Our clinical team will be continuously assessing every client who comes to Balboa Horizons for related underlying issues that may be contributing to the addictive behaviors.
One of the more commonly co-occurring issues we see is unresolved trauma. This trauma can be related to a wide variety of experiences (a few examples):
- Illness or injury
- Sexual abuse
- Physical assault
- Death/injury of a loved one
- Military service
- Vehicular accident
- Workplace related abuse
- Guilt over actions taken as a result of the addiction
The good news is that there’s a well-worn path to addressing past trauma. This process requires some work, but the payoff is incredible. Processing trauma can greatly improve the quality of someone’s life and relationships. Addressing trauma can also be critical in order for someone to maintain long-term abstinence from drugs or alcohol.
Addiction as a Coping Mechanism for Trauma
As you and your loved ones will learn from the treatment process, addictive behaviors are typically adopted as a means of self-medication to cope with life’s stressors (at least in the early stages of addiction – which can eventually become self-perpetuating due to mental and physical dependence).
When a client is receiving treatment at Balboa Horizons, our counselors will be continuously working to identify the underlying issues that contribute to substance abuse. Trauma is a factor that commonly presents itself during treatment. Studies have shown that over half of the individuals in treatment for addiction have experienced a traumatic event.
There are a wide variety of symptoms that someone has been through a traumatic event, like feeling:
Often sleep is disturbed as a result of past trauma as well. Many habit-forming substances can provide temporary relief for these symptoms, but they carry the risk of becoming an addiction
True Recovery Can Be Amazing (If All Issues are Addressed)
If you are reading this and are feeling overwhelmed due to struggles that you or a loved one is experiencing with trauma or addiction, it is important to remember that you are not alone and there is hope.
Millions of Americans live incredibly rewarding lives after seeking professional help for these issues and embracing a program of recovery.
The path back from addiction and trauma is well worn and considered “simple, but not easy.” The act of reaching out to a facility like ours for help has begun a chain reaction for many people that has lead to the reclamation of their lives and restoration of their families.
Treating Trauma and Addiction
When the person enters treatment and “comes out of the fog” of their addiction by halting the use, they are considered to be “in recovery.”
However, without addressing the underlying issues that initially contributed to the addictive behavior, the quality of life may not improve enough so that the person will continue their sobriety for an extended time. Successful and long-term recovery can hinge on addressing the traumatic events.
There are ways to “process” past traumatic events that can greatly enhance the experience of getting and remaining sober.
Some of the therapeutic processes employed at Balboa Horizons (and by providers we may refer to) include:
- “One on One” Counseling
- Group Therapy
- Experiential Therapies
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Mindfulness and Meditation
In some cases, specialized therapy sessions with clinicians who are not employed by Balboa Horizons may be recommended to a client when we think they will benefit from working with someone with specialized expertise.
Eventually, the individual in treatment has celebrated few key milestones of recovery and will be “stepping down” in the level of care to sober living environment and eventually returning home. Our counselors will work each individual to ensure that arrangements have been made for additional therapeutic support if necessary.