Live Oaks Wellness

Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma & substance abuse often go hand-in-hand, with trauma being the catalyst that leads to substance abuse and addiction. Many people with substance use disorders (SUDs) experienced some type of traumatic experience at some point in their lives that caused them to turn to alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism. While it takes time to recover from trauma, at Live Oaks Wellness, our trauma-informed care for addiction treatment can be the start of your recovery journey as you work through your trauma without relying on substances. 

What Is Trauma-Informed Care for Addiction Treatment?

Trauma-informed care for addiction treatment is personalized and comprehensive therapeutic approaches that help a person overcome the trauma they experienced, which could include:


  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapies
  • Psychotherapy


The purpose of trauma & substance abuse treatment is to help the individual address their trauma in a safe, secure, and caring environment. When they can process their trauma and overcome the guilt, shame, embarrassment, and other feelings tied to it that led to addiction, they establish a solid foundation for long-term recovery. 

The Connections Between Trauma & Substance Abuse

The connections between trauma & substance abuse are directly related to the type and frequency of the trauma the person experienced. The traumatic event could have been a single, one-time event, or an ongoing occurrence. The trauma could have occurred recently or even be unresolved trauma from childhood. 

Some of the more common types of trauma include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Bullying
  • Sexual abuse
  • Acts of violence committed by strangers
  • Domestic violence
  • Childhood neglect
  • Childhood abuse
  • The traumatic loss of a loved one
  • Witnessing or being in a horrifying accident
  • Trauma tied to the end of a relationship or going through divorce
  • Witnesses acts of violence or death while in the military
  • Surviving a natural disaster

These types of events can cause individuals to experience various symptoms that affect their abilities to function, such as:

  • Excessive sleeping or insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Body and muscle aches and pains without an underlying medical cause
  • Night terrors and nightmares
  • Problems thinking, focusing, and making decisions
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Avoidance behaviors
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Easily scared or startled
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks 
  • Sadness and depression
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • Flashbacks

In order to cope with the feelings, emotions, and physical symptoms one is experiencing, it is not uncommon for people to turn to alcohol and drugs to self-medicate and attempt to manage their condition.

Unfortunately, alcohol and drugs do not address the underlying causes of the trauma or provide tools for resolving the trauma. Instead, they only provide temporary relief. Continued substance use also causes tolerance, which means more of the substance is needed to achieve the desired effects.

The person increases their substance use to offset increased tolerance. As they do, dependence continues to grow, and addiction gradually develops. Furthermore, continued substance use only makes the symptoms and emotions experienced with trauma worse.

Trauma-Informed Approaches to Addiction Treatment

There are several different trauma-informed approaches used in addiction treatment at Live Oaks Wellness. Some of the more common ones we use to help our clients overcome their trauma include:

  • DBT: Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based approach to treating trauma that teaches individuals how to develop the skills and techniques required for them to cope with their trauma positively. 
  • EMDR: Eme movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is another evidence-based approach to treating trauma. This method uses hand tapping and other audio stimulation along with eye movements. The individual focuses on a special part of the traumatic event while their therapist helps them reprocess the distressing memories. 

Holistic therapies: Various holistic therapies, such as mindfulness, meditation, and art therapy, can be used to help a person learn how to alleviate stress and anxiety associated with their trauma, as well as express and process their emotions in a non-verbal manner.

How Does Care at Live Oaks Wellness Work?

Care for trauma & substance abuse at Live Oaks Wellness starts with a detailed evaluation to help create a customized treatment and care plan. Trauma treatment plans can include individual and group therapy, peep support groups, grief and loss counseling, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). 

Each care plan is personalized to fit the individual’s specific needs and unique circumstances. The objective of trauma-informed treatment is to help individuals develop coping skills, learn how to regulate their emotions, process their trauma, and learn how to think differently about their traumatic event to allow them to heal and recover. 

Benefits of Trauma-Informed Care

When treating trauma & substance abuse at Live Oaks Wellness, there are several benefits of our trauma-informed care our clients gain, including:

  • A safe, supportive, caring environment
  • Peer support groups
  • Collaborations with our therapists to develop an individualized treatment plan
  • Empowering our clients, allowing them to make choices and have a voice while processing their traumas
  • Addressing gender-related, cultural-related, and historical-related trauma
  • Learning how addiction prevents people from healing and recovering from traumatic events
  • Equipping individuals with the tools, skills, and techniques to overcome their trauma and addiction to lead fulfilling lives

Other Services We Offer

In addition to trauma-informed care, we offer many other valuable services to help our clients overcome their trauma & substance abuse: 


  • Individual therapy: One-on-one private and confidential sessions with our licensed therapists. 
  • Group therapy: Group sessions led by one of our therapists or peer support sessions led by peer support leaders to help people work on processing their traumas while being supported by others going through similar challenges. 
  • Family therapy: Involving family members to help heal wounds, rebuild damaged relationships, and help them learn how to support their loved ones in recovery. 
  • MAT: The use of FDA-approved medications for managing substance withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and managing mental health symptoms.

Start Trauma & Substance Abuse Treatment in San Francisco Today

Are you ready to break free from the grips of addiction and the suffering you are experiencing from your unresolved trauma? Live Oaks Wellness in San Francisco and our caring and compassionate team are ready to help you take your first steps on the path to recovery. We offer personalized care plans tailored to your unique needs. Contact us today to start your recovery journey to a brighter future, free from substances and improved mental well-being.