People with addiction can put themselves in situations that cause trauma. However, what if you suffer from trauma and then develop an addiction? When the trauma comes first, addiction treatment should include a trauma informed approach. Learning more about trauma and addiction can help you understand this technique.
How Trauma Leads to Addiction
Scientists have been able to determine the link between trauma and addiction. In fact, they both affect certain areas of your brain. However, it’s important to know how trauma and addiction develop too.
Your brain has a threat detection center that activates when danger is imminent. When the amygdala becomes overactive, it constantly looks for and assesses threats. Another area of your brain processes memories, but sometimes it can fail. Instead of consolidating traumatic memories, the hippocampus leaves them in a loop that causes disturbing and intrusive recollections.
Having an overactive amygdala and failing hippocampus can lead to posttraumatic stress disorder. This condition often involves nightmares of the trauma, uncontrollable fear, and anxiety. You might participate in activities that give you pleasure to relieve these symptoms. Some examples include shopping, gambling, and substance abuse.
However, continuously engaging in these activities can lead to addiction. This disease affects the third area of your brain which is responsible for controlling your survival instincts. It hinders the cortex so that your instincts overrule logical thoughts. Addiction also reduces your ability to control behavior, so you develop an unstoppable urge to use drugs.
Trauma Informed Approach to Addiction Treatment
When you suffer from trauma and addiction, you need treatment that addresses both. Trauma-informed care focuses on addressing the past and present stress that your trauma causes. It involves more than treating the symptoms, though. This approach uses problem-solving strategies and strengthening exercises to empower you to overcome the trauma.
Trauma therapy is a vital part of this treatment process. Most rehab centers include it in dual diagnosis treatment, which also provides addiction therapies. In fact, treating trauma and addiction involves integrating a range of therapies and services.
For example, you might not feel comfortable talking about the trauma that you experienced. Your rehab center might use experiential therapies to help you open up.
Music and art therapies are just a couple of examples. Through your music or art, your therapist can gain insight into the issues that you must overcome. Yoga and meditation, for instance, balance your mind and body so that you can think clearly. They also reduce stress, improve comfort and increase your focus on recovery.
In addition, your rehab center will use evidence-based treatments to address both trauma and addiction. Some examples include cognitive behavioral therapy, family counseling, and group therapy.
Get Help to Recover From Your Trauma at Woodlands Recovery Centers
Do you need treatment for trauma and addiction? Woodlands Recovery Centers use dual diagnosis programs with trauma counseling. Some of our other addiction treatment programs include:
- Alcohol detox
- Drug detox
- Drug addiction treatment
- Partial hospitalization program
- Residential treatment
Don’t let your trauma haunt you any longer. Get the help that you need from a trauma informed approach to treatment. Contact us now at 855-752-3377.