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Addiction And Trauma Go Hand In Hand

One major risk factor for developing an addiction is trauma. Self-medicating is common in order to squelch feelings of sadness, anxiety, and guilt. Recovery Research Institute says that “many of these types of symptoms are associated with the heightened stress and inability to regulate emotions after a traumatic experience.” When thinking about treating an individual who has a substance use disorder, the medical professional must take into account the trauma that the patient has endured. You cannot simply treat the symptoms without treating the underlying cause. Treating both sources often increases the long-term recovery of the patient. 

According to the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US SAMHSA), there are six key principles of trauma-informed care:

  • Safety 

When safety is included in trauma-informed care, the patient will feel safe both physically and psychologically.

  • Trustworthiness and transparency

The goal is to create trust between the patient, family, and staff. Doing so in a clear manner is key. 

  • Peer support

For other members of the community who have lived through similar traumatic experiences, they can be a sense of hope and motivation to patients who are struggling to move past their trauma. 

  • Collaboration and mutuality

Establishing the boundaries of relationships is important in trauma-informed care, as is the role of the patient and others involved. 

  • Empowerment, voice, and choice

Trauma-informed treatment means building on patients’ experiences and strengths, as well as giving them a voice and a choice in their treatment plan.

  • Cultural, historical, and gender issues

Being able to push through various stereotypes and allowing treatment to be equal across the board is important. 

According to the US SAMHSA, there are also four “R’s” that are key assumptions in a trauma-informed approach:

  • Realization

Realizing how trauma can impact everyone is the first step of trauma-informed care. Also, one must realize how behavior and coping strategies go together. 

  • Recognize 

Recognizing the signs of trauma is the next important step to help treat those suffering after a traumatic experience. 

  • Respond

Responding comes after realizing and recognizing the signs. One must respond swiftly and correctly, welcoming in patients who need help.

  • Resist re-traumatization

Resisting re-traumatization is the last step of trauma-informed care. We want to make sure that we are creating safe and healthy environments that will not re-traumatize the patients. 

At Villa Tranquil Recovery, we aim to follow the six key principles of trauma-informed care, as well as the four R’s that are key assumptions in a trauma-informed approach. We want your time with us to be as safe and healthy so as to generate the most possible healing. Reach out to us today to learn more about our programs at 214-799-3080