It is common for people to experience unexpected traumatic events in their lifetime. Unfortunately, some traumatic events have adverse emotional and psychological effects that can transform survivors’ personalities and behavior. Therefore, it is reasonable that some trauma survivors would resort to substances as a coping mechanism despite the risk of addiction.
Fortunately, treatment in the form of trauma and addiction therapy can help people recover from trauma and addiction. New Directions for Women has mental health experts who offer proper trauma and addiction treatment for trauma and addiction victims.
What is Trauma?
When people talk about trauma, they mean their emotional and psychological responses to disturbing or painful traumatic experiences. These experiences present serious short-term and long-lasting effects on people. They can negatively impact a person’s confidence, sense of self, well-being, ability to manage emotions, and relationships.
Trauma also triggers the production of excessive stress hormones in the brain that are toxic in high concentrations. Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline create fight or flight responses causing shock, panic, and stress during a traumatic event. Apart from stress, trauma victims also suffer emotional and psychological disturbances such as fear, aggression, anxiety, depression, guilt, and PTSD.
Types of Trauma
Few fortunate people are lucky to live out their lives without experiencing traumatic events. However, trauma presents itself in multiple ways for those who have experienced trauma.
Types of trauma include:
How Trauma Affects Addiction
Although trauma does not automatically guarantee addiction, it does increase the risk of addiction. Experiencing trauma increases the risk of addiction, as most people develop an addiction as a coping mechanism for negative situations. Research and scientific studies show a strong correlation between trauma and drug addiction or eating addiction.
The National Center for PTSD and the Department of Veteran Affairs estimates that 25-75% of abuse victims develop alcohol abuse. While 10-33% of accident and natural disaster survivors develop alcohol abuse. Female trauma survivors who do not have PTSD are also likely to experience addiction due to alcohol abuse.
Alcohol, cocaine, tobacco, and marijuana are some of the drugs that trauma survivors often abuse. Although drugs offer relief by regulating mood and intrusive thoughts and suppressing stress hormones, there is the risk of addiction. In the long run, frequent alcohol and substance abuse cause drug addiction.
Besides disrupting brain development, trauma also causes long-term mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Unfortunately, people may develop an addiction which consuming medication for mental health conditions.
Causes of Addiction
Despite harmful physical and psychological effects, addiction prevents people from stopping specific behavior or using substances. It results from a neuropsychological disorder that creates a mental and physical dependency on the behavior or substance.
Risk factors and potential causes of addiction can include:
Help with Trauma & Addiction
Individualized and comprehensive treatment plans that combine professional addiction and trauma therapy can help victims’ trauma and addiction recovery. People with trauma and addiction can be helped in the following ways;
One of the best ways to provide trauma and addiction recovery is through therapy. Undergoing cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions can help develop a better coping mechanism for dealing with trauma and addiction. Greif or loss counseling can help heal trauma patients who have experienced the loss of loved ones.
ERP therapy is suitable for drug addiction and specific traumas such as fear of driving cars caused by accidents. The continuously regulates exposure to drugs and trauma triggers until addiction and trauma imprints subside. EMDR treatment can also help eliminate the emotional distress associated with traumatic memories.
Another form of trauma is placing a person with trauma and addiction within rehabilitation centers with inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment centers monitor patients through the withdrawal symptoms and recovery process through addiction detox. In these facilities, patients can receive medication and individual and group counseling sessions using CBT, ERP, and other forms of therapy.
Trauma & Addiction Treatment in Orange County, CA
Trauma can often be a dual diagnosis for women struggling with substance abuse and addiction. To treat trauma while finding recovery from substance abuse, the two should be treated at the same time. Individual therapy, group therapy, and medication management as needed can be used to treat trauma and addiction.
New Directions for Women provides a safe and secure rehabilitation facility for women suffering from trauma and addiction. Our drug and alcohol detox programs have professional health practitioners and therapists committed to providing patients with proper rehabilitation and recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our addiction and trauma therapy and other treatments available in our rehabilitation program.