Addiction Treatment

If you have experienced trauma as a child or an adult, there is a greater chance that you may also face an addiction [1]. Effectively dealing with a substance abuse disorder also requires dealing with the underlying trauma that led to the addiction. At Healing Foundations Center, we offer trauma and addiction treatment to help our clients deal with the traumas that lead to their addiction. It is difficult to successfully treat one issue without treating the other. We use a variety of treatments to best help people deal with these issues and lead productive lives.

Underlying Traumas That Lead to Addiction

To effectively treat trauma that leads to addiction, it’s crucial to understand how one impacts the other. Trauma can lead to addiction because of how it affects the brain. Trauma triggers toxic stress chemicals within the brain. Over time, this can cause damage and rewire the way the brain works as well as emotions [2]. This can impact people’s decision-making process, leading them to make destructive decisions, like abusing substances.

Studies have shown that people who have had at least four traumatic events are more likely to have an alcohol use disorder or a substance use disorder [3]. This is not to say a single event can not lead to the same results. Everyone is different, and the way they react to any type of trauma will also differ.

Several types of traumas can lead people down a path to addiction. These include:

  • Physical Assault
  • Sexual Assault
  • Domestic Violence
  • Neglect
  • Bullying
  • Accidents
  • Illness
  • Natural Disaster
  • Experiencing War & Violence

When people experience trauma, they may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope rather than try to work through the pain of the trauma. This can lead to dangerous consequences. At Healing Foundations Center, we help people work through their trauma as well as their addiction.

How Traumas Can Cause Addiction

Different types of traumas can impact people in different ways. Research shows that people who experience trauma as a child can have a higher risk of developing a mental health disorder, exposure to alcohol use or substance abuse, and later developing a substance or alcohol dependency as they get older[4].

People who experience physical trauma and are injured may turn to prescription painkillers to deal with their discomfort. This can quickly turn into an addiction.

When people are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they may also turn to substances to help them deal with their pain. If PTSD is left untreated, it can impact relationships and affect all aspects of their lives, including their employment and everyday activities.

Emotional trauma, such as bullying, can leave people feeling depressed. When these feelings begin to mount, people may turn to drugs and alcohol for comfort and to help them forget about their feelings.

People who experience any of these traumas can fall into a substance abuse addiction pattern that requires treatment. Trying to quit alone is often ineffective and results in relapse. It also does not treat the trauma that the person is still dealing with.

Signs of Trauma

Trauma can result in several different types of symptoms, both physical and emotional.

Some of these symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Easily Startled
  • Aches and Pains
  • Tense Muscles
  • Withdrawal
  • Hopelessness
  • Confusion
  • Mood swings
  • Anger
  • Denial

These symptoms or a combination of several can indicate that the body and mind are trying to cope and process what has occurred.

Signs of Addiction

As the body tries to deal with the trauma, people may turn to alcohol or substances for comfort and as a coping mechanism. Many of the signs of addiction are similar to those who have experienced trauma.

They include:

  • Withdrawal
  • Seizures
  • Anger and Violent Behavior
  • Cravings
  • Secrecy
  • Giving up Old Hobbies
  • Denial
  • Poor Relationships

Being able to recognize the signs of addiction is essential so that the proper treatment can begin to heal both the trauma and the addiction.

Ways to Treat Trauma and Addiction

There are various ways to deal with trauma and addiction. At Healing Foundations Center, we utilize a variety of treatments. We first get to know each client to develop a tailored treatment plan. Some of the treatments we use include:

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

This type of treatment helps to address both the mental health disorder or traumatic experience as well as the substance abuse disorder. The focus is on both issues to better facilitate a long-term recovery. People who try to treat one issue without confronting the other often have minimal success.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be used to help patients learn new coping methods and change thought patterns that can lead to depression and anxiety or worsen conditions. Different types of cognitive behavioral therapy can help in this area. These include cognitive therapy, multimodal therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy.
The goals of cognitive behavioral therapy include managing the symptoms of mental illness as well as teaching people how to deal with emotions effectively.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR focuses on reconnecting people to the emotions, thoughts, and sensations that were associated with the trauma. This is done in a safe and neutral environment in hopes of allowing people to experience their trauma in a new context so the brain can heal properly. This type of therapy can include using music and other methods.

Outpatient Psychotherapy

Outpatient psychotherapy is another trauma and addiction treatment that is often utilized. This involves individual or group therapy as well as family therapy.
One or more of these types of treatments can be used to help clients work through trauma and deal with their addictions.

Seek Trauma and Addiction Treatment at Healing Foundations Center

If you need trauma and addiction treatment, Healing Foundations Center can help. Our team is highly trained in helping people deal with both issues. We can employ a variety of treatment options to best help you effectively deal with your trauma and avoid turning to substances for comfort. Contact us today to learn more.



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