Addiction can be a Reactive to Untreated Trauma

“It’s not why the addiction, but why the pain,” as Gabor Mate says. Addiction is a normal response to untreated trauma. Not addressing and working on trauma causes people to get stuck in unhealthy thought patterns and negative behavior. Having untreated trauma can cause people to be emotional and have reoccurring dreams or thoughts about the trauma. Reliving the trauma can cause hopelessness or depression creating isolation amongst their loved ones. Left untreated many will resort to self-harm.

Trauma is not temporary; it stays with a person long after the traumatic event or incident. Again, left untreated this can be potentially more damaging depending on the person and how they respond. Many people suffer from PTSD and are always anticipating a reoccurrence of their trauma. Using substances to deal with these feelings is actually a very common human response, which often leads to addiction.

To heal from the addiction, one must first address their trauma. There are many treatment centers that are specifically designed to treat the trauma and then the addiction, known as “trauma informed treatment.” Once someone has begun to address their trauma they can then begin to look at their use of substances.

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