Addressing Difficult Childhood in Addiction Treatment
Merriam-Webster defines Trauma as: “A very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time.”
Trauma can stem from abuse, neglect or other painful experiences. Its implications for treatment are a widely researched topic.
The CDC and Kaiser Permanente performed physical exams on more than 17,000 HMO members. The members were also surveyed about their childhood experience and current health status. Many follow-up studies with varied populations reinforce these findings.
There is a significant relationship between adverse childhood experiences and substance abuse behaviors. Findings for individuals with many ACE’s includes:
- Early initiation of alcohol use.
Illicit drug use.
Simply put- people with traumatic childhoods use alcohol and drugs to cope with emotional pain.
Drugs and alcohol are very effective at helping to soothe anxieties in the beginning. But over time, the substances become the primary method of coping. This causes more problems for the people who overuse them. For many this cycle results in addiction.
Abusing substances to escape a difficult past will often lead more trauma.
Identifying trauma early in the assessment process is the “Gold Standard” in SUD treatment. Treatment Planning needs to incorporate simultaneous SUD and trauma therapy. Clients often needlessly suffer when their trauma is not treated with their addiction.
For those seeking treatment in these circumstances, the Champion Center’s multidisciplinary treatment team assesses and treats trauma, utilizing a wide variety of treatment modalities. We address each client’s unique circumstances in an individualized plan.