trauma and addiction

Trauma and addiction tend to go hand in hand. As a disease, substance dependency (addiction) finds it’s origin in past trauma. Understanding that people struggling with addiction as a disease and are most likely victims of trauma, maybe we can be compassionate towards them. Recovery is possible if we treat the root of the disease, not just the symptoms.

Through the decades of working with clients, who struggle with trauma and addiction for their freedom through recovery I have learned that more often than not, they are also running from past life memories of traumatic experiences. They lack strong coping skills, therefore turning to avoidance rather than dealing with life’s issues head-on.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that more than a third of adolescents with a report of abuse or neglect will have a substance use disorder before they reach their 18th birthday (Behavioural consequences of child abuse ). The reality of trauma is that it can come from anywhere and manifest in a variety of physical and psychological symptoms.

What do I mean when I write the word trauma? When a person fears for their safety, experiences intense pain, or witnesses a tragic or violent act, that person…

Read more: Trauma And Addiction: How To Be Compassionate

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opioid epidemic

The blame game is alive and well, but we need to stop blaming others. The opioid epidemic grows while we as a society are blaming others and judging those who are addicted to the opioid drugs. We must work together for a viable resolution to this epidemic, and here are my suggestions.

It appears to be human nature for us to want to find a reason, cause, or another person to blame for something that has happened to us or to a loved one. Think of how easy it is for us to throw blame around when we are caught practically red-handed in an act. How did we learn this?

The blame game has been with us since our earliest days of childhood. As a child, we tried the excuse that someone else made me do it to see if that excuse would work. Depending on your childhood it had varying success, yet any time that it worked we learned that blaming was a viable excuse. As we've grown into adulthood many of us continue to use this excuse.

Many of my clients want to find who is to blame for the way they are today. They are convinced that if…

Read more: How To Stop Blaming Others For The Opioid Epidemic

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opioid crisis

We've seen the opioid crisis get worse with more people addicted and more overdose deaths reported. Addiction is a family disease as the effects of the addiction impact the family unit. Here's how families can cope when one of their own is addicted. 

As the opioid crisis continues to get worse, more and more families are affected by addiction and are seeking ways to cope with a situation that places any family in a crisis mode. Even the healthiest of families find their world turned upside down when needing to deal with a family member suffering from addiction. I have worked in the addiction field for a couple decades and have seen the positive outcomes of recovery and have witnessed how families have gone from their lowest points to becoming healthy and whole. I am not saying this is easy, but I am saying it is possible.

Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug and alcohol seeking and use that is compulsive and difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. Even though addiction is classified as a disease not unlike any other medical disease, many in our society continue to view addiction as a moral failing and a choice rather…

Read more: How To Cope When A Family Member Is Addicted

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addiction is a family illness

Nowadays, the unfortunate reality is that many of us have been affected in some way by addiction. We personally may not be the person suffering from the addiction but odds are there is someone in your family or circle of friends who either is currently addicted or is working on a program of recovery. The latest opioid crisis has brought addiction to the spotlight, but addiction as a problem has been around for decades.

More and more families are affected by addiction and are seeking ways to cope with a situation that places any family in a crisis mode. Even the healthiest of families find their world turned upside down when needing to deal with a family member suffering from addiction. I have worked in the addiction field for a couple decades and have seen the positive outcomes of recovery and have witnessed how families have gone from their lowest points to becoming healthy and whole. I am not saying this is easy, but I am saying it is possible.

Before I get into discussing the impact that addiction has on a family and what the family can do to cope with the addiction, I would like to offer a…

Read more: How To Cope When Addiction Runs In The Family

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{eds. note: This is a guest blog written by counselor Catherine McConnell. Click here for her website.}

Everyone knows that “drugs are bad, mmkay.” We’ve all heard it, “just say no,” “addiction is a disease,” and it has been glamorized for our entertainment in shows like “Intervention.” But what if it was more than that? What if I told you, that I can assist in treating addiction without EVER uttering a word about the drug?

I work with mandated Child Protective Services (CPS) cases and I see a lot of people who are forced to come to therapy.  Some of them are ready to quit and some aren’t. Do you know what they all have in common? Pain. There is no addiction without pain.  They come in expecting to be judged, to be told that drugs are bad and how they affect the body. They come in angry and looking for a fight. They want to tell me all the reasons they aren’t an awful human being (I agree with them there!). They’re often taken aback at my approach. I’m a little different. I listen… and then I ask “what are you running from?”…

Read more: A Different Perspective on Addiction

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