If you or a loved one suffers from trauma, you’re not alone. Around six out of ten men and five out of ten women experience at least one traumatic event at some point in their lives.

Research suggests a link between exposure to traumatic events and substance use disorders. But there is always hope in recovery. Trauma-informed care, for example, can help those who experience drug and alcohol addiction.

Learn more about this type of care below. Then discover how Olympus Recovery can help you in your recovery journey.

Trauma, Explained

Trauma is a term used to describe an emotional reaction to an extremely difficult experience that occurs in someone’s life. The event may cause long-lasting physical, emotional, or spiritual damage to that person.

Various events can trigger trauma. These events include:

  • Childhood abuse
  • A physical assault
  • Witnessing a crime
  • Being the victim of a crime
  • An injury or life-threatening medical condition
  • A natural disaster
  • Emotional or physical abuse from a partner or caregiver
  • Serving in the military
  • A divorce or relationship breakup
  • Death of a friend or family member

The traumatic event(s) can take place over a short period of time or many weeks or years. Short- and long-term effects of trauma depend on the person and their situation.

It’s important to differentiate between trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):

  • A traumatic event can cause stressful or painful reactions afterward. These effects include anxiety, depression, physical symptoms, and substance use.
  • PTSD is one of those effects. It’s a mental disorder that may involve flashbacks of a traumatic event.

All traumatic events can cause you to feel helpless or vulnerable. Trauma can also trigger social and behavioral changes that interfere with your life. Sometimes, trauma can lead to a substance use disorder. This is where trauma-informed care comes into play.

What is Trauma-Informed Care?

Trauma-informed care is an approach to helping people suffering from the effects of trauma. In particular, it helps people with a substance use disorder heal from a traumatic experience.

This type of care:

  • Identifies signs and symptoms of trauma if you have a substance abuse disorder.
  • Helps you understand the impact a traumatic experience has had on you.
  • Determines why a traumatic experience resulted in or exacerbated your substance use disorder.
  • Enables you to avoid re-traumatization.

The Center for Health Care Strategies describes this care as shifting the focus from:

“What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”

What Are the Benefits of Trauma-Informed Care?

Trauma-informed care can be a useful tool for recovery. It helps you evaluate your life situation and provides care services based on healing. Plus, you can improve your involvement or participation in activities you once enjoyed or find new interests. Your health and your ability to stick with treatment may also strengthen.

People who experience trauma-informed care understand that recovery is connected to dealing with their trauma. You can discuss painful experiences in a safe, supportive environment and learn coping mechanisms. Trauma-based care can be especially effective when combined with other treatment options, such as:

  • One-on-one therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Medication-assisted services
  • Detoxification
  • Outpatient rehabilitation services
  • CBT therapy
  • Behavioral therapy
  • IOP programs

You might receive this care when visiting an outpatient center like Olympus Recovery. It’s an ongoing approach that helps you with substance issues over time.

Olympus Recovery is an outpatient addiction treatment center in Delray Beach, Florida. The program uses a trauma-informed approach to substance use disorders that helps you on your road to recovery. Call (888) 998-3319 to talk to an expert.

Six Principles of Trauma-Informed Care

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends six principles for this type of care:

1. Safety

Patients undergoing trauma-informed care should feel safe at all times. Healthcare providers need to provide patients with a sense of security. They can do this through a welcoming atmosphere and positive interactions.

2. Trustworthiness/Transparency

Patients need to trust healthcare providers for trauma-informed care to succeed. Providers should be transparent and well-informed about care policies and procedures.

3. Peer Support

Trauma-informed care relies on the support of a patient’s friends and family members. This peer support can establish safety and hope and build trust in the patient.

4. Collaboration/Mutuality

Healthcare providers should collaborate with patients and view them as partners. That means both parties should work together to make decisions. Everyone has a role in trauma-informed care.

5. Empowerment, Voice, and Choice

Healthcare providers should recognize and build on a patient’s strengths and experiences. They should empower the patient, give them a voice, and provide them with choices.

6. Cultural, Historical, and Gender Studies

Trauma-informed care should recognize and remove stereotypes and biases. These stereotypes and biases may involve age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and others.

Trauma-Informed Care vs. Other Approaches to Substance Abuse

Trauma-based care is different from other approaches to substance abuse disorders:

  • A trauma-based approach prioritizes healing and recovery.
  • It recognizes the link between trauma and substance abuse disorder.
  • It also recognizes the effect trauma has had on you.
  • It creates a long-term treatment, helping you move on with your life.
  • It focuses on you and your experiences instead of just your addiction.
  • It recognizes trigger points that could lead to re-traumatization.

Let’s say someone experienced abuse and neglect in their childhood. As an adult, the emotional trauma from those experiences affected many areas of their life. Eventually, that pain led to substance abuse. Now the individual is ready to start their road to recovery, and the trauma-based approach will likely help.

By attending an outpatient addiction treatment center, you can start to learn:

  • How to deal with traumatic experiences.
  • Why traumatic experiences can lead to a substance abuse problem.
  • What steps to take when triggered by reminders of trauma.
  • The steps you can take to overcome a substance abuse problem.

Why Choose Olympus Recovery?

Olympus Recovery is an outpatient addiction treatment center. Based in Delray Beach, Florida, the center adopts a trauma-based approach. Olympus Recovery can help you or a loved one:


  • Start a customized treatment plan that examines a traumatic event. That treatment plan might include family therapy and cognitive therapy.
  • Receive treatments that help overcome a physical dependency on a substance. Those treatments may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
  • Avoid being re-traumatized by a past event.
  • Learn skills that reduce the chances of relapse.

After an outpatient program, people should continue to receive treatment for addiction.


Trauma-informed care makes a connection between substance abuse disorders and traumatic experiences. This type of care can help you heal from trauma and lead a healthy, satisfying life. Have you or a loved one experienced trauma in the past? Consider a trauma-based approach when looking for substance use treatment options.

Olympus Recovery uses a trauma-informed approach to substance use disorders. You or your loved one can start on the road to recovery by calling (888) 998-3319 to talk to an expert.

Start a new journey!

For immediate help call us confidentially at (866) 305-7134. Our admissions specialists can answer all your questions, and put you on the road to recovery.

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