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Why Trauma-Informed Care Matters

For many years, the disease of addiction was seen and treated as a singular issue without proper cause or any contributing factor, confounding doctors and researchers alike. Today, we have a comprehensive understanding of what can contribute to the pain and suffering of addiction, from neuroscience to genetics to the experience of trauma.

Trauma is not taboo. Trauma is not uncommon. In fact, most people will experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime, meaning, trauma is actually one thing we can count on to have in common with others. According to the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

        • One in four children experiences maltreatment, either physical, sexual, or emotional.
        • One in four women experiences domestic violence.

The National Council cites that:

        • Fifty-nine percent of men and women will experience at least one ACE, adverse childhood experience, in their lifetime. Of that fifty-nine percent, nine percent will experience five or more ACEs.
        • Ninety percent of people who receive treatment in a public behavioral health clinic have experienced trauma. The same number applies to people who receive public mental health care.
        • Two-thirds of adults in addiction treatment experienced trauma through the forms of child abuse and neglect.
        • Seventy percent of teens who are in treatment for addiction have a history involving exposure to trauma.

As the statistics show, trauma is incredibly common among those who are experiencing substance use disorders, as well as mental illness, and is extremely prevalent among men, women, and teenagers who are seeking treatment for addiction. Since there is such a strong likelihood that a treatment center’s walls are surrounding individuals who have been exposed to, survived, and consequently lived with trauma, it is of critical importance that care be trauma-informed.

Elements Of Trauma-Informed Care

First, it is important to understand that trauma is a common experience that affects every area of an individual’s life, both internal and external. Internally, it can be difficult for those who have lived through trauma to even access traumatic memories in order to process them, talk about them, or understand them. In the case of substance use disorders, mind-altering substances have likely kept individuals away from their memories, the physical as well as mental feelings associated with traumatic memories. Upon entering sobriety through treatment, memories are raw and new, as are the feelings associated with them. People in this early stage of recovery also have little understanding of emotional regulation or management. Trauma-informed care means having compassion, patience, and understanding for all behaviors, actions, reactions, and responses coming from patients on the assumption that they may be inspired by untreated and unresolved trauma. Acting upon this assumption, trauma-informed care provides an environment of safety, security, and precaution built on the pillars of compassion, empathy, and understanding, fostering a peaceful place for complete healing. 



Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1296.

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If you or someone you love has a substance use or mental health disorder, Origins Behavioral HealthCare can help. We will work alongside you to provide the most comprehensive treatment available.