Quarterly scientific journal

Trauma and addiction: Implications for practice

Evdokia Misouridou


Trauma is common in many individuals who face addiction problems and their families while the risk of secondary traumatic stress disorder for professionals working in the addiction field has been recently recognized. Aim: The aim of the present paper was to enhance understanding of the continuing effects of trauma and its impact in the lives of addicted individuals, their families and the mental health care professionals who strive to provide support and care for them. Methods: A literature review was conducted employing variations of the following keywords: Addiction, trauma, post traumatic stress disorder, families, professionals, service providers, drug and alcohol workers, secondary post-traumatic stress. The review covered the period of the last three decades, that is from 1986 to 2016. Results: It is argued that for service providers to be able to help patients restore purpose and meaning in the recovery process, it is firstly imperative to be able to understand the nature of suffering experienced when individuals and families face the dual burden of trauma and addiction. Conclusions: Clinical supervision may help mental health care professionals to work on a deeper understanding of their emotional responses to clients and their families and protect them from the risk of secondary traumatic stress

Keywords: Trauma, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, nurses for addicted persons, secondary post-traumatic stress disorder

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