The development of addiction is the result of many factors. In some cases, trauma is one of the causes. For that reason, a Trauma Therapy program can be beneficial during addiction treatment programs. People can learn more about how trauma affects addiction before seeking treatment to prepare for what to expect.

The Link Between Trauma and Addiction

Psychologist an patient during trauma therapy program at Gateway

Trauma is an event that can cause emotional, mental, physical or spiritual harm. Many times, it can create a combination of problems in these areas. Examples of traumatic incidents include serious illnesses, deaths of loved ones, natural disasters, terrorism, and physical and sexual assault. Simply being in a car accident can cause trauma as well.

Trauma develops because the brain fails to process information about the incident correctly. People with trauma issues often feel anxious, afraid and threatened even after the event is over. They might also be in denial about the incident, not know how to respond, or suffer from flashbacks. When the symptoms interfere with their daily lives, doctors might diagnose them with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

However, not everyone seeks the professional Trauma Therapy that they need to overcome these effects. Instead, they dull the pain and relieve their symptoms with alcohol or drugs. Some common drugs include tobacco, opiates, marijuana, cocaine, and amphetamines. And here lies the source of the connection between trauma and addiction.

Alcohol and drugs don’t provide long-lasting relief. People who abuse them for that purpose must keep using them. Over time, they develop a tolerance and need more of the drugs to achieve the relief that they desire. Prolonged substance abuse eventually develops into addiction.

About a Trauma Therapy Program

People who have trauma along with addiction need Dual Diagnosis Treatment. This approach addresses both conditions at the same time. It’s important because the symptoms of each disorder can trigger symptoms in the other. When people don’t get treatment for both, they face an increased risk of relapse.

Trauma Therapy is usually part of this program. However, there are numerous counseling methods that therapists can use to treat trauma.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT has numerous applications in mental disorder treatment and is very useful in a Trauma Therapy program as well. As a type of talk therapy, it involves discussing current problems and finding solutions. Therapists also help people recognize how their negative thoughts lead to negative emotions and behaviors. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works on the basis that changing destructive thought patterns improves how people feel and act.

Cognitive processing therapy is also beneficial as trauma therapy. It incorporates elements of CBT to change negative thoughts about the traumatic event.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a very effective trauma therapy program. It helps people reprocess trauma as they focus on tracking an object with eye movement. Sometimes, however, EMDR uses a sound on which they focus. The goal is to change how people view a traumatic memory. As the treatment progresses, they feel less distress when they think about the event.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

In some cases, medications are necessary to relieve trauma or PTSD symptoms. Taking prescriptions with medical supervision isn’t the same as abusing drugs to relieve symptoms. Instead, the purpose of the medications is to target specific side effects so that people can focus during Trauma Therapy. Medication-Assisted Treatment can also help manage lingering withdrawal symptoms after detox.

Mindfulness-Based Treatments

A Trauma Therapy program may include holistic forms of treatment as well. Techniques such as meditation and yoga utilize breathing exercises that reduce distress and many other symptoms. They also become useful coping skills when people leave rehab.

Overcome Trauma and Addiction at Gateway Foundation Chicago Independence

Do you suffer from the effects of a traumatic event? Have you also developed an addiction? Gateway Foundation Chicago Independence is a Dual Diagnosis Treatment center in Chicago. In fact, we have an enhanced certification to offer Dual Diagnosis Treatment, in conjunction with our Seeking Safety trauma program.

Gateway Foundation Chicago Independence wants to help you overcome both your trauma and addiction. To achieve that, we have a range of treatment services, including CBT, MAT and holistic treatments. We provide these services in all of our programs, which include:

Don’t let your trauma or addiction keep you down. Get the help that you need from a reliable Trauma Therapy program. Call Gateway Chicago Independence at 773.234.1903 for more information about our facility.