The Link Between Trauma and Addiction

a man in trauma therapy looks distraughtPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common diagnosis among people with alcohol or drug addiction. A person’s life narrative may include issues of early life abuse, neglect, and toxicity. For some, PTSD may stem from combat experience, natural disasters, or a traumatic loss. For others, it may be less of an event, but more of an internalized sense of identity and false self. Regardless of the origin, there is a direct link between trauma and substance abuse. In these cases, trauma therapy is a necessity.

Trauma Therapy at Providence Treatment

At Providence Treatment we utilize best practice strategies to help patients with PTSD. Some of the trauma therapy methods we use include the following:

  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), a psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro that emphasizes that disturbing memories cause psychopathology.
  • Prolonged exposure therapy, a form of behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy designed to treat PTSD, characterized by re-experiencing the traumatic event through remembering it and engaging with, rather than avoiding, reminders of the trauma (triggers).
  • Cognitive processing therapy, a manualized therapy to help our client recover from PTSD by focusing on how the client construes and copes with the traumatic event while trying to regain a sense of mastery and control in his or her life.
  • Stress reduction strategies through mindfulness, developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, are exercises and techniques to train our client to respond to stressful situations “mindfully.”

When it comes to addiction treatment, you should never ignore the role that trauma plays. If we determine you have PTSD, then we will develop a strategy that best addresses your specific PTSD symptoms and causes. In trauma therapy, you can heal any wounds that contribute to your substance abuse. To get started, reach out to Providence Treatment at 866-622-6211.

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