One or more untreated emotional issues can play a role in developing addictive behaviour. Very often, the underlying issue involves a traumatic experience. While this trauma may have occurred recently, it usually stems from childhood wounds, in which the individual goes on to self-medicate with substances. If your teen needs treatment for trauma-based addiction issues, Venture Academy can help.
Our Venture Academy team is ready to help your teen begin to heal in our trauma treatment for teens. The foundation of this program is dual diagnosis, which concurrently treats trauma and addiction. Contact us today by completing our online contact form or calling 866.762.2211 for more information about our trauma treatment for teens.
The Relationship Between Trauma and Addiction
Childhood plays a pivotal role in mental and emotional development. Traumatic experiences at a younger age can profoundly shape how a person will cope and emotionally respond in life. There is a proven link between untreated trauma and addiction. Therefore, addressing and treating the unresolved trauma is critical if someone suffering from addiction has experienced trauma. A few examples of traumatic experiences include:
- Car accidents
- Chronic disease
- Rape or sexual assault
- Neglect or abuse
- Witnessing someone others be hurt or killed
- Natural disasters
Every individual is affected by experiences differently, so processing an event as trauma will vary from person to person. If an individual processes an event as trauma, emotions like shock, anger, and even denial can be common reactions shortly after the traumatic events.
However, long-term reactions to a traumatic experience can include:
- Emotional outbursts
- Blackouts and memory loss
- Panic attacks and hyperventilation
- Depression and mood disorder symptoms
- Flashbacks and nightmares
- Strained interpersonal relationships
Benefits of a Dual Diagnosis
Mental health professionals describe trauma as an emotional response experienced to an event. Two people can share the same event, and one person may process it as trauma while the other does not. There’s no way to predict an individual’s emotional process because it depends on both known and unknown factors. An experience that puts someone into a state where they feel unsure of their safety can cause trauma.
Trauma can manifest into several different diagnosable disorders, such as:
- Acute stress disorder (ASD)
- Adjustment disorders
- Attachment disorders of early childhood
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If your child seems to be exhibiting symptoms of a trauma disorder, in addition to their addiction, a dual diagnosis may be necessary. In the case of emotional issues existing alongside addiction, the recovery of one condition depends upon the recovery of the other. When a trauma disorder is ignored, there is a limited possibility that individuals can maintain their sobriety and vice versa. When teens continue to drink and use drugs, they won’t heal correctly from their trauma.
It’s essential to address both your teen’s trauma and substance abuse. Receiving a dual diagnosis helps ensure professionals can adequately treat both conditions. The destructive behaviours typical of untreated addiction can cause further traumas in adulthood. If a young person goes untreated, they may experience worsening anxiety or depression. In addition, maintaining professional and personal ties becomes increasingly difficult for them as they enter adulthood and additional responsibilities are added.
Help Your Teen Heal from Trauma and Addiction at Venture Academy
Trauma and addiction are necessary to treat to lead a healthy life. When one issue goes untreated, the individual will always struggle to treat the other. Treatment is especially critical as a teenager when life choices can have a more considerable impact on their future. Venture Academy employs evidence-based therapies to help teens heal from trauma, learn positive coping mechanisms, and end addiction issues. Contact us right away at 866.762.2211 or complete our online form to find out how your teen might benefit from a dual diagnosis.