What is Trauma-Focused Addiction Treatment Like in Texas?

trauma-focused addiction treatmentWhile day-to-day stress is part of life, people sometimes face overwhelmingly stressful events that can leave a lasting imprint on their physical, emotional, and behavioral health for a long time after the event occurs. When a person lives through a terrifying, highly stressful, or life-threatening event, they may develop trauma.

Trauma is a broad term that describes a range of symptoms that can affect how someone feels, thinks, and behaves. Symptoms of trauma can impact a person’s life in many profound ways by making it difficult for them to function in their daily lives and increasing their risk of other medical and mental health problems.

Living with trauma also increases a person’s likelihood of developing a substance use disorder. People with trauma and addiction require specialized trauma-focused treatment to address the roots of their substance abuse and to learn how to manage their trauma symptoms.

At Alamo Behavioral Health, we understand the connection between trauma and addiction. Our comprehensive, trauma-focused addiction treatment programs in Texas can help people overcome these conditions by offering holistic treatment for the body and mind, as well as continuing support throughout recovery.

Contact the Alamo Behavioral Health specialists to learn about our programs and schedule an intake assessment.

The Connection Between Trauma and Addiction.

People may experience the symptoms of trauma after experiencing a frightening, intensely stressful, or life-threatening event that overwhelms their ability to cope. Some examples of traumatic events include:

  • Experiencing physical abuse
  • Being the victim of sexual abuse or assault
  • Surviving a natural disaster
  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Experiencing physical abuse or neglect
  • Being emotionally abused
  • Witnessing extreme violence
  • Being exposed to a parent or family member’s mental illness
  • Witnessing domestic violence or substance abuse
  • The death of a loved one
  • A significant medical diagnosis

Trauma is a negative emotional response to an event that makes people feel afraid, overwhelmed, or as though they are in grave danger.

People with untreated trauma may struggle with symptoms that prevent them from functioning. Some develop a condition called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that makes it difficult to function in daily life. Many people do not have the coping skills to manage the symptoms of their trauma and may turn to any means necessary for relief–including using drugs and alcohol.

When someone uses drugs and alcohol to dull or relieve physical and emotional discomfort, it’s known as “self-medication.” Self-medicating with drugs and alcohol can cause more problems, including physical dependence and addiction. The effects of drugs and alcohol may also make trauma symptoms worse, which can lead to more substance use.

What are the Symptoms of Trauma?

People have different experiences with trauma, and the symptoms can vary in presentation and intensity over time. Common symptoms of trauma include:

  • Intrusive thoughts about the event
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Withdrawing or becoming isolated
  • Insomnia or other sleep issues
  • Intense anxiety or fear
  • Irritability
  • Panic attacks
  • Acute stress disorder (ASD)
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Exhaustion and fatigue

Some people develop trauma symptoms soon after experiencing the stressful event, and others may not develop symptoms for months or years afterward. The length of time someone experiences symptoms and the intensity of their symptoms depends on several factors, including:

  • The type of traumatic event they experienced
  • Their existing emotional support network
  • Their personality type

Regardless of what caused the trauma and how a person responds, trauma-focused care can help people identify and address the roots of their trauma, allowing them to improve the way they feel and function.

What is Trauma-Focused Addiction Treatment Like in Texas?

Trauma-focused care, or trauma-informed care, is an approach that can be used in many fields, including education, psychology, social work, and addiction treatment. This approach to care acknowledges the impact of trauma on a person’s life and seeks to understand its effect on how a person feels, behaves, and thinks. Trauma-focused care requires practitioners to understand and integrate each person’s experiences into the treatment dynamic.

Here are some core aspects of trauma-focused addiction treatment in Texas.


Trauma-focused addiction treatment prioritizes the physical and emotional safety of each client by creating a secure, nurturing environment.


Therapists and other practitioners build trust with their clients by being transparent and consistent in all interactions and communication. Clients learn to rely on their treatment team and trust their guidance.


People who participate in trauma-focused addiction treatment are not passive treatment recipients. Their treatment team encourages them to be actively involved in decision-making, respects their input, and promotes autonomy at every stage of treatment.

Consideration for culture, history, and gender

Members of the treatment team are aware of how gender, historical factors, and culture may affect how their clients manage trauma and use this knowledge in their work.

Trauma-focused addiction treatment differs from a one-size-fits-all treatment approach by respecting the autonomy, strength, and needs of each client. It uses specialized techniques to address trauma compassionately and avoids re-traumatization and re-victimization while helping people recover from addiction.

Find Trauma-Focused Addiction Treatment in Texas

If you or someone you love lives with trauma and addiction, you are not alone. Reach out to the caring specialists at Alamo Behavioral Health to learn about our trauma-focused addiction treatment programs in San Antonio, Texas or to find support at any stage of your recovery journey.

“Huge thanks to the friendly staff”

Seeking help at Alamo Behavioral Health was the single best decision of my life. The clinical team is amazing, and other staff members are friendly and really do their best to create a supportive environment. I have a long way to go, but I know that I'm not alone, thanks to everyone at Alamo.

Jeremy Atkins

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