The Intersection of Trauma, SUD and Process Addictions

Thursday, September 16, 2021 | 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM ET / 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM CT | Virtual - WebEx


For so many with a Substance Use Disorder (SUD), the traumatic experiences of their past have been left unrecognized and often times untreated. However, treating both simultaneously is critical to recovery. Addressing only the substance use disorder can actually increase the symptoms of trauma and dealing with only the trauma can increase the desire to use. Comorbid PTSD/SUD is associated with increased chronic physical health problems, poorer social functioning, higher rates of suicide attempts, more legal problems, increased risk of violence, worse treatment adherence, and less improvement during treatment (McCauley, J. L, 2012). Although the focus of traumatic experiences is often times explored within the field of substance use alone, process addictions are also a major public health concern, given their high population prevalence and their associated negative health, social, and economic consequences. The importance of understanding the intersection of trauma, SUD and process addiction may increase in the future because of recent changes in psychiatric diagnoses and in public opinion, beyond alcohol and other drugs to include a wide variety of potentially problematic behaviors such as gambling, excessive sexual behavior, overwork, and what we know as eating disorders. The significance of exploring treatment modalities to help those with process addiction in collaboration with SUD and trauma, is becoming more prevalent as we understand the significance of integrated care.

This training will explore the foundational understanding of how trauma impacts the brain and thus decision making and increases vulnerabilities to both substance use and other process addictions. It will highlight the neuroscience of trauma and addiction and explore the interplay between these behaviors. And finally, the training will highlight skills and strategies to begin to heal the brain, provide safety and connection for the patient and identify motivation for behavioral changes that support recovery.

Learning Objectives:

  • To be able to define traumatic stress and Substance Use Disorder
  • To provide information on the effects of substance use and trauma on brain functioning
  • To understand the different types of trauma and the components of trauma-informed care
  • To develop a basic understanding of effective treatments for people with traumatic exposure and substance use

Recovery Centers of America has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7002. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Recovery Centers of America is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. This course qualifies for 2 credit hours.