Healing from Trauma and Addiction

“We can all help prevent suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).”
Traumatic events can lead to substance use as a way to cope with emotional or physical pain. In treatment, a person needs to work through past trauma to identify what contributed to his or her addiction and reveal any underlying mental health conditions that may have developed. Healing from trauma and addiction helps a person in recovery.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Trauma means experiencing, witnessing, or being threatened with an event or events that involve actual serious injury, a threat to the physical integrity of one’s self or others, or possible death. The responses to these events include intense fear, helplessness, or horror.”
People who experienced past trauma turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. This includes emergency response personnel, veterans and those who serve in the armed forces, people grieving the death of a loved one, and victims of abuse. The US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of health states, “Exposure to traumatic experiences, especially those occurring in childhood, has been linked to substance use disorders (SUDs), including abuse and dependence.”
Childhood trauma can put a person at risk of developing an addiction or harmful addictive behavior. Childhood trauma can lead to deeper, more intense psychological trauma. When a child goes through traumatic events without resolve, he or she experiences fear, helplessness, anxiety, and despair that continues into adulthood. Childhood trauma can be caused by sexual, physical, verbal and emotional abuse, neglect, violence, death of a parent, or serious illness.
Working through past trauma helps a person understand why he or she developed an addiction and reveals any mental health conditions that contributed to the addiction. When the cause is identified, the person can get the right treatment.
If you or a loved one is battling trauma and addiction, get help now. Past trauma leads to depression, anxiety, and fear. Many people turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with feelings from traumatic experiences. Substance abuse is harmful to physical and mental health and leads to addiction, which puts you at high risk of overdose or early death.

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