Substance abuse is probably a more common coping mechanism when struggling with physical and emotional trauma than you would think. Learn about trauma and addiction recovery – you are not alone!
Let us begin by getting a better understanding of trauma, substance abuse, and addiction.
Trauma can be defined as an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or sexual abuse, domestic violence, death, or loss of a loved one or a natural disaster. Initially, you may experience shock and denial after the event. But there are longer term reactions as well, including unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships, and even physical symptoms like headaches and nausea. If you can relate to any of the initial or long-term symptoms previously mentioned, you may be experiencing the effects of trauma in your life. But you can recover from trauma in time. And everyone heals at their own pace, so be gentle with yourself when you start the process.
Trauma and Substance Abuse
Substance abuse can be defined as overindulgence in or dependence upon an addictive substance, especially illegal drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse also includes the use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other than those which they are meant to be used, or in large amounts. Substance abuse can affect your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health, not to mention have a negative effect on your work and daily routine, and cause strain on or damage your relationships. After abusing substances for a length of time you can develop an addiction, often described as a disease resulting from changes in brain chemistry caused by compulsive use of those substances.
Sexual Abuse & Addiction
In the United States, one in six women, and one in thirty-three men have been the victim of rape and an estimated 63,000 children are sexually abused each year. Any kind of sexual abuse is considered trauma. Survivors can suffer from PTSD and not even realize it, especially when the event happened many years previous. This trauma can cause them to try and hide or cover up what they are feeling such as loneliness, isolation, sadness, or depression by self-medicating with drugs, alcohol, or abusing prescription or over-the-counter medication. After a while, the compulsive use of those substances can eventually turn into an addiction. If you or someone you care about has been the victim of rape or sexual abuse of any kind, please call RAINN, the National Sexual Abuse Hotline, at 1-800-656-4673 to get help today!
The Link Between Domestic Violence & Substance Abuse
It is important to note that incidences of domestic violence are significantly higher in substance abusers than in others. Domestic violence includes any sort of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, perpetrated by one partner to another, in a past or current relationship but does also include abuse toward children or elderly in the household. It is common for people seeking addiction treatment to have been involved in some sort of domestic violence. If you or someone you care about has been a victim of domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 to get help today.
Trauma and Addiction
Trauma can clearly be linked to addiction. Early traumatic experiences can increase the risk of substance use disorders because of attempts to self-medicate or to dampen mood symptoms when stress becomes unbearable, overwhelming, and frightening which can lead to addiction. If you believe you suffer from both trauma and addiction, it is suggested that you treat both disorders concurrently and possibly seek treatment using the trauma-informed care framework.
What is Trauma-Informed Care?
Trauma-informed care can best be described as a program, organization, or system that is trauma-informed, realizing the widespread impact of trauma, and understanding potential paths for recovery. It should recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system and respond by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices and seeks to actively resist re-traumatization. This type of care environment is very welcoming and engaging for both service recipients and staff.
Get Help with Trauma and Addiction Recovery
If after reading this you believe you need help with trauma and/or addiction recovery, or know someone who does, please give us a call at (855) 770-0577 and speak with one of our caring admissions staff. We at Oregon Trail Recovery offer high-quality, affordable, and compassionate support for individuals looking to end their substance use and overcome the struggles of physical and psychological withdrawal.
Our employment of modern recovery programs includes both medication and clinical interventions, in order to facilitate as smooth and comfortable of a transition into sobriety as possible. We provide a private home setting, which allows each client to have the most comfortable experience possible. Furthermore, we offer 24-hour monitoring from trained and professional staff. Moreover, our facility adheres to high standards of clinical care!