Many of those who have experienced trauma in the past face issues with substance use. Trying to break free of an addiction to drugs and alcohol while working through underlying trauma can require the help of a professional trauma treatment program.
Casco Bay Recovery’s dual diagnosis treatment center offers trauma treatment alongside substance use disorder treatment programs. When you’re ready to begin the road to lifelong recovery, connect with our treatment team.
If you’re looking for a trauma treatment center in Portland, Maine, contact Casco Bay Recovery. Reach out to our team online or call us at 844.940.4407 to ask about our trauma treatment program in Portland, Maine.
What Are the Signs of Trauma?
The severity of the traumatic event doesn’t increase the chances that the individual will require admittance into a trauma treatment center. Traumatic experiences frequently involve life-threatening situations but any incident that leaves someone feeling completely overwhelmed and alone can induce trauma. However, the more terror and helplessness someone feels, the more likely it is that they will be traumatized.
Many individuals experience strong physical or emotional reactions immediately after the traumatic event. These feelings will dissipate over some time. However, some will develop issues such as acute stress disorder or PTSD. Some of the most common signs of trauma may include the following:
- Anxiety, depression, and panic attacks
- Avoidance of everything that reminds them of the traumatic event
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
- Complaints of aches and pains throughout the body
- Concentration and memory problems
- Confusion and disorientation
- Extreme alertness, easily startled, and edgy
- Emotional numbness and emotional shock
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Fear, guilt, and shame
- Intrusive thoughts
- Irritability, anger, and mood swings
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyable hobbies and activities
- Nightmares and flashbacks about the traumatic event
- Obsessive and compulsive behaviors
- Sexual dysfunction
- Social isolation and detachment from relationships and responsibilities
What Is Trauma-Informed Treatment?
Casco Bay Recovery offers trauma treatment, which means that we take a trauma-informed approach to everything we do. We work to avoid retraumatizing clients and take trauma into account when creating treatment plans.
Trauma-informed care is an approach that assumes that a client is more likely than not to have a history of trauma. Trauma-informed care recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role a client’s trauma may play in their life.
In the bigger picture, trauma-informed care involved maintaining an organizational culture that emphasizes respecting and responding appropriately to a client’s trauma.
Trauma-informed care provides treatment in a way that is accessible and appropriate to clients with trauma. Without a trauma-informed approach, staff members can trigger or exacerbate trauma symptoms and re-traumatize clients.
Can Trauma Be Treated at a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Rehab Center?
If a client struggles with both trauma-induced issues and a substance use disorder, they will need to be treated for both at the same time. For this to happen, they will need to get admitted into a program at a dual diagnosis treatment rehab center.
Addiction is a chronic disease that develops slowly. Sometimes, people experiencing extreme emotional and physical discomfort due to a traumatic event may deal with their pain by self-medicating and forming an addiction.
A substance use disorder and trauma-based issues feed on each other until they all spin out of control. Changes in the behavior of people with trauma resulting from their eventual substance use disorder will likely result in them being diagnosed later rather than sooner.
For co-occurring mental issues that include substance use disorder, a two-pronged approach is needed. To heal, clients need to have both the underlying condition and addiction treated simultaneously to avoid relapse.
Casco Bay Recovery’s Trauma Treatment Program in Portland, Maine
Searching for a trauma treatment center in Portland, Maine? Contact Casco Bay Recovery’s team online or call us at 844.940.4407.
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Trauma and Addiction Treatment
The human body is an amazing wonder of creation. It has built-in features that greatly ensure survival even in the direst of situations. This includes an impressive stress response to help deal with intense situations in life, giving people a coping mechanism to help them survive the experience both mentally and physically.
There are, however, instances where the event is simply too much even for the built-in coping mechanism, and the person is not able to cope. This is where the experience leads to trauma. What makes it even worse is that it could lead to someone experimenting with drugs and alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate the underlying issues.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is the result of the body’s coping mechanism being unable to properly process a distinctly disturbing occurrence that leaves a profound sense of fear and helplessness in the person. The experience severely limits a person’s emotional response to it, often leaving only fear and anger.
Trauma affects practically everyone, from simple everyday people to emergency workers all the way to battle-hardened soldiers. An instance that leads to trauma, in fact, does not need to be on the level of war, severe accident, or major disaster to become traumatic.
Trauma is completely subjective to people; what is traumatic to one person could be something another is capable of coping with. There are generally instances that many describe as traumatic, and a few or many could have similar responses to it, but the severity of the traumatic effect is based solely on the actual response of the person experiencing it.
The Importance of Treating Trauma
Regardless of how severe a person’s response is to trauma, the mere fact that it is established that it is traumatic to a person makes it imperative that the person receive help or treatment for it.
Trauma tends to stay deep-seated in a person and could be hidden for quite some time until a specific trigger brings it out. Conversely, it could also lay hidden deep within a person while it slowly causes subtle changes that eventually escalate over time to severe responses or behavioral effects.
Two of the most prominent results of untreated trauma are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse.
