Addiction is a serious problem that can have devastating consequences and the causes of addiction are often difficult to detect, even for trained professionals. However, one of the most important steps in addiction recovery is trauma resolution.
It may be hard to believe, but trauma is one of the biggest causes of addiction in America today. Many people who suffer from addiction actually suffered from abuse or neglect as children.
This abuse and neglect often goes undetected because victims don’t want to talk about it or they think no one will listen if they do open up about their painful experiences
If you’re experiencing any symptoms of addiction (e.g., drinking too much alcohol), we can help. Our Intensive Outpatient Therapy Program ( IOP) program in Austin has helped hundreds of addicts beat their addictions
At Alpha 180 in Austin, Texas, we designed our IOP specifically for drug and alcohol abusers with Trauma Resolution as part of the curriculum. To decide if this program is for you, let’s first take a look at some common questions about the connection between trauma and substance abuse.
It’s no secret that many addicts struggle with addiction due to some sort of trauma they have experienced in their lives. What is less talked about is how the trauma may be related to what led them down this path.
Many people think that it was simply because they were weak-willed. In truth, there are other underlying causes for alcohol and drug use which can include PTSD or even bipolar disorder.
Trauma has been shown to increase the risk of drug abuse, and drug use raises the danger of being re-traumatized through engaging in high-risk behavior. It’s also true that drug or alcohol abusers are less able to deal with traumatic situations.
There are many ways in which trauma can manifest itself:
- Neglectful parenting or guardianship
- Accidents – both natural disasters and other human-made catastrophes
…and so on. Usually, these traumatic events occur in childhood, but they can also occur later in life due to divorce, death, etc.
Occasional trauma can leave you anxious or depressed for a time, but it won’t necessarily lead to drug abuse. If trauma repeats, however, the likelihood of developing PTSD goes up.
After trauma occurs, many people become addicted to drugs in order to self-medicate and make themselves feel better. Those with trauma are more likely to abuse prescription medications, for example, which are highly addictive.
Trauma affects the brain in many ways, including making us less able to regulate our emotions and manage our impulses. People who grow up with trauma often have feelings of loneliness or isolation throughout their lives, which can lead them to use drugs or alcohol to cope with their feelings.
It is more common for traumatized people to abuse alcohol, before and after they receive a PTSD diagnosis.
Trauma and Substance Abuse Statistics
Statistics from the American Addiction Centers include:
- 25% to 75% of people who have survived abuse or violence report problematic alcohol use.
- Ten percent to thirty percent of people who survive trauma caused by accident, illness, or disaster report problems with alcohol, especially if they also have persistent health problems and pain
- Those who have suffered from sexual abuse have a higher rate of alcohol and drug use disorders than those who have did not.
- Adolescent sexual assault victims are 4.5 times more likely to abuse or depend on alcohol, 4 times more likely to abuse or depend on marijuana, and 9 times more likely to abuse or depend on hard drugs than adolescents who have not suffered from sexual assault.
When you suffer from addiction caused by trauma, it’s hard to see the path forward. You may feel like your life is spiraling out of control and that there is no hope for recovery.
But with help, most people can learn how to cope with their triggers and manage their emotions without turning to drugs or alcohol.
Fortunately, addiction is a highly treatable disease, and recovery is possible. About 10% of American adults age 18 and older say they are recovering from alcohol or drug abuse.
As you learn to deal with trauma triggers and past trauma, your trauma symptoms will gradually improve or even disappear. This is called trauma resolution.
Trauma resolution happens when its memories are surrounded by healthy support instead of unhealthy trauma reactions. Traumatic memories begin to lose their power over you.
At Alpha 180’s intensive outpatient program, we have many success stories of patients healing from trauma and leading successful lives. We are dedicated to providing our patients with the trauma-informed treatment they need to heal from trauma and addiction.
Our experts have decades of experience with Trauma Resolution. At Alpha 180, we have helped hundreds of addicts beat their addictions through an intensive outpatient therapy program designed specifically for drug and alcohol abusers. Contact us or give us a call today at 833.257.4218 in Austin, Texas.