The correlation between trauma and substance abuse is strong. One can easily and quickly feed the other. Even though trauma and substance use can go hand-in-hand, trauma-informed therapy benefits are numerous and help people live healthier, happier lives.
A person might use alcohol or drugs to manage the aftermath of trauma, but doing so only increases their chances of enduring further stress due to high-risk behavior. For individuals facing substance use, a trauma therapy program can help. To explore the benefits of these types of programs, reach out to the team at Sierra Sage Recovery Services (SSRS) at 833.922.2884.
Signs of Trauma
Anyone can suffer psychological damage from trauma. It can manifest from any event that the brain is not capable of handling well.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects millions of people in the U.S. It’s a potentially debilitating condition that can lead to excessive substance use, in addition to many other issues.
Some of the conditions and behaviors that may signal the presence of PTSD include:
- Avoiding certain places or people
- Recurring flashbacks
- Risky behaviors
A trauma therapy program can help a person to diffuse unresolved trauma, whether it has led to substance addiction or not. Trauma-informed therapy can help individuals to take a step toward a healthier, more balanced life.
Understanding Trauma-Informed Therapy and Substance Use
Trauma-informed therapy is a specific therapeutic approach that emphasizes understanding how trauma impacts a person’s behavioral and emotional responses. For some, those responses involve substance use and addiction. Trauma-informed therapy aims to provide the patient with strategies and skills to understand better, cope with, and process memories and emotions tied to traumatic experiences. This can ultimately help a person avoid or discontinue the destructive behaviors they may have turned to due to the trauma, including substance use.
3 Benefits of Trauma-Informed Therapy for Addiction
Through trauma-informed therapy, people can better understand why certain thoughts and behaviors occur. Identifying root causes of behavior can be truly important on the road to recovery. There are several benefits of using trauma-informed therapy for addiction:
- Discovering or Being Reminded that You Are Not Alone: Traumatic experiences can shake a person’s emotional world, violating their sense of safety and creating triggers for fearful behaviors. Trauma-informed therapy helps people re-develop a sense of physical, emotional, and relational safety.
- Developing Healthy Coping Skills: When people develop healthy coping skills, they can better respond to emotions associated with a traumatic event. This allows them to manage stress and anxiety better. Learning how to cope with negative experiences and stop destructive behavior patterns can empower individuals to heal from their traumatic experiences by establishing new, more effective response patterns.
- Breaking Free from Addiction: When people feel supported, safe, and confident in their ability to cope with difficult situations, including trauma triggers, they are less likely to turn to drugs or alcohol. Identifying triggers and knowing how to avoid or diffuse them teaches people effective strategies to manage the effects of trauma instead of turning to addictive substances.
Experience Trauma Therapy at Sierra Sage Recovery Services
Trauma is not always apparent. It may take months or years before a person recognizes the triggers of their trauma and the devastating effects it can produce. At SSRS, we understand that trauma and addiction are closely related and have developed programs and services to start on your road to recovery, including:
- Residential treatment program
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient treatment program (IOP)
- Outpatient treatment program (OP)
If you or someone you know might benefit from trauma-informed therapy for addiction, contact the experienced care team at Sierra Sage Recovery Services at 833.922.2884.