Trauma and Substance Abuse

For many, traumatic experiences that began in childhood didn’t not stop there. A life of substance abuse is a life that risks further trauma. For example, research has shown that women addicted to drugs or alcohol are more vulnerable to violence because of their exposure to unsafe situations.

The trauma that comes from drug addiction and alcoholism should prove once and for all that addiction is not the way to solve problems. Those who turn to drugs to escape past trauma find more pain and misery.


The link between traumatic experiences and substance abuse is clear and well-documented. For example, in the National Survey of Adolescents, “teens who had experienced physical or sexual abuse/assault were three times more likely to report past or current substance abuse than those without a history of trauma.”

Effective Therapy Models for Trauma

The Way Out provides free assistance in finding a nurturing environment that allows clients to feel comfortable, a key component of trauma treatment. Our high-quality drug rehab centers use various trauma-centered techniques to empower clients. Our comprehensive, holistic approach includes:

  • Traumatic Incident Reduction therapy, or TIR: highly-effective technique that encourages clients to repeatedly “view” the event in question is if they were watching a videotape. After repeated viewings, the event starts to lose its negative power, and clients can re-assert control over their lives.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT: focuses on rewiring our negative thoughts, enabling clients to change the way they think and feel regardless of whether the outside situation immediately improves. Of course, in time, clients’ improved outlook usually improves their living situation.
  • Expressive Therapy: Art Therapy, Dance Therapy and Music Therapy provide an alternative way of releasing pent-up feelings. For some clients, this therapy can be a dramatic turning point’ a 2007 study published in the Art Therapy journal found that recovering addicts who painted self-portraits showed an improved ability to confront their addictive natures.
  • The Safe Zone: For many of us, confronting past leads to avoidance and denial that prevents us from achieving long-term sobriety. Our facilities offer a safe, trusting environment where clients realize it’s okay to let their guard down. There is no judgement in the Safe Zone and an atmosphere of love and support heals us all.

If you feel you or your loved one must be placed in a rehabilitation treatment center for trauma, please call 888-373-5963 or fill out a patient placement form and The Way Out Recovery will aid in placement.