The Benefits of Trauma Therapy
Many addicts and alcoholics undergo traumatic experiences. Sometimes it occurs prior to the onset of addiction, whereas other times trauma may arise as a result. This can lead to the onset of trauma disorders such as PTSD, resulting in such symptoms as insomnia, anxiety, and intense feelings of guilt and shame. Some even blame themselves for their previous experiences, regardless of whether they played an active role in the event that led to their symptoms.
Trauma therapy helps addicts to overcome these experiences so that they can move on without feeling the need to self-medicate against their symptoms. Various forms of trauma therapy, such as EMDR or the Seeking Safety model, have proven effective in helping treatment clients get in touch with their vulnerability so that they can begin moving past it in a healthy way. Of course, the extent of therapy required may sometimes depend upon the type of trauma at hand.
Adverse Childhood Experiences
Studies have shown that traumatic experiences in childhood often result in addiction later on. Not only is there a strong correlation with underage drinking, but every point scored on the adverse childhood experiences (ACE) assessment increases the likelihood of prescription drug abuse by about 62%. Meanwhile, the chances of using illicit street drugs increase between two and four times for every ACE suffered. Even co-occurring disorders appear to become more likely, as ACEs have been associated with higher rates of mental disorders, as well as higher risks of dangerous behaviors such as multiple sexual partners and attempted suicide. Examples of ACEs that may lead to these results include childhood abuse, neglect, witnessing spousal abuse, losing a family member to the prison system, divorce, living with a person who suffers from mental illness or substance abuse in the home.
Other Traumatic Experiences
Addicts and alcoholics may experience any number of traumatic experiences outside of childhood. Those who began their substance abuse in the military are sometimes trying to cope with adverse experiences at war, while others may be coping with a friend’s overdose or with a drunk driving accident that took the life of an innocent person. Others may be victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault or other violent crimes. Whatever the cause of the trauma, therapy at a dual diagnosis facility is the best way to move forward while simultaneously dealing with the other symptoms of addiction. Between therapy and support from your recovery community, rest assured that you will see brighter days ahead of you as long as you are willing to seek out and receive the help that you need.