Does Drug Rehab Counseling Ever Address Trauma?

Trauma-based drug rehab is available for many people who have experienced trauma either prior to or during their drug use. There is a strong connection between post-traumatic stress disorder and the use of drugs as a means of self-medication. If you’ve undergone something terrible, be it an accident, deployment or emotional abuse, drugs could have become a way of making the terror stop.

On the same note, those who develop a drug or drinking dependency are also at a higher risk of experiencing trauma and developing PTSD. Although they may ease symptoms temporarily, drugs are never a permanent solution. Because of the role trauma plays in substance use disorder (SUD), many rehabs offer therapy that helps clients address their trauma and recover from it along with their addiction.

Trauma Therapy in Addiction Programs

Many rehabs offer specialized trauma psychotherapy in addition to traditional rehab treatments. Today, we understand the complex connections between our life experiences and substance use disorder. People do not simply choose to start using drugs because everything is going well in their lives, but they also may begin using drugs recreationally only to undergo trauma and experience mental health symptoms that cause them to rely heavily on mood-altering substances for support.

There are many different forms of trauma, almost as unique as every person who enters a rehab. In fact, your trauma does not have to be anything “horrible” to count. Many events that people around you may consider harmless could have left a traumatic impact. The shame of being traumatized and feeling “weak” only pushes you further into addiction and stops you from enjoying the freedom of recovery. Integrated trauma programs in drug rehab allows people to address their PTSD and other traumatic experiences in a safe, secure environment. A therapist or counselor can help you learn to address your experiences and emotions as well as understand how they interact with your addiction.

Types of Treatment

Some programs offer an integrated trauma and substance abuse treatment. This form of therapy incorporates both trauma therapy and addiction treatment into one model. Other programs use a parallel system that has a distinct therapy for substance use disorder and another for trauma. You should look for a rehab that emphasizes mental health and has professionals who are skilled in treating co-occurring disorders. When you have trauma, PTSD or another mental disorder along with substance abuse, it is said to be co-occurring. One of the most common forms of trauma therapy is the Addictions and Trauma Recovery Integration Model (ATRIUM).

This model is based on the belief that trauma impacts every aspect of a person including their mind, body and soul. Cognitive treatments that address thought patterns and unhealthy coping behaviors are coupled with practical tips to help clients develop physical, mental and spiritual wellness. Education about addiction and trauma, individual trauma counseling and group therapy are all important and respected approaches to treating trauma in drug rehab.

Overcoming the Stigma

Many people who go through traumatic events are often misdiagnosed or unaware of how their lives are driving them to abuse drugs. Substances can become a mask to cover uncomfortable feelings and numb painful memories. Sometimes, even when you know you have a problem, you’re afraid to reach out and get help because of how others might perceive you. You may feel like your trauma wasn’t big enough to affect you so much. You might think that you are weak because you’re so scarred by something that you believe you should have been able to overcome. And now, you may feel immense guilt and shame over how your attempt to cope with your trauma has led to addiction.

Understand this: Trauma comes in many forms, and no one chooses how their brains will interpret a situation or experience. One-time events can be as harmful to your mental health as years of abuse. Trauma is not a comparison game. What matters is that you learn to take ownership of your recovery and not let trauma own you. You are strong enough. Recovery starts by getting help from the right people. Drugs and alcohol will never be able to undo the emotional impact of trauma. You need to develop healthy coping skills that will help you confront your fears and emotions confidently. Contact us today to learn how trauma-based drug rehab can help you. Our representatives are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week to take your call toll-free at 888-534-1951.