The causes of addiction are many. However, it’s important to address the underlying causes of addiction during treatment so the cycle of addiction does not continue once treatment concludes. Those who have developed a lifestyle of addiction due to self-medicating symptoms of trauma can benefit from a “seeking safety model” of treatment. Here at Mountainview Recovery, we offer this model of therapy for those who have developed addiction as a result of experiencing trauma.
Trauma is an event or series of events that evoke a negative, psychological response. Trauma can come in many forms including sexual assault, childhood neglect, combat and war, witnessing or being a victim of a violent crime, experiencing illness or accident, living through a natural disaster, and more. Effects of experiencing trauma can include nightmares, flashbacks of the event or events, avoidance behaviors, intense mood swings, and extreme paranoia and/or anxiety. While psychological methods like therapy and medication do work to help those living with the effects of trauma, many seek comfort in using substances to mask the pain.
Self-medicating symptoms of trauma with drugs or alcohol may be effective in escaping the pain for a short while, but, with long-term abuse, addiction often ensues. Plus, using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate can often make the effects of trauma worse. For example, because alcohol is a depressant, once it wears off, individuals may experience heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and sadness. And, using drugs and alcohol can increase the risk for self-harming behaviors. This makes an individual at a heightened risk of putting themselves in danger behind the wheel, getting into legal trouble, losing their job, and much more. Basically, drug use to mask the symptoms of trauma can lead to more traumatic circumstances. So, while addiction can be a result of self-medicating trauma, trauma can also be the result of addictive behaviors.
The seeking safety model is a method of therapy that helps individuals struggling with both addiction and the effects of trauma gain healing and management skills. Seeking safety therapy sessions may involve identifying traumatic experiences, teaching helpful coping skills to manage the effects of trauma, establishing basic techniques, and providing education. Some other characteristics of this type of therapy approach may include:
Those enrolled in or outpatient treatment approaches at Mountainview Recovery can utilize the seeking safety model therapy sessions. We understand that individuals living with the effects of trauma must develop coping skills. This way, they can work to establish long-term recovery. So, we offer individuals the chance to seek safety with this type of therapeutic approach. To learn more about our treatment programs or seeking safety model of therapy, contact us today and speak with an experienced addiction specialist. You can get the healing you need from both addiction and trauma. All you need is to take the first step!