Trauma: The Forgotten Partner of Substance Abuse Disorder

It’s true that Trauma is the forgotten partner of substance abuse disorder.

Most people who suffer from substance abuse disorder have dealt with some form of trauma in their lives, such as:

  • Childhood trauma
  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • PTSD
  • Rape victims
  • Neglect
  • Homelessness
  • and many more…

These types of trauma may not necessarily be the cause of the substance abuse disorder, but it is most definitely a mitigating factor in it.

Trauma and Substance Abuse Disorder

Some detox or residential treatment programs can be effective in helping clients overcome the physical addiction through medical detox, or by offering a variety of therapies to help the client re-enter life.

But many do not deal with the mental health aspects or other underlying mitigating issues that might be exacerbating the substance abuse disorder.

From personal experience as a detox and residential treatment facility, we have seen a growing number of facilities taking a slight shift in their modalitities and philosophies when dealing with people suffering from substance abuse disorder.

The shift seems to be trending more to a “mental health primary” with substance abuse issues as an adjunct to the former.

The Shift to Mental Health

Iris Healing® in Woodland Hills, CA has shifted our focus from primarily detox and residential to a mental health dual diagnosis treatment center focused on utilizing different modalities of treatment philosophies to better serve our clients who are considered dual-diagnosed or dealing with co-occurring disorders.

In fact, we have opened multiple facilities focusing on the different mental health issues coupled with substance abuse disorder.

Trauma and Substance Abuse Disorder

Approximately 50% of people who suffer from severe mental disorders are affected by substance disorders too.

Nearly 37% of alcohol abusers, and 53% of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness (Joanna Sailsan. M.S.W, Melinda Smith, M.A., Lawrence Robinson, and Jeanne Segal Ph.D., HelpGuide, 2018).

It is safe to say that a majority of people suffering from substance abuse disorder are also suffering from some sort of mental health issues including:

  • Trauma
  • Eating disorders
  • PTSD
  • Self-mutilation
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression

According to HelpGuide, alcohol and drugs are often used to self-medicate the symptoms of mental health problems.

Unfortunately, the practice of self-medication to alleviate the mental health issues ultimately amplifies the issues and makes the underling mental health issues worse.

Depression and anxiety are closely linked to substance abuse, and what started out as a way of easing the symptoms of depression or anxiety only heightens these problems and can lead into more severe and damaging mental health issues.

With this new understanding of the close link between substance abuse and mental health issues, more and more facilities are incorporating therapies to directly address the co-occurring disorders.

Therapies like EEG or biofeedback are proving instrumental in helping clients identify underlying mental health issues and allow them to focus on co-occurring disorders simultaneously.

When you come to Iris Healing®, you’ll receive a thorough evaluation by one of our experienced professionals. Drawing upon these results, together we will collaborate to provide an individualized therapy plan to fit your specific needs.

For more information about getting started with our trauma and addiction treatment program or any of our other healing programs, simply give us a call at (844)663-4747 for a risk-free, complementary phone evaluation.