Trauma and Addictive Disease


Trauma Synapses.

 This article focuses on how trauma, particularly when manifested as PTSD, increases the likelihood of addictive disorder. Trauma alters the brain, causing biological impacts in addition to psychological ones. Accordingly, the article adopts a bio/psycho/socio/spiritual/experiential model for addressing trauma given its co-mingling relationship with addiction. Given this co-mingling feature of PTSD, the author recommends integrated treatment for addiction that is sensitive to trauma. The timing of trauma across the victim’s life-cycle plays an important role in determining how to treat PTSD and addictive disorders.

The impact of trauma is often seen primarily through a psychological lens. Without question, traumatic events change a woman’s psychological landscape. However, trauma also changes her brain. Unfortunately, these changes, particularly if they eventually express themselves through post traumatic stress disorder, make it more likely that she will develop an addictive disorder and will make that disorder more difficult to treat. This workshop will examine the co-mingling nature of PTSD and addiction from a biological, psychological, social, and spiritual point of view. In addition, the workshop will examine the implications of the timing of trauma across a woman’s life cycle focusing on childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Given the above, the importance of trauma sensitive treatment cannot be overstated. Consequently, the workshop will also review basic treatment models which address trauma and addictive disease within the framework of the bio/psycho/socio/spiritual experience for model.

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