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Seeing Addiction as Trauma, Recovery as Post-Traumatic Growth

Approximately 75% of living beings on earth will experience trauma in their lifetime. First person, second person, and third person trauma perspectives can leave a lasting impact on someone’s mental health. Research even suggests that trauma can change people genetically, right down to their microbiome. Trauma is, in all ways, a life changing experience. Coming back from trauma includes a long journey of recovery which could also include a long journey of recovering from post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Few people who experience trauma will experience the full development of PTSD. Many people who experience trauma will experience some symptoms, to a mild degree, of PTSD. Others will experience something called post-traumatic growth instead.

Post-traumatic growth is the idea that a traumatic experience can create a positive impact on someone’s life instead of a negative one. Even in the face of dramatic loss, someone still finds hope and purpose in the fact that they have survived the trauma. The Posttraumatic Growth Research Group working out of the University Of North Carolina at Charlotte explains that “It is a positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or traumatic event.” The group cites that as many as 90% of those who experience trauma or a major life crisis experience this positive change.

Experiencing addiction, in all of it’s forms, is traumatizing. Coming to “hit rock bottom” with one’s addiction is a major life crisis. Addicts and alcoholics in their active addiction are thriving in a major life crisis, an ongoing trauma caused by drugs and alcohol. The decision to get sober, and whatever necessitates that decision, is a major turn of life events. Rather than be discouraged by the experience of addiction and never fight for recovery, addicts and alcoholics everywhere make the life changing decision to turn their traumatizing experiences of addiction into a positive lifestyle of recovery which they use to heal themselves and inspire others. Recovery is post-traumatic growth. People who survive addiction survive a lot more than the use of drugs and alcohol. Their recovery is a testament to taking something negative and life-altering and turning it into a positive life-alteration instead. Changes of such magnitude don’t happen without effort. Practices of mindfulness, gratitude, therapy, and spiritual development aid the process which turns into a lifetime of growth and healing.


You can overcome the disease of addiction which is taking away your control in life. Our compassionate partial care programs offer a path to enlightenment in recovery, creating a harmonious balanced of therapy approaches for a comprehensive and integrative program. For information on our programs of care for men and women seeking transformation from addiction, call Enlightened Solutions today: 833-801-5483

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