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Working through Substance Use Trauma during the Pandemic

Many people who go through substance use disorder treatment at a methadone clinic discover that underlying and unaddressed trauma they’ve experienced in their lives may have led them to their initial drug use. This situation eventually transpires into using substances as a coping method for mental health issues that remain unaddressed. For many, it’s not until they find themselves in the deep pits of addiction that juggling both problems becomes too much to bear. While the dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance use disorder is frequently discussed, the trauma of substance use disorder itself and the process of treatment and recovery that can also carry a heavy psychological load.

Seeing Clearly

When a patient enters treatment at a methadone clinic and begins the properly dosed medications to help them curb their withdrawal symptoms, it doesn’t take long before they can see clearly for the first time since they started down the spiral of addiction. This can be a difficult period since the effects of substances no longer cloud their brain, and they have to face the consequences of their drug use on their mental, physical, and emotional health, as well as their personal life. The things coming to light are usually unpleasant, and starting down the road of reparations can be humiliating and humbling.

Addiction Trauma

Outside of the trauma that may or may not have led a person to drug use, there is trauma that people incur while battling addiction. When acquiring drugs becomes a priority to someone with an addiction, they may be driven to desperate and damaging behaviors in which they would not otherwise find themselves. During heavy drug use, they may experience violence, abuse, sexual assault or other forms of trauma. Some people experience the strain of survivor’s guilt if they have left partners or loved ones who continue to use drugs behind to get help. The scope of experiences people face while battling addiction can affect them for the rest of their lives, and the trauma from drug use itself must be addressed.

Healing Through Telehealth

Methadone clinics offer counseling as well as referrals to other mental health services, including a feature that is now more popular than ever called telehealth. While traveling to a methadone clinic to receive MAT often helps patients develop a daily routine, in the wake of a pandemic, telehealth has opened opportunities for people to seek out trauma counseling that may not otherwise have access to these services. Speaking to a counselor via videoconferencing and other web-based solutions can help those with substance use disorder trauma discuss the issues they face day-to-day, especially national during stay-at-home orders that can prove to be isolating and difficult for many in treatment and recovery.

During this worldwide pandemic, treatment and Recovery Services of New Mexico is making it possible for more people to seek telehealth services for their medical health to make it simpler and less stressful for patients to communicate with their providers and further their hard work and progress towards recovery. Speak to one of our counselors today, click here to contact us.


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