The relationship between substance abuse and trauma works in close tandem. While trauma increases the risk of developing substance abuse, substance abuse in turn increases the likelihood of being re-traumatised by engaging in high-risk behaviours.
Traditionally, substance abuse treatment programs have held the belief that addressing trauma could trigger traumatic responses, leading clients to relapse. However by integrating trauma treatment into the substance abuse treatment process, simultaneous treatment has proven to be effective.
This week’s guest Simon Ruth is CEO at Thorne Harbour Health, formerly known as the Victorian AIDS Council. Simon has spent most of his career working in, or managing, alcohol and drug programs with organisations including the Salvation Army, YSAS, Monash Health and Peninsula Health. He was the recipient of a Victorian Traveling Fellowship to investigate older adult alcohol and other drugs treatment in the USA and Canada.
Stay tuned as Simon chats with me about the role trauma can play in preventing and treating addictive behaviours.