Many people falsely view addiction as a “moral failing” or a “choice” rather than what it truly is. Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that is often caused by underlying mental health issues or traumatic experiences. Oftentimes, the reason people begin abusing substances in the first place is that they are unable to cope with something that happened to them in the past.
According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, “up to 59% of young people with PTSD subsequently develop substance abuse problems.” Additionally, 75% of adults in substance abuse treatment programs report a history of abuse and trauma.
When you have experienced trauma and begin abusing substances as a form of self-medication, you are only numbing your emotions and suppressing the memories temporarily. Over time, the symptoms you experience will begin to worsen, making it much more difficult for you to cope on a daily basis, and the effects of drugs and alcohol will stop being able to suppress your emotions.
Drugs and alcohol can’t help you overcome trauma, but a trauma-informed addiction treatment program can. Sheer Recovery offers comprehensive treatment for trauma and addiction in southern California to help individuals get back on their feet.
Understanding the Relationship Between Trauma and Addiction
Trauma is defined as the lasting emotional and psychological response you experience after living through a distressing event.
Trauma can be caused by:
- Natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, or floods
- Sexual abuse or assault
- Physical or emotional abuse
- Parental neglect
- Witnessing violence upon another person
- Losing a loved one suddenly or tragically
- Medical trauma and hospitalizations
- Exposure to prolonged periods of stress or violence, like serving in a war or living in a war-stricken country
Traumatic events are any situation or experience that has caused you a significant emotional disturbance. Leaving trauma untreated can lead to an array of unwanted effects, such as emotional disturbances, an inability to trust others, the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more.
Attempting to cope with trauma without professional treatment can be extremely difficult, often causing people to seek out forms of self-medication. If you begin abusing substances to cope with trauma, you may experience emotional numbing and feelings of euphoria on a short-term basis. However, as your addiction develops the substances will stop providing you with relief and begin worsening your symptoms of trauma.
Recovering from trauma and addiction can be hard, but there are professional rehab facilities that can successfully treat both conditions.
What to Expect During Treatment for Trauma and Addiction in California
Treatment for trauma and addiction focuses on helping you process and recover from past traumatic experiences in a safe and supportive environment. While you are working on recovering from your trauma, you will engage in traditional addiction treatment methods that teach you how to cope with your emotions in a healthy way. This prevents you from feeling the need to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol in the future, allowing you to maintain long-term recovery.
During treatment, you can expect:
An Intimate, 6-Bed Residential Setting for Safety and Comfort
While most addiction treatment centers provide services to upwards of 50 patients at one time, Sheer Recovery embraces a 6-bed residential treatment model. This means that instead of sharing your recovery process with dozens of other patients, you will get more one-on-one time with your therapists and doctors, allowing a highly focused individualized treatment.
The 6-bed model is extremely beneficial for people who suffer from trauma. Trauma is difficult to talk about, especially when you are expected to discuss it in front of other clients. It is much easier to discuss traumatic experiences and emotions in smaller, more private spaces. The more you feel comfortable sharing, the faster you can heal.
Sheer Recovery provides you with an intimate setting that gives you a safe space to process and heal from your trauma.
Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of therapy that was originally created to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that is caused by experiencing traumatic events. EMDR is highly effective in helping people recover from the effects of their trauma without putting them at risk of re-traumatization.
During an EMDR session, your therapist will ask you to recall a traumatic memory while you follow their finger or pen. As your eyes follow their movements, this creates bilateral stimulation. Accessing these memories while making eye movements under guided instruction can help reduce the intensity of your emotions related to the memories.
EMDR therapy focuses directly on your trauma memories and changes the way the memory is stored in your brain, thereby reducing the problematic symptoms you experience as a result of your trauma. Sheer Recovery uses this type of therapy to help you cope with your trauma, removing your need to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
When you experience a traumatic event, you may begin to see the world differently. Where you used to feel safe and comfortable, you might now perceive threats to your safety. Additionally, you could begin to have a hard time forming close relationships with others out of fear of rejection, abandonment, or abuse.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of treatment that focuses on your relationship with thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Trauma can cause unhealthy patterns of thoughts and emotions, leading to adverse behaviors and reactions like substance abuse. Addiction treatment centers use CBT techniques to help you recognize negative patterns of thought and change them into positive ones by using healthy coping mechanisms and emotional regulation strategies.
Find Treatment for Trauma and Addiction in Orange County, California
If you or a loved one has a history of trauma and suffers from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, help is available.
Living with the memories of a traumatic event can be difficult, especially if you are using substances to self-medicate. Attending a trauma-informed addiction treatment program can help you recover from the effects of both your trauma and substance abuse, allowing you to live a happy and successful life.
At Sheer Recovery, our therapists treat each client with compassion and respect, developing trusting relationships with each individual so they feel safe in disclosing traumatic memories and their emotions. By offering a private, intimate treatment setting, we provide the most comforting and healing environment possible. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment program for trauma and addiction in Orange County, California.
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