Exploring the Link Between Trauma and Addiction: How to Address Both


Trauma and addiction have a complicated relationship. They can both cause problems in your life and make it harder for you to function effectively. In addition, trauma often leads people to seek out substances or behaviors that can be addictive if they’re not careful. However, there is also evidence that trauma treatment programs can help people heal from addiction—and vice versa. Dr. Charles Nopliswill explore how trauma impacts addiction and why incorporating both forms of treatment into an individual’s path toward recovery is so important for their success in achieving long-term sobriety

Trauma impacts the brain in ways that can make it hard to be present.

Trauma can cause changes in the brain that make it hard to be present.

Trauma victims often experience PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), a mental illness characterized by anxiety, flashbacks and nightmares. These symptoms are caused by changes in the brain chemistry that occur after trauma exposure. In addition to these symptoms, many people also develop addiction problems as a way of coping with their pain–and sometimes this happens even if they never used drugs before their trauma occurred!

Incorporating trauma therapy into addiction treatment helps patients learn more effective coping strategies.

Trauma therapy can be an important part of addiction treatment. Trauma therapy focuses on helping people learn how to cope with stress in a healthy way, which can be difficult for people who are experiencing trauma or have experienced trauma in the past. The goal of trauma therapy is for patients to feel safe enough that they can begin learning new ways of coping with their emotions and thoughts. It also helps them learn how to trust again after being betrayed by someone close (or anyone).

Trauma-informed care includes incorporating strategies from both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) into treatment plans, as well as other techniques that focus on addressing issues related to traumatic experiences such as grief management and social skills training.

Addiction treatment programs can address trauma, but they don’t always do so effectively.

As you may have guessed, trauma treatment should be incorporated into addiction treatment. However, it’s important to note that the relationship between trauma and addiction is complex–and a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work for everyone.

A study published in Addiction highlights how effective treatment programs can incorporate trauma therapy into their existing models of care (e.g., 12-step programs). This can benefit both individuals who are seeking treatment for substance abuse and those who don’t have any history of mental health issues but want help overcoming their addiction(s).

Addressing trauma along with addiction is the best way to help people heal from both problems and become productive members of society again

Addressing trauma along with addiction is the best way to help people heal from both problems and become productive members of society again. Trauma affects everyone differently, but it often leads to addiction. Trauma therapy can help people get past their trauma and live a healthy, happy life.


It’s clear that both trauma and addiction are serious problems that need to be addressed by our society. Fortunately, there are many ways in which these two issues can be addressed together. If you or someone you know is struggling with both issues, it’s important to seek out treatment options that offer both types of therapy–and if they don’t exist locally then consider traveling elsewhere!

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