Why include trauma therapy as part of a drug rehab program? Many people turn to drugs as self-medication when they are unable to deal with the emotions and memories of a past traumatic event. Successfully dealing with this event makes a full recovery and a new healthy life possible. There is a powerful and proven way of processing and moving on from trauma—EMDR.

What is EMDR?

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a well-researched and proven therapy for reprogramming brain responses to trauma. It is recognized by every major psychological organization in the United States and has been found to be especially effective for dealing with trauma that may have contributed to a subsequent substance abuse problem.

EMDR focuses on changing the way the brain processes information related to the traumatic event. Rather than being overwhelmed with information, the brain is trained to reprocess the trauma in a controlled setting until people have learned to cope with the emotions in a healthy way. People who undergo this treatment learn to deal with their emotions directly and resolve the trauma so that they can move on.

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How Can EMDR Help Addiction Recovery?

Many people begin abusing substances to deal with the aftermath of a trauma. If these emotions and memories are not dealt with, it’s likely that a person will return to using again even after treatment. EMDR helps people to deal with trauma so they can successfully move on with their lives.

EMDR has been proven to help with many of the long-term effects of trauma, including:

  • Overwhelming and negative emotions
  • Biological fear and anxiety reactions
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Flashbacks
  • Generalized anxiety and panic attacks
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Easily triggered emotional responses, such as uncontrollable anger

Often, the human brain cannot process trauma unassisted. This is why people turn to self-medication. When people are helped to process and work through their past, they can more effectively move on to a brighter future.

Processing and overcoming past trauma is an essential part of recovering from substance abuse. It’s important to choose a high quality rehab center that recognizes and treats past trauma as a part of the recovery program.

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