It is a mistake to look at addiction as an isolated illness. In virtually all cases, a deeper or underlying issue exists. Often, there is a connection between a history of trauma and the development of a substance abuse disorder. At Soledad House, trauma-informed care ensures that no stone goes unturned in the treatment of addiction.

Defining Trauma

a counselor provides trauma informed care to a womanBefore you can get an accurate understanding of trauma-informed care, you have to understand the definition of trauma. There are many different types of trauma, and they can all have profoundly negative impacts on a person’s life. Sometimes, trauma is intensively personal. This can include growing up with domestic abuse or experiencing sexual assault from a partner.

In other cases, trauma can be a product of the environment. For example, a family that lives through a war would definitely have a history of trauma, even if they had no direct role in the war itself. This kind of trauma can also include living through a natural disaster or witnessing a violent crime.

Linking Trauma to Substance Abuse

With a better understanding of trauma, it is now time to see why having trauma in your background so often leads to addiction. It is important to note that not everyone who suffers from trauma will necessarily develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol. However, research clearly shows that those who experience trauma are more likely to be diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder.

Often, trauma can lead to lasting mental health conditions. Someone who experiences abuse may struggle with anxiety or depression. Once again, a mental health disorder increases the likelihood of addiction.

In other cases, trauma doesn’t receive the proper attention. Without comprehensive treatment, clients might try to self-diagnose or self-treat their trauma with drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse may feel like it is helping in the very short-term, but in the long run, it leads to bigger problems.

Addressing the Underlying Factors That Created Addictive Behavior

When clients are ready to fight back against addiction, it has to be about more than just the physical symptoms of dependence. Women who want truly effective, lasting sobriety need to look inward at the factors that first caused their substance abuse. For some women, a history of trauma could be a factor.

If the trauma goes unresolved, then clients will end up turning back to their old ways of handling stress and times of struggle. Even if it is easy to stay on track in a rehab program, it will become much harder once you’re back in the real world and experiencing traumatic triggers.

Therefore, trauma-informed care needs to be a part of any treatment plan. This way, clients can get the addiction treatment that is necessary while still addressing those underlying issues. This is a more holistic, comprehensive approach to recovery that lasts.

Learning to Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms

A key element of trauma-informed care is giving clients the tools they need to create better coping mechanisms. Often, substance abuse is the preferred coping mechanism. Once clients are ready for a lifetime of sobriety, there needs to be a new approach.

Through trauma therapy and beyond, clients can get support and resources as they explore new options. Some clients might find that daily yoga classes are the key to releasing stress and battling anxiety. For others, spiritual development or regular group therapy meetings are crucial. This is a very individual strategy, but it should start while in rehab at Soledad House.

Trauma-Informed Care and Beyond at Soledad House

At Soledad House, women can expect treatment that touches on both addiction and trauma. You can’t always separate the two, and treating them simultaneously is more effective in the long run. Women can choose from a range of rehab programs as well as a variety of methods and strategies, just some of which are as follows:

  • Exercise therapy
  • Dual diagnosis therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Group and family therapy

For many women, trauma-informed care is a critical part of addiction recovery. At Soledad House in San Diego, California, it is available to any clients who have a history of trauma. Call 866.314.3222 if you are ready to take the next step and embrace a lifetime of sobriety once and for all.