Some would argue that it is actually the PTSD that led the person to develop substance abuse, although it could really be a chicken-or-the-egg scenari. The reality is that substance abuse is merely the outcome of untreated trauma.
Trauma and How it Relates to PTSD
PTSD is something mostly attributed to soldiers and people who have been through something as severe as an actual war. This is because everyone agrees that war is one of the most horrible events to ever happen to people, with the damage affecting both mind and body.
PTSD, however, is what really happens when the trauma one experienced becomes so severe that it unconsciously affects how one behaves and thinks. As different people see things differently and react to things differently, it doesn’t take a war for someone to experience trauma so severe that it leads to PTSD.
This condition is actually far more serious than most people think it is. The realm of the human mind is still too complex to completely map out, which is why medical professionals are still unable to list down all the possible reasons why people develop PTSD.
So far, doctors have tried to isolate a few general possible reasons why people develop PTSD, including:
- Intense experiences they are unable to properly understand and cope with personally
- Genetic predisposition to develoingp mental issues, such as severe anxiety and depression, both of which are believed to either influence or stem from trauma
- Inherent personality traits that could dictate how a person responds to stress, and how well they deal with it as well
- Physiological makeup, particularly how the body regulates the hormones and chemicals that are released during times of stress
These four areas only serve to provide a general basis for a person to develop PTSD, but are in no way the only possible reasons for trauma to occur.
Trauma and How it Leads to Addiction
There is a general argument as to whether the development of substance abuse is an acquired coping mechanism in response to trauma, or if it is actually a symptom of trauma or PTSD. Whichever the case may be, addiction and trauma co-occurring together are not uncommon.
A massive amount of people who served in the armed forces are known to have developed one form of substance abuse or another in response to what they experienced in combat.
While many have indeed been properly trained to handle situations and respond to them the way a member of the armed forces would respond, it does not remove the fact that their humanity did suffer significantly from it.
Many service people admitted that while the doctrine of defending the homeland is strongly rooted in them, allowing them to muster the courage and determination to do what needs to be done, they spend sleepless nights and experience waking nightmares from the experience.
As all of this is simply too much, substances become a way to escape the pain and anxiety, or at least become a temporary shelter for them as their minds go numb for a while after taking drugs or alcohol.
Engaging in substance abuse does not spare even those who were deemed as not likely to fall into it. It has claimed even those who have been evaluated as having a strong sense of self and relative mental stability before experience trauma.
What are Treatment Options for Co-Occurring Trauma and Addiction?
Medical professionals are calling for a deeper understanding and study of co-occurring trauma and substance abuse disorder as both have factors that intersect when it comes to evaluation.
Data taken from rehabilitation and treatment centers reveal that an alarming number of people being assessed for substance abuse disorder also meet the criteria for people with a high likelihood of suffering from trauma.
The study, however, has not come up with any empirical conclusion that could lead to the best course of treatment that could be viable for both conditions.
With both substance abuse disorder and trauma having direct links and effects on a person’s behavior and thinking process, treatment for both conditions has taken the same avenue as well; that of addressing how a person thinks and is most likely to react relevantly to triggers to their condition.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Trauma and Addiction
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a psychological treatment method that seeks to remove the complexity of psychological issues by clustering the ways of addressing them into simpler ways:
- Psychological issues are mostly or partly based on faulty and harmful ways of thinking
- Psychological issues are mostly or partly based on learned patterns of harmful behavior
- There is a way for people with psychological issues to learn better coping mechanisms and responses to their issues
Taken as a whole cohesive approach, CBT takes a more direct route to change the way a person thinks relative to how they deal with stress and problems. Instead of the existing thought patterns that either lead them to substance abuse or other harmful practices, CBT seeks to redirect their thinking to lead to actions that may produce more productive and safer results.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Medical professionals now understand that many conditions are often intertwined or lead to one another. In the case of trauma, PTSD and substance abuse could both manifest together or one after the other. It is important to treat both and not simply hope that treating one condition will also fix the other.
This treatment method looks at the interaction between PTSD and addiction, what conditions make the treatment of both more problematic, and what could increase the risks inherent in both conditions.
This approach takes into account the sensitive nature of having a substance dependency while also suffering from a form of mental health disorder.
This is important to note because the condition could have reached the severity where the substance abuse is the only thing preventing the person from doing something even more harmful, such as suicide. This is particularly true if depression happens to be a factor.
This is why dual diagnosis treatment addresses both conditions simultaneously, as it is imperative to ensure that the treatment of one condition does not worsen the other, as the patient is already in a precarious state of mind, to begin with.
Let the Medical Professionals at Casco Bay Help You Deal with Both Truama and Substance Abuse
Dealing with both mental issues and substance abuse issue requires sensitive and careful attention. The delicate and problematic nature of the two conditions needs undivided attention and treatment. This is particularly true when it comes to trauma and addiction recovery.
At Casco Bay Recovery we develop treatment programs that address underlying conditions related to each individual case. For dual diagnosis we make sure we are treating each condition so we are targeting specific issues and symptoms with both disorders in mind. We look to treat each person as an individual with unique, specific needs. We can develop a program that works for you or a loved one. Contact our team today to learn more.