Connection Between Trauma and Addiction
When someone goes through a traumatic experience, they have lingering results that make their lives difficult. This includes things like feelings of depression and anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and flashbacks. In order to cope with these side effects, many people begin using alcohol and drugs to self-medicate. What may start out as a temporary bandage to feel better can turn into a substance use disorder. Until the person receives addiction and trauma therapy, the cycle will continue.
In addition, abusing substances can increase the symptoms associated with mental health disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For example, a person might feel depressed and consume a lot of alcohol to try to improve their mood. However, alcohol is a depressant and the accumulative effect of using it will erase any sense of joy experienced during a few hours of being inebriated. Other substances can contribute to or even cause symptoms such as anxiety. This causes the person to drink or use drugs more, thus cycling through a pattern repeatedly that never solves the actual issues.
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What is Trauma Therapy?
People who need trauma therapy have either experienced a one-time traumatic event or a series of events. Single events include things like natural disasters, while ongoing events can include things like abuse. For some, the trauma happened quite recently while others may have endured it years ago or even in early childhood. Trauma therapy was developed to help people discuss what happened to them and learn ways to heal from the negative side effects it caused.
Traumatic events can include any of the following:
- Domestic abuse
- Emotional abuse
- The death of a loved one
- Physical assault
- Sexual assault
- Childhood molestation
- Childhood neglect
- An extended medical illness or injury
- School, workplace, or other public shootings
- Natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, flooding, etc.)
- Local civil unrest, such as riots
- Ongoing bullying
- Acts of war or military service, either witnessed or participated in
Regardless of how long ago the event occurred, it can influence the development of a substance use disorder. Fortunately, a professional addiction and trauma therapy program can help people face what happened to them in a safe environment. In turn, they become better prepared to overcome their addiction to drugs or alcohol.
How Does Trauma Therapy Treat Addiction?
Because so many people remain unaware of the connection between trauma and addiction, they do not consider addiction and trauma therapy as an option. Our skilled and compassionate therapists help people identify the traumatic events in their lives. From there, they help them draw a line between what happened and the onset of their addictions. In fact, it’s quite common for trauma survivors to drink or use drugs to cover up the memories and uncomfortable feelings they experience. For them, the goal of trauma therapy is to overcome the damage done by trauma. When this happens, the person feels less of a need to abuse drugs or alcohol.
Additional Benefits of Trauma Therapy
One of the hardest parts of being a victim of trauma is that it leaves the person feeling powerless. Trauma therapy helps a person discover they have the ability to regain control. They can learn to reduce or even stop having symptoms such as flashbacks, anxiety, depression, and more. They learn that while a person cannot change the past, they definitely can become powerful in how they handle things. As a result, they have the strength and ability to have better mental health not controlled by trauma or addiction.
Trauma therapy also helps a person get out of a cycle that keeps them rooted in illness and the past. Once a person begins processing and healing from trauma, it helps lessen their need to drink or use drugs. At the same time, as they learn to live in a sober headspace, they are better able to cope with trauma and move past it.
What to Expect During Trauma Therapy in Los Angeles
At Renewal Health Group, we begin each admission to our program with a thorough assessment of each person’s history and treatment goals. If they need help processing and healing from trauma, we include addiction and trauma therapy as part of their treatment plan. A trained trauma therapist will lead the person through a series of sessions designed to help them come to terms with what happened to them.
Each session is confidential and provides a safe, private place to discuss the person’s emotions, fears, and hopes for the future. The therapist will monitor the person to see which symptoms of trauma become less prevalent or subside completely. If using FDA-approved medications can help, this option will be discussed.
Begin Trauma Therapy for Addiction Recovery in Los Angeles, CA
Do you realize that the trauma you endured may have contributed to developing a substance use disorder? If so, you are not alone. Renewal Health Group offers an innovative addiction and trauma therapy program that helps people who need help in this area. Our treatment options include residential and outpatient care. Our staff will assess you to decide which program fits your needs and schedule. From there, you will have access to multiple types of therapy designed to help you embrace a sober life.
Do you want to find out more information? Visit our admissions page now and we can help you get started today.