Trauma-Informed Intensive Outpatient Program in MA
Trauma has a much more significant impact on us than many people like to admit. No matter how long ago we encountered a traumatic event, our trauma can stay with us and manifest in unsuspecting ways. Only when we can process and address our trauma can we move forward into a truly healed state of being.
Many people struggling with substance use disorder benefit from an intensive outpatient program (IOP) to help them navigate sobriety and heal long-term. During an IOP, many patients discover that part of the reason behind their substance misuse is unresolved trauma that affects how they interact with the world and process difficult situations.
Trauma-informed IOPs are crucial for many people healing from substance misuse. If you are looking for a trauma-informed IOP in MA, it’s crucial to understand how trauma affects your life and influences substance misuse and how an IOP addiction treatment in MA can help you.
How Does Trauma Affect the Way I React to the World?
Trauma affects how you interact with the world in numerous ways, primarily impacting your emotional, physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and developmental well-being. Below are some examples for each category to help you understand the major ways in which trauma can contribute to your substance use disorder.
Individuals recovering from severe trauma face numerous challenges in managing their emotions. Some people experience emotional “numbing” in the aftermath of trauma, where they feel that their thoughts, behaviors, or memories are separate from their emotions.
Additionally, Emotional dysregulation is common among people that have experienced trauma. Emotional dysregulation occurs when trauma survivors struggle to regulate their emotions and manage emotional responses after trauma. Many trauma survivors who are experiencing emotional dysregulation turn to substance misuse. Substance use disorder is often a strategy for trauma survivors to regulate their emotions, though their abuse causes more damage long-term.
Trauma goes beyond psychological damage and can cause harm to your physical well-being. Untreated trauma can lead to bodily pain, sleep disturbances, cardiovascular disorders, respiratory conditions, and neurological challenges, to name a few. Additionally, trauma can lead to physical harm manifested in substance use disorders.
Traumatic situations challenge your long-held beliefs and assumptions about the world, causing you to interact with the world around you differently. The following list explains some cognitive changes that might occur after a traumatic event.
- Cognitive errors, where the traumatized individual misinterprets situations because of a perceived resemblance to the traumatic event
- Excessive feelings of misplaced guilt over the traumatic event
- Idealization of the perpetrator
- Hallucinations or delusions
- Intrusive thoughts or memories
- Feeling different from those around you
- Experiencing triggers and flashbacks
- Dissociation, depersonalization, or derealization
Your mind and body often cope with trauma through harmful and toxic behaviors. You may turn to self-injurious behaviors or place yourself in high-risk situations. Some individuals will subconsciously reenact their traumatic experiences to gain control over the situation.
Additionally, you might attempt to reduce traumatic stress by binge drinking or misusing substances. Substance use commonly develops or worsens after experiencing trauma, and individuals struggling with substance misuse before a traumatic event are likely to rely more on these substances after the event. How one misuses substances often correlates with the type of trauma symptoms they are experiencing, but the intention is always to self-medicate and avoid trauma in some way.
Trauma typically impacts your relationships in some way and might cause damage to your relationships with friends and family members you were close with before the event. Trauma survivors might isolate themselves or find great difficulty in trusting other people. The constant paranoia over charging other people and social isolation resulting from trauma often leads to trauma survivors misusing substances.
Traumatic experiences impact people differently based on their age group, with children and the elderly at the highest risk of developmental damage from trauma. Below are a few ways that trauma impacts different age groups.
- Young children: fear, nightmares, confusion, physical symptoms including stomachaches and headaches
- School-age children: aggressive behavior, anger, regressive behavior, traumatic play, lack of concentration, poor academic performance
- Adolescents: depression, social withdrawal, risky activities, sleep and eating disturbances, rebellious behaviors
- Adults: sleep problems, increased agitation, hypervigilance, isolation, withdrawal, increased misuse of drugs and alcohol
- Older adults/elderly: withdrawal, social isolation, reluctance to leave the house, confusion, depression, fear, worsening chronic illnesses
What is the Connection Between Trauma and Addiction?
Traumatic experiences commonly head to addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. PTSD results from highly traumatic situations, and the side effects of PTSD often cause people to turn to alcohol or substances to help escape the aftermath of trauma. An intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization program (PHP) can help you navigate substance misuse and PTSD to address trauma’s impact on your well-being.
Individual trauma survivors are more likely than those around them to struggle with substance misuse throughout their lives before and after a PTSD diagnosis. For instance, the statistics below show the strong connection between trauma and substance misuse.
- One-quarter to three-quarters of people surviving abuse or violent trauma encounter problematic alcohol use.
- Around 80 percent of Vietnam veterans receiving PTSD treatment have alcohol use disorders.
- Men and women with past sexual trauma experience substance misuse at higher rates than men and women without sexual trauma
- Adolescents with PTSD are four times more likely than adolescents without PTSD to encounter alcohol misuse or dependence. They are six times as likely to encounter marijuana misuse or dependence and nine times as likely to misuse and depend on substances.
What Types of Traumatic Events are Connected to Substance Misuse?
While not one specific event connects trauma and substance misuse, many individuals turn to substances to help them cope with highly traumatic experiences. For instance, traumatic events, including sexual assault, exposure to a violent crime, child abuse, disasters, wars, or witnessing another person die, are common triggers for substance use disorders.
Finding Trauma-Informed IOP in MA
If you are seeking trauma-informed IOP or PHP in MA, you can find help with Northstar Recovery Center. Northstar Recovery Center has numerous programs to help you understand the connection between trauma and substance misuse and heal in a compassionate and welcoming environment.
Trauma-informed IOP is crucial to your overall recovery process. Contact the experts at Northstar Recovery Center for more information about trauma-informed IOP in MA.
Partial Hospitalization Program in Southborough, MA
Our partial hospitalization program in Southborough, Massachusetts is the highest level of care we offer. This addiction treatment option includes clinical care and behavioral therapies. During the early days of recovery from addiction, it’s essential to have support for both the physical and emotional challenges you might face. Our team at Northstar Recovery Center in Massachusetts will help you build a strong foundation for lifelong recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. Typically, clients come to our addiction treatment center each weekday for several hours of counseling sessions and other interventions as needed.
Intensive Outpatient Program in Southborough, MA
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) in Southborough, MA does not require 24/7 residency at a facility, but it demands more of your time than a regular outpatient program. It is ideal for those who need a higher level of care but are okay being at home. This way the individual can still live their life while getting counseling and support that is still needed in early recovery from substance use disorder.
Individual, Group, and Family Counseling in Massachusetts
Addiction thrives in isolation, which is why group counseling sessions are a foundational part of our addiction treatment plans. In group sessions, you’ll gain perspective on your struggles with substance abuse and can connect with others who understand your experiences. Family counseling can help your loved ones understand the disease of addiction, navigate conflict, and build healthier relationships. In individual counseling sessions, you’ll be able to work through personal issues like past trauma with the help of an experienced therapist.