sensitive to race, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and religion.
Vanity Wellness Center sees the person beyond their symptoms and works with individuals to create treatment plans that make sense given their unique circumstances. We use holistic interventions such as:
- Art Therapy
- Full Music Studio
When provided in a way that is respectful of individual differences and responsive to needs, trauma-informed care can promote healing and recovery for traumatized individuals.
The Vanity Wellness Center is committed to helping our clients address their underlying traumas, overcome their addictions, and lead sober, happy lives. Our services are all trauma-informed and include intensive outpatient, aftercare, and relapse prevention programs.
Vanity Wellness Center offers trauma-informed care for mental health and substance use disorders. Our focus is on helping individuals understand the implications of trauma on their lives and learn how to manage their symptoms without using drugs or alcohol. We believe that by following a set of guidelines that make for the highest level of care, we strive to provide our clients with the best possible chance for success. Our approach focuses on holistic therapeutic interventions that help change the way trauma is processed in the brain to reduce a person’s reliance on substances as a coping mechanism. If you or someone you know is struggling with trauma, PTSD, or substance abuse, we encourage you to learn more about our treatment and recovery services. You are not alone, and help is available. Call Vanity Wellness Center today at (866) 587-1737.