The Role of Trauma in Addiction Treatment

What does trauma have to do with addiction or substance abuse? Consider this—incredibly, 75% of people receiving treatment for addiction report a history of trauma. The risk for substance abuse rises by as much as four times for people who experienced trauma early in life. For those who experienced multiple or repeated traumatic events—this risk can rise tenfold.

Scottsdale rehabObviously, there is a correlation between trauma and the potential for substance abuse. Because these two issues are so closely intertwined, treating substance abuse without addressing the underlying trauma will usually be incomplete. Seeking help from a trusted source that has the language, resources, and framework for this holistic healing approach is vital to success.

Treatment for Trauma

At Scottsdale Providence, we believe that trauma and addiction are best treated when approached as co-occurring and interrelated issues. When people don’t meet their terror, shame, fear, and isolation, it is difficult to create comfortable and sustainable sobriety. Trauma victims who use drugs or alcohol are generally looking to find short-lived solace from an internal experience that is unbearable. This is where we come in. Our work is to help people find their way to lasting recovery through integrative care that begins from the ground up.

Our experience is that very seldom are any two people’s individual needs the same. We believe in creating comprehensive treatment plans to treat the whole person. We see the big picture, and give our clients the support and resources they need to have the best possible shot at lives that are whole, healthy, and happy.

The Right Fit for Your Needs

Finding the right treatment for you or your loved one’s specific needs can be challenging. Substance abuse and mental illness do not respond to a “one size fits all” approach. Scottsdale Providence provides individualized treatment designed to address issues including drug and alcohol addiction, mood disorders, trauma and co-occurring disorders. Our goal is for every client to experience a profound change through cutting edge, evidence-based practices provided by an experienced, compassionate team, in a safe, luxurious Scottsdale environment.

We know that true change is possible and sustainable.

Our expert treatment team uses an array of evidence-based therapies for treating trauma alongside addiction. With well-regarded modalities like CBT, NARM, and Somatic Experiencing, we help clients face core issues to promote long-term recovery. In addition, robust psychiatric care, case management, discharge planning, acupuncture, yoga and fitness all make up a truly comprehensive treatment experience.


EMDR, otherwise known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a useful tool for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related distress. This type of therapy is a natural fit for inclusion in a comprehensive treatment program.

Extensive scientific and clinical research has determined that EMDR is an effective method to help people heal from their past traumatic experiences. It’s believed that past traumatic experiences continue to cause problems in our lives when the memory of that experience is not processed properly. Unprocessed memories contain all the negative emotions, thoughts and even the physical sensations that were present at the time of the event. When these memories are triggered, so are the negative elements of the initial event, causing symptoms of PTSD or other mental health disorders. This type of therapy is intended to change how the memory is stored in the brain, thereby lowering or even eradicating the distressing symptoms. Anyone who has suffered from past trauma can benefit from EMDR.


NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM) is a cutting-edge modality for treating attachment, relational and developmental trauma, by working with the attachment patterns that cause life-long physical and mental symptoms and ongoing difficulties in relationships.

Early, unconscious survival skills and patterns of disconnection can deeply affect our sense of self, emotions, physiology, behaviors and relationships. Learning how to work simultaneously with these various aspects of the self can lead to radical shifts and help heal complex trauma. As such, NARM has become a well- regarded component in Trauma-Informed Care and healing the negative effects of adverse childhood experience. NARM is a mindfulness-based clinical treatment that can help people uncover who they truly are beneath their habitual ways of relating to themselves and the world. Healing complex trauma can lead to meaningful transformation that helps people obtain deeper connection and greater wellbeing.

Somatic Experiencing

The Somatic Experiencing® method is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. This advanced trauma modality helps to release traumatic shock, which is key to recovering from PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma. Like other somatic psychology approaches, Somatic Experiencing® utilizes a body-first approach to dealing with the problematic (and, oftentimes, physical) symptoms of trauma. This modality assesses the physical sensations that underlie our feelings, and uncovering our habitual behavior patterns to these feelings. In Somatic Experiencing®, the traumatic event isn’t what caused the trauma, but rather the overwhelmed response to the perceived life threat that is causing an unbalanced nervous system. The aim is to therefore assist in discharging the physical memory of the event and re-regulate the nervous system.

Interesting in learning more about trauma-informed care in Scottsdale? Reach out today!


It’s not the end. It’s the beginning.

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