RCA (Recovery Centers of America) have announced an innovative course entitled the “Breaking Free Trauma Track,” which will run simultaneously to their addiction treatment program. This is an excellent combination, and participants are likely to benefit far more than they would do just with the addiction program alone.
The Breaking Free track initiative is designed to have maximum impact, and to go further than other standard treatment protocols. The group and one-to-one therapy sessions are organized by professionals who are certified in Clinical Trauma. There are some very interesting and beneficial practices which patients can enjoy, and feel great positivity and well-being from. These include: breathing techniques; body awareness through trauma-informed yoga; mindfulness; meditation, and other evidence-based treatments for traumatized patients. It is hoped that this protocol, along with the simultaneous treatment for substance use disorder, will help sufferers release the traumatic memories they are holding on, so that they do not let them destroy the rest of their lives, both emotionally and physically.
The majority of alcoholics and drug addicts have suffered at least one serious traumatic experience, either emotionally, physically, or both, at some point in their lives – be it as a child or adult. And in many cases, this abuse may have been ongoing for a substantial period of time. Sadly, these incidences can have long-term detrimental consequences on an individual’s daily life, as well as their spiritual, emotional, social, mental and physical well-being .
Trish Caldwell, a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Trauma specialist at RCA, is of the firm opinion that individuals who battle with a drug or alcohol addiction, have also suffered some form of trauma/s during their lifetime. So to that end, she advocates that anyone in this category should be given special support so that they can deal with both their addiction and trauma. She notes that: “Trauma in its many forms causes changes in brain chemistry which can make people more vulnerable to addiction. This change in physiology affects the functioning of the brain and special care with specific components is required to help these patients”.
There are many different forms of trauma. These include: losing our home or family; the death of someone we were very close to, being sexually assaulted as a child, being raped as an adult; seeing someone we love suffer at the end of their life in hospital, being part of a terrible accident; witnessing a friend or member of our family take a fatal overdose, and feeling guilty that we were unable to help . Research shows that 50% to 66% of individuals who are suffering with post traumatic stress disorder also fight simultaneous addiction, and the opposite is also the case, TIME notes. Further, those who experience PTSD are 2 to 4 times more susceptible to addiction if likened to their peers who do not have to battle PTSD, notes the respected journal, Clinical Psychology.