Addiction as a symptom of trauma

Addiction and Trauma Treatment at Clarity Rehab in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Addiction and trauma

Childhood trauma is a huge problem that affects people from all walks of life across the globe.

To understand psychological trauma is to come face to face with both human vulnerability in the natural world and with the capacity for cruelty in human nature. Unfortunately, many people with a history of addiction will know what it is to have experienced both. Life in addiction can often be terrifying for both the affected person and the families it tears apart. Addictions that grow out of personal narratives of trauma are often informed by experiences of interpersonal violence that may include sexual abuse, physical abuse, severe neglect, loss, and/or the witnessing of violence.

Clarity highly respected clinicians are eminently qualified to know that to study psychological trauma means bearing witness to horrible events. Yet Asia’s most respected clinicians also understand that not everyone who is exposed to trauma will develop PTSD. Research the US has shown that 70% of the general population have experienced trauma. However, of those only 20% are likely develop symptoms of PTSD. Within the mental health population, that figure is significantly higher; 90% of those accessing care for a mental health problem have experience of, or have been traumatized. The majority of this latter group with more than one exposure. In fact, it has been estimated that over half of all adults today experience some sort of trauma as children.

Sadly, various forms of trauma can incite substance abuse. At Clarity we understand that trauma therapy during addiction treatment can promote lasting change.

What is trauma?

Trauma can be a subjective experience. What troubles one individual to a severe degree may not be as troubling to someone else. One thing we can all agree on is that various forms of trauma affect millions of individuals. Whether this includes going through a natural disaster, serving in an active war, or experiencing physical or sexual abuse, trauma can be life-altering.


Sadly, millions of today’s young people experience physical or sexual violence. Repeated trauma in the adult life erodes the structure of the personality that is already formed, but repeated trauma in childhood forms and deforms the personality. The child that finds themselves trapped in an abusive environment is faced with the formidable task of adaptation.


He or she must find a way to preserve a sense of trust in people who are untrustworthy, safety in a situation that is unsafe, control in a situation that is terrifyingly unpredictable, power in a situation of helplessness. Unable to care for or protect him or herself, he or she must compensate for the failures of adult care and protection with the only means at his or her disposal, an immature system of psychological defenses. The traumatized child often suffers

  • Overwhelming fear
  • Helplessness
  • Internalised shame

In too many cases the adolescent child may turn to substance use to numb the pain of the trauma that remains unresolved. Psychological trauma is a term generally used to describe cases where the negative events have had such a profound effect on individuals that they’re unable to live and function normally in society. For a growing number that involves turning to substances of abuse. Sadly, only a small number of those affected by these events seek the trauma therapy they need to recover

Where to find professional help for online addiction treatment.

Clarity are able to help with a broad range of non-substance related addictions or dependency disorders. Please get in touch for more information.

The relationship between trauma and substance abuse

Unfortunately, many people who have endured various forms of trauma become addicted to substances later in life. In some cases, those who have experienced trauma may abuse substances as a way of coping with their pain.

For example, certain substances can provide a numbing effect or a temporary feeling of empowerment. While these temporary feelings can be a welcome reprieve from the daily pain experienced by many trauma victims, substance abuse only adds to the problem. Since these individuals require increasing amounts of the same substance to experience a pleasurable effect, they run the risk of serious addiction. A situation where a dual diagnosis exists requires both trauma therapy and addiction therapy as well.

Signs of a substance abuse problem

How do you know if someone you love has a substance abuse problem? Not everyone affected by this issue displays the same signs, but there are a few things to watch out for. Those with a substance abuse problem may display any of the following signs:

  • Irritability and mood changes,
  • Changes in usual behavior,
  • Seclusion from others,
  • Increased frequency or amount of substance used,
  • Failure to meet specific obligations with family or work.

Keep in mind that a problem can exist even without overt signs such as those listed here. If you suspect someone you love has a problem, take heart that Clarity offer a range of excellent substance abuse and trauma programmes.


The importance of proper trauma therapy

Trauma therapy is a vital part of recovery for those who have experienced these types of events in their lives. Many people find that they are unable to overcome the stress of these events without the guidance of professional trauma therapy. When trauma has been compounded by substance abuse or an addiction, it’s vital that both elements of the issue are properly treated.

As Asia’s most qualified and respectable rehab center, Clarity provides a proven evidenced based treatment programme designed by psychologists for the treatment of addictions and trauma. All of these treatments are delivered in our highly discreet residential treatment facility based in the mountains of northern Thailand. Located only 40 minutes north of the cultural capital of Chiang Mai, Clarity offers first line western treatments in a facility that sits upon hydrothermal springs and that are supported by a range of far eastern spiritual interventions and daily practices designed to liberate the mind, body and soul.

Clarity’s facilities feature the following:

Treatment for trauma is designed, delivered and supervised by the most qualified and respected clinicians in Asia.

Don’t let addiction control your life for another day. Ethical treatment is the corner stone of Clarity’s clinical treatment programmes. We place your wellbeing at the center of the treatments we offer. You can overcome a history of trauma and substance abuse by seeking treatment with Clarity. Call today to find out how we can help you get started on the road to recovery and freedom.


Why choose Clarity

Clarity offers an incredible healing experience for our clients and their families that is second to none. Our team is comprised of individuals with years of experience who are all here for one reason. To help you realise, achieve, and maintain permanent long term recovery.