The Connection Between Trauma and Addiction
Addiction is a complex disease. There are many factors that influence someone developing substance use disorder. Researchers believe a large part of it is genetic. However, environment plays a significant role as well—especially trauma.
Trauma is an emotional response someone goes through as a result of experiencing something terrible like suffering an injury, abuse, or an accident. The mind may not be able to process these events the way it should: immediate responses may include shock or denial. However, trauma has lasting effects as well. Long-term responses to trauma often include flashbacks and emotions that are difficult to control.
There are both harmful and constructive ways to deal with trauma. Unfortunately, substance misuse is a common response. While not everyone that experiences trauma will develop substance use disorder, a strong correlation between traumatic childhood experiences and addiction (and other behavioral disorders) has been observed in countless studies.
Addiction Treatment for Trauma Survivors
Fortunately, addiction is treatable. Many people are able to get sober and lead fulfilling lives in recovery. However, personalized treatment is often necessary: there is no effective one-size-fits-all program for addiction. Treatment of co-occurring disorders, adjustment or restarting a program, and even relapse can all be aspects of an individual’s path to recovery.
Oxford Treatment Center has developed a specialized treatment track for trauma support. An empathetic medical staff is equipped to help individuals:
- Feel safe.
- Remember and mourn the past without letting it consume the present and future.
- Find productive ways to cope with pain instead of dulling it with drugs or alcohol.
- Reconnect with society.
Oxford Treatment Center has multiple levels of care to fit the needs of any patient, including:
- Medical detox. This is often a necessary first step if someone has developed a strong physical dependency on drugs or alcohol. It enables medical staff to provide 24/7 monitoring and support to make sure someone is as comfortable and safe as possible while going through withdrawal.
- Residential treatment. Patients undergo therapy sessions and receive treatment while staying at a rehabilitation center.
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP). Sometimes called “day treatment,” this is an intensive outpatient program that patients attend for at least 5 days a week, but are able to return home each evening.
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP). This program is similar to PHP, but only requires several days of attendance each week, for shorter periods of time.
- Sober living facility. After rehab, some people may need additional support or are not ready to return to life at home.
Oxford Treatment Center also has an alumni program, allowing former patients to stay in contact with their peers and attend meetings and sober social events. There is even a useful app to download that tracks sobriety progress and connect with others.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please reach out to an admissions navigator at . They can answer questions about the facility and find a treatment program that is right for you.