At CeDAR, we have been expanding our treatment approaches to better serve those seeking recovery who have more complex needs. About two-thirds of the patients who seek help at CeDAR have survived one or more significant traumatic events. The sources and types of their traumatic events vary from large T (shock trauma) events such as automobile accidents, sexual assault, and life threatening illness, to small t (developmental trauma) events such as childhood neglect.
The significance of the co-occurrence of addiction and trauma cannot be overstated! First, years of clinical research tell us that individuals who have a diagnosis of PTSD are four to five times more likely to also have a substance use disorder. Second, individuals who struggle with both addiction and trauma often begin using chemicals earlier, have more advanced progression of their disease, and have lass successful treatment outcomes than individuals without any trauma history. Most importantly at CeDAR, we recognize that active trauma symptoms expressed throughout the addiction treatment process can interfere with a patient’s ability to hear and implement the recovery message. Failure to address these trauma symptoms during treatment sets up relapse for many patients.
Since the early 1990s, many treatment providers have been addressing these co-occurring issues by developing “trauma informed” clinical programming. Trauma informed care is not intended to treat specific past traumatic events, but is focused on providing a safe treatment environment where staff members understand and are respectful of the impact of trauma on the treatment needs of all patients and where organizational and treatment policies and procedures limit the re-traumatization of trauma survivors throughout the addiction treatment process.
The CeDAR Trauma Integrated Model is built upon a foundation of trauma informed care, but also integrates recent advancements in how much we know about the brain and how traumatic memories are stored. The clinical team has been trained in multiple trauma assessment methods that are utilized in treatment planning and the identification of timely interventions that will address current, day-to-day symptoms that often interfere with treatment and prevent patients from utilizing the recovery messages needed for both short and long term treatment success. The clinical team has also received specialized treatment in Containment and Autonomic Regulation (CAR) Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Both models have been found to work with trauma within an addiction treatment environment and both are very effective in assisting patients to resolve issues with emotional regulation. The ultimate goal of the CeDAR integrated model of care is to allow patients to deal with the anxiety, dissociation, and anger that is commonly associated with trauma memories, while also benefiting from the therapy groups, individual counseling sessions and 12 Step support activities.
For years, individuals who have suffered with addiction and trauma have struggled to achieve and maintain lasting recovery. The CeDAR Trauma Integrated Model has been developed to give these individuals a fighting chance to not only get sober, but to begin healing the significant traumas in their lives. We built the model on a foundation of trauma informed principles, sound assessment tools, and state of the art trauma and addiction treatment methods. Our staff has been trained to understand how trauma memories are processed, to recognize memory systems and to target treatment interventions to assist patients in dealing with their emerging trauma symptoms. Ultimately, our goal is to assist patients to effectively resolve the day-to-day trauma symptoms that hijack them from working on their primary addiction and to maintain a state of mind that allows them to utilize the recovery messages learned in treatment activities.