Understanding Trauma and its Role in Addiction Treatment

May 25, 2023 - Clinical Report

Medically Reviewed by Mike Iwinski

Trauma in Addiction Treatment - Our Trauma-Informed Approach
Written By

Trauma is a deeply impactful experience that can have long-lasting adverse effects on an individual’s physical and emotional well-being. Recognizing the pervasive nature of trauma in addiction treatment is crucial, as traumatic experiences, particularly those occurring during childhood, have been linked to substance use disorders (SUDs).

In addition, SUDs often coexist with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mood-related psychopathologies. To address these complex issues, a trauma-informed approach to care is essential. DreamLife Recovery, a leading addiction treatment center, understands the significance of trauma and integrates trauma-informed care into their comprehensive treatment model.

The Pervasiveness of Trauma in Addiction Treatment:

SAMSHA defines trauma as an event, series of events, or circumstances that are physically or emotionally harmful or threatening, leading to lasting adverse effects on an individual’s functioning. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) highlights the strong connection between exposure to traumatic experiences and the development of substance use disorders, including abuse and dependence. Childhood traumatization, in particular, has been found to be closely associated with SUDs, as well as with the occurrence of PTSD. These findings emphasize the critical need for trauma-informed care in addiction treatment settings.

Understanding the Trauma-Informed Model of Care:

The trauma-informed model of care acknowledges the pervasive nature of trauma and aims to create healing environments rather than employing traditional practices and services. DreamLife Recovery recognizes that individuals seeking addiction treatment are likely to have a history of trauma and, therefore, adopts an integrated approach that actively resists re-traumatization. By incorporating trauma-informed care principles, the treatment center prioritizes safety, trustworthiness, peer support, collaboration, empowerment, and an understanding of cultural, historical, and gender issues.

Trauma Informed Care

Challenges in Substance Use Treatment:

Substance use treatment often presents challenges, as clients and their families may have limited information and understanding about addiction and its treatment. DreamLife Recovery strives to address these challenges by working closely with clients and their families to ensure informed decision-making in a supportive and nurturing environment. By providing comprehensive education and resources, our treatment center empowers clients to actively participate in their recovery journey.

Our Multidisciplinary Trauma-Informed Approach:

DreamLife Recovery has a multidisciplinary team of professionals who possess extensive knowledge and experience in trauma and trauma-informed care. This team includes nurses, doctors, liaisons, peer specialists, case managers, and therapeutic staff who engage clients in various interventions to soothe their nervous systems and facilitate trauma work. While medication and medical interventions play a crucial role in the initial stages of treatment, the center also offers holistic services such as adventure therapy, yoga, and sound healing, which provide additional support to individuals with trauma histories. For those who require further trauma processing, DreamLife Recovery offers evidence-based modalities like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Brain Spotting, and somatic psychotherapy.

Trauma and Addiction Treatment:

Trauma plays a significant role in addiction treatment, with a high prevalence of trauma histories among individuals seeking help for substance use disorders. Recognizing the impact of trauma and implementing trauma-informed care principles are vital to providing effective and comprehensive treatment. DreamLife Recovery is committed to creating a safe and supportive environment that addresses the complex needs of individuals with trauma histories, promoting healing, and empowering them to achieve lasting recovery.

Seeking Help for Addiction and Trauma at DreamLife Recovery

If you’re struggling with addiction and trauma, you don’t have to face it alone. DreamLife Recovery is here to support your journey toward long-term sobriety. Our specialized approach incorporates trauma-informed care, recognizing the profound impact of trauma on substance use disorders.

Take the first step toward healing by contacting us at (855) 384-5808. Our caring team is ready to guide you on your recovery journey. You don’t have to face addiction and trauma alone—let DreamLife Recovery help you achieve lasting wellness and a brighter future.

Contact DreamLife Recovery - Trauma Informed Care Facility


Medical Reviewer:

Mike Iwinski:

Mike Iwinski has a master’s in human services counseling and executive leadership and an undergraduate is in history with a minor in Ancient Greek and significant coursework in education and religion.

Mike has worked with people struggling with all kinds of addictions and MH concerns, including PTSD, trauma, childhood sexual abuse and with those struggling with compulsive and shame based sexual behaviors. Utilizing both traditional and holistic modalities, Mike seeks to meet clients where they are in their recovery. Mike practices CBT, ACT, EMDR, somatic psychotherapy, sound healing, and engages clients utilizing the polyvagal theory.