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Everything to Know About Trauma-Informed Approach to Addiction Treatment

Trauma is understood to be any painful experience that has a lasting effect on a person. Most addicts usually have a history of these experiences which have directly contributed to their use and relapse. Trauma-Informed treatment is one of the most successful ways to help addicts after experiencing a traumatic event. Here’s everything to know about the trauma-informed approach to addiction treatment.

There are four major assumptions made when using the trauma-informed approach to treat addiction.

  • Realization

The treatment provider must understand how trauma affects the lives of addicts. They must understand that the use of substances and alcohol is just a coping mechanism to survive these experiences. See this drug rehab in West Palm.

  • Recognize

The treatment provider should also be able to recognize the signs of your trauma. These signs can be specific to age, gender, or even the setting.

  • Response

The approach is applied to all areas of functioning. It must be understood that people involved with traumatic events can be affected including the staff providing treatment.

  • Resist Re-Traumatization

They should also be aware of things that can trigger those painful experiences. For some people, telling stories of their experiences over and over again can re-traumatize them. Treatment methods are modified to avoid this.

The use of trauma-informed treatment for addictions adheres to six principles according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. These principles promote recovery and also empower the patient.

  • Safety

This has to do with setting up an environment where the patient can feel emotionally and physically safe.

  • Trustworthiness and Transparency

Trust must be built and maintained with the patient. Decisions should also be transparent to the patient. The individual needs to know that the treatment provider is trustworthy.

  • Peer Support

Peers are important factors for feeling safe. Recovery is promoted by sharing traumatic experiences.

  • Collaboration and Mutuality

Balance of power especially when it comes to decision-making between the patient and the counselor should be achieved.

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  • Empowerment, Voice, and Choice

It is also important to build on the patient’s strength to give them a voice and empower them to make choices for themselves.

  • Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues.

Treatment must move past stereotypes based on race, gender, age, religion, or sexuality. It also recognizes that historical trauma plays a role in substance abuse but at the same time, traditional needs must be respected and honored at all times.

All these principles work hand in hand to reduce the possibility of re-traumatization and promote recovery and healing in affected individuals.

Trauma can be deep-rooted in experiences from childhood or even recent abuses in adulthood like domestic abuse from intimate partners. It is therefore not uncommon for people to turn to drugs to alleviate the pain.

Depending on drugs and alcohol is just an artificial and temporary fix. In the long run, it starts to worsen the mental health of individuals. It starts to affect an individual’s sense of self, sense of others, and belief about the world. Thereby making their condition worse than it already was.

Different treatments can be used alongside trauma-informed treatment like yoga, meditation, acupuncture, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR), and integrative hypnotherapy.

A trauma-informed approach looks to understand the trauma and its relationship with the addiction. It modifies treatment strategies to ensure that they are not likely to mirror the features of those traumatic experiences.

In conclusion, different treatment centers utilize the trauma-informed approach to understand the effects of traumatic experiences on the addiction of their clients and its relationship with their worldview and self-view. With this approach, they address the trauma by determining where it came from, how to work through it and how to start recovery and healing.

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