Trauma-Informed Care For Addiction Recovery

How Can Trauma Informed Care Help Me?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 | By Chris Clancy

trauma-informed care

It is nearly impossible for an individual to not experience some level of trauma within his or her life. While there are many people who are able to work through their trauma without professional help, there are some who are unable to do that. For these individuals, the trauma they have experienced caused significant psychological effects that have gone on to permeate throughout all areas of their lives. Some of the most common causes of trauma include the following:

  • Rape
  • Domestic violence
  • Natural disaster
  • Severe illness or injury
  • Death of a loved one

Other traumatic events can include witnessing a violent act, combat, bullying, neglect, abandonment, community violence, and terrorism.

Regardless of the type of trauma or traumas you have experienced, living with the effects of the traumatic event can be incredibly difficult. And what makes this even more challenging is when those around you (e.g. at work, school, the doctor’s office, etc.) are not aware of just how much these effects can impact you. While most people do not intend to be callous or ignorant to those who have experienced trauma, there are plenty of individuals who do not proceed in their interactions with others with the consideration that their actions and words might trigger and/or make worse symptoms of the trauma. And, this is not their fault, however, there are ways to bring awareness and knowledge to the public in a manner that supports those who are dealing with the effects of trauma.

What is Trauma-Informed Care?

According to the Trauma Informed Care Project, trauma-informed care is an organizational structure and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. Trauma-Informed Oregon describes it as “ensuring environments and services are welcoming and engaging for service recipients and staff”.

Some effects that individuals can experience in response to trauma include:

  • Hypervigilance
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Intrusive, negative thoughts
  • Avoidance

These are just some of the effects that individuals who have survived trauma can experience on a regular basis. The goal of trauma-informed care is for environments and services to be aware of trauma and its presence within the individuals with whom they interact, work to understand how trauma can impact individuals and how those impacts can be reflected during an interaction, and know that environments and services can re-traumatize individuals.

trauma-informed care

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) breaks down how to understand trauma-informed care through the “four R’s”, listed below:

  • Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understand potential paths for recovery
  • Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system
  • Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices
  • Seeks to actively resist re-traumatization

To further incorporate trauma-informed care into society, SAMHSA has outlined the guiding principles of trauma-informed care, which are as follows:

  • Safety – The staff and people who they serve should feel physically and psychologically safe within an organization
  • Trustworthiness and transparency – All operations and decisions are made with transparency and the commitment to developing and upholding trust among staff, clients, and the loved ones of those receiving services.
  • Peer support and mutual help – Peer support and mutual help aid in helping establish trust, safety, and empowerment
  • Collaboration and mutuality – There is sincere partnering between all levels of staff and clients. There is recognition that healing occurs through relationships and sharing power and decision-making opportunities. The organization realizes that all individuals can play a role in providing a trauma-informed approach.
  • Empowerment, voice, and choice – Those working for or receiving services from the organization get their strengths recognized, built upon, and validated. The organization strengthens everyone’s experience of choice and realizes that everyone deserves an individual approach.
  • Cultural, historical, and gender issues – The organization pushes past stereotypes and biases in regards to race, gender, cultural background, sexual orientation, etc. and provides recognition for all kinds of individuals.

Having the information and understanding of how to operate in a manner that promotes everyone’s wellbeing (trauma victims included) can be extremely beneficial for not only the organization but the people connected to it as well.

How Can Trauma-Informed Care Help Me?

Trauma-informed care has been significantly effective for people who have experienced trauma. It has allowed individuals to do things they thought they might not be able to, all while feeling comfortable and empowered to do so.

If you have experienced one or more traumas, you understand how important it is for organizations and environments to implement trauma-informed care into their every action. And, when they do, you benefit greatly. Some of the ways in which trauma-informed care can help you include the following:

  • No re-traumatization – When those around you operate through trauma-informed care, you will likely not experience re-traumatization. This allows you to continually focus on healing the effects of the trauma you have already experienced without having to add more trauma to it.
  • Minimal risk for new trauma – If you are someone who has not experienced trauma or have experienced trauma but did not struggle with significant effects of it, operating in spaces where trauma-informed is practiced care can prevent you from being traumatized. The presence of this practice decreases the changes of workplace violence, sexual assault, bullying, etc.
  • Provision of support – As you continue to go through your life after having experienced trauma, it can be hard to go from one place to the next without feeling uneasy or upset. However, organizations that practice trauma-informed care can make your everyday interactions more supportive and comfortable.

There is no way to ensure that the places you go to or the people you meet will operate through trauma-informed approaches. However, when your coping skills are paired with organizations that do utilize a trauma-informed approach, you and others who have experienced trauma can benefit.

