Trauma Education and Addiction
At MARR Addiction Treatment Centers, we view trauma education as an essential component for long-term recovery. During treatment, we educate our clients on how trauma may have affected them. We also unpack trauma they may have dealt with and ways to work through these experiences in a safe place.
Research indicates that trauma symptoms do not always manifest in clear identifiable signs. In some cases, trauma can be difficult to recognize. Whether they are aware of it or not, surviving trauma creates a recurring state of internal distress. Reminded of the initial traumatic event trigger distress symptoms in the survivor.
This type of constant stress has significant long-term effects on how people view themselves and the world around them. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) unequivocally states: “Unaddressed trauma significantly increases the risk of mental and substance use disorders and chronic physical diseases.”
Addressing Trauma History in Treatment
Most clients who require addiction treatment have a history of trauma. In many cases, these can be events more immediately recognizable as trauma. For example, a history of unaddressed sexual assault will likely tie in with the client’s history of substance abuse. In addition, if it remains unaddressed, this underlying trauma puts the person at risk for a relapse.
Even in cases where trauma history is not apparent, addiction often drives individuals into inherently traumatic situations. Powerlessness over a substance frequently leads to time in jail, losing contact with friends and family members, or existing in a constant state of uncertainty. All of these events can have a traumatic impact on the client. Effective treatment involves addressing this history to help the client remain in long-term recovery.
Trauma education is an essential part of relapse prevention. The emotions connected to unresolved trauma create conditions where relapse is more likely to occur. In addition, the unaddressed trauma often leads people in early recovery more likely to seek relief in substance abuse. However, if trauma is properly treated, the client has the opportunity not only to stay sober. And beyond that, they can live a life of deeper connection and meaning than had been possible before treatment.