It’s likely not too shocking that trauma and addiction are intertwined. In fact, trauma has been linked with drug abuse as well as with overeating, compulsive sexual behavior, and other types of addiction. And the connection is most profound among the female population: As many as 80 percent of women seeking treatment for drug abuse report lifetime histories of sexual and/or physical assault.
The statistics are indeed heartbreaking — but they also highlight the importance of addressing trauma alongside addiction treatment to help women overcome the underlying issues fueling self-destructive behavior as well as the co-occurring mental problems that arise from the trauma itself. For example, women with a history of sexual and physical trauma are often struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, too.
Luckily, there’s hope as more research continues to investigate gender difference in addiction treatment as well as the way in which trauma can impact recovery.
According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), trauma-informed addiction treatment for women should address six main principles:
2. Trustworthiness and transparency
3. Peer support
4. Collaboration and mutuality
5. Empowerment, voice, and choice
6. Cultural, historical, and gender issues
If you’re looking for trauma-informed treatment for yourself or for someone you love, SAMHSA advises looking for a program, organization, or system that:
- Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery
- Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system
- Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices
- Seeks to actively resist re-traumatization
Finding the Help You Need
The Willows at Red Oak Recovery? is a clinically dynamic, trauma-informed treatment center. In helping women to recover from the impact of trauma in their lives, we utilize an integrated approach based on theory, research, and clinical experience. To learn more, call: 828.382.9699.