Benefits of Seeking Safety & Trauma-focused Therapies
Since AAC offers a full spectrum of dual diagnosis treatment services to each client based upon his/her individual needs as assessed through comprehensive evaluations at admission, our clinicians formulate each integrated treatment plan based on the client’s needs, strengths, preferences and experiences. This treatment plan, which will be evaluated throughout the client’s participation in the program, can address certain issues that may play a role in his/her behaviors, such as traumatic experiences and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
After traumatic experiences, the human system of self-preservation goes on permanent alert, as if danger might return at any moment.
Trauma-focused Therapy — Treatment Definition
Since many individuals with substance abuse issues have used substances (alcohol, drugs, food) to escape or “numb” the pain of past traumatic events or co-occurring PTSD, one component of our AAC dual diagnosis curriculum is the use of trauma-focused treatment modalities.
Exposure to traumatic experiences, especially those occurring in childhood, has been linked to substance use disorders, including abuse and dependence. Substance use disorders are highly co-morbid with PTSD and other mood-related psychopathology. The link between trauma exposure and substance abuse has been well established.
According to studies at Emory University (as reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine), traumatic life experience, such as physical/sexual abuse and neglect, occurs at alarmingly high rates and is considered a major public health problem in the United States. Early trauma exposure is known to significantly increase risk for a number of psychiatric disorders in adulthood, although many who had childhood trauma exposure are quite resilient. Ample evidence has shown that childhood trauma compromises neural structure and function, rendering an individual susceptible to later cognitive deficits and psychiatric illnesses, including schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and substance abuse.
For example, in the National Survey of Adolescents, teens with a history of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and sexual assault were three times more likely to report past or current substance abuse than those without a history of trauma. In surveys of adolescents receiving treatment for substance abuse, more than 70% of patients had a history of trauma exposure.