Getting Help

Trauma is extremely common. In fact, millions of people throughout the country have experienced at least one traumatic event. No matter if you were raped or neglected as a child, your response to your traumatic event is unique to you. And, when you make the decision to begin addressing the effects of that trauma with a professional, you are taking the steps needed to actively address the effects that you deal with.

With the help and acknowledgment of others in the country, your traumatic experience and the impacts of it do not need to be made worse or agitated. If you need help to cope with the traumatic events you have experienced, do not let another day go by. Contact us right now. We can help.

Get the best treatment for yourself or a loved one.

Fill out the form below and we will reach out to you to let you know how we can help you get your life back!


Stay Up To Date

  • I Think I’m Addicted to Prescription Meds – Am I an Addict?

    “It’s been prescribed to me, so it isn’t dangerous.”   This is one of the greatest myths surrounding prescription painkillers. When you think of substance abuse, you probably think of street drugs. But did you know prescription medicatio

  • 5 Stress Relief Tools for Recovering Addicts

    Family problems, traffic jams and looming deadlines. Everybody has experienced stress at some point, but for individuals suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders, stress can be destructive. Stress overload – or an inability

  • common fears of going to rehab

    10 Common Fears of Rehab and How to Overcome Them

    Making the decision to enter a treatment facility to get help with an addiction is certainly not easy. There are many common fears of entering rehab that come up when contemplating this decision. The good news is, you’re not alone in feeling this w

  • parent enabling daughter

    How to Stop Enabling an Addict

    Addiction is a tough disease — both for the person with the problem, as well as their friends and families, who may feel helpless in their ability to keep a loved one out of harm’s way. Though addictions only affect the addict themselves on a phy

  • Staying Motivated in Recovery

    Staying Motivated in Recovery

    Addiction is a deadly disease that can sneak up on you when you least expect it. One minute you think you have your life under control and the next minute you realize you are lying to everyone, including yourself. You have difficulty managing your wo

  • 12-Step Meetings: What to Expect

    If you’ve just completed a treatment program and are looking to get connected to people in recovery or if you’d like to stop drinking or using drugs and are looking for some support, 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonym

  • Michaela’s Story: Road to Recovery

    It is estimated more than two-thirds of people that struggle with addiction have experienced some type of childhood trauma. For Michaela S., it was a family tragedy. She was just 9-years-old when she lost her brother in an ATV accident. He was only a

  • Sober Fall Activities Near Bowling Green

    Fall is a great time to get outside and enjoy the cooler weather and head out for some festive family activities. A major contributor in long-term recovery and preventing relapse is steering clear of triggers. The best way to do that is to change you

  • A Guide to 12-Step Meetings

    As part of your continuing care plan, it will be recommended you attend regular 12-step meetings for support and encouragement. Understanding the founding principles and the general meeting guidelines can help ease some fears and anxiety you might be

  • Finding Hope through Family Therapy

    At JourneyPure Bowling Green, we feel very strongly that family involvement throughout one’s addiction treatment is essential for long-term recovery. Organizations including the National Institute on Drug Abuse and U.S. Department of Health and Hum

  • The Heroin Epidemic in Kentucky

    Known as “The Bluegrass State,” Kentucky is home to the world-famous Kentucky Derby, is notorious for its bourbon, coal mines and even fried chicken. What it’s lesser known is the devastating effect heroin is having on families. There is a hero

  • songwriting therapy

    Songwriting Therapy Heals Patients in Recovery

    For many, especially those undergoing treatment for addiction and mental health issues, it can be difficult to express feelings verbally. Addiction is rarely the only struggle one’s facing when they enter treatment; it’s often coupled with some t



  • Everyone who works here is very kind and helpful. They really want what is best for you. The housing is super nice and comfortable. I am very pleased with the time I spent here.



  • JourneyPure Bowling Green has changed my life this is the first time I have ever been to a Rehabilitation Center and while it was not at all what I expected, it was exactly what I needed.



  • Great place. I learned much here about my addiction and I feel that I now have the tools to control it. They have great a great staff and the accommodations are top notch.

    Terry F


  • My family member is still sober a year and a half after his treatment stay here.



  • This place was GREAT! I feel like they helped me with much more than I expected.

    Tim M


  • I loved my time here and I learned a lot about my recovery. All the staff were great and really helped me in the areas that I needed help in.

    Caleb H


  • The people here are very nice and will do whatever it takes to help you out, they are very helpful, its a great place to start off your sobriety



  • I have enjoyed my stay and feel very confident in my recovery. Everyone here has been wonderful and very helpful. I would recommend Journey Pure to anyone seeking recovery.