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Trauma and Substance Abuse – How Rehab Centers can Help You Heal

addiction recovery

Rehab centers provide counseling and therapy to help you heal from trauma and the effects of substance abuse.

While a high-stress lifestyle and multiple worries can quickly drive a person to seek out escape in drugs, it’s just as common for past trauma sufferers to gravitate towards drug use for different reasons. The truth of the matter is both past and present-day issues and concerns can drive a person to seek escape in drugs.

For people who’ve undergone unusually stressful and/or painful experiences, trauma and substance abuse tend to go hand-in-hand when other outlets for unresolved feelings are lacking. In effect, trauma and substance abuse becomes a means for self-medicating difficult or uncomfortable feelings.

As drug rehab programs incorporate psychotherapy and counseling treatment as part of their overall program approach, recovering addicts can better understand how trauma and substance abuse play out in their addiction issues. By working through these issues, it’s not uncommon for a person to see a decrease in drug-using behaviors as difficult trauma issues are resolved.

Trauma and Substance Abuse Correlations

Traumatic experiences can take a number of forms:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Military combat
  • Criminal attack
  • Natural disasters

According to Georgia Gwinnett College, people affected by substance abuse problems are more likely to have experienced some form of trauma in their lifetime.

Trauma, in and of itself, can bring on both physical and psychological symptoms, some of which include:

  • Sleep problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional distress
  • Shame
  • Feelings of guilt

Interestingly enough, this same set of symptoms can easily develop for someone who engages in substance abuse practices. In a similar vein, people affected by trauma-related disorders, such as PTSD and depression, are that much more likely to develop substance abuse problems. When combined, the effects from trauma and substance abuse tend to reinforce each other making a person’s daily existence that much worse.

Addiction’s Components

Addiction in any form results from the body’s physical dependency on the drug as well as the mind’s psychological dependency on the drug’s effects. In order to help recovering addicts overcome addiction in its entirety, drug rehab programs provide ongoing counseling and psychotherapy treatment to help a person work through the psychological aspects of addiction.

For someone affected by trauma and substance abuse, drug rehab treatment works well to uncover trauma-related emotions and thought patterns that drive substance abuse behaviors. By doing so, rehab programs can treat symptoms related to both trauma and substance abuse at the same time.

Treatment Approaches

Treatment approaches used to address trauma and substance abuse problems can vary depending on the circumstances going on in a person’s life. The most commonly used forms of treatment include:

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Relationship therapy

As trauma and substance abuse problems can have widespread effects in a person’s life, people in relationships or those with a close family influence would likely benefit from family and relationship therapy. For most everyone, psychotherapy, group therapy and ongoing counseling become a necessary part of the recovery process.

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