Young People with Complex Needs: A Trauma-Informed Response to Addiction Treatment

Posted on May 10, 2017 by Addiction Editor

The 4th Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference is on again next week at the Mantra on View Hotel, Gold Coast on 15th – 17th May.

Ms Victoria Kean, Drug & Alcohol Counsellor at the Manly Drug Education & Counselling Centre will join us at the conference to discuss Young People with Complex Needs: A Trauma-Informed Response to Addiction Treatment’.

It is becoming widely recognised that a large majority of clients seeking addictions counselling have been exposed to multiple experiences of trauma. As research indicates, these traumatic experiences are not only a strong predictor of addictive disorders, they may also have an adverse influence on treatment outcomes.

Due to the devastating impact of traumatic experiences on an individual’s psychological and social functioning, these clients often present to services with a complex array of symptoms and behaviours. Subsequently, they may encounter an uninformed and disjointed response from service systems which can result in re-traumatisation and poor treatment outcomes.

Despite growing awareness, trauma often remains unaddressed in service systems, and there is still little consensus regarding both the meaning of trauma-informed practice and the mechanisms for implementing systems change. The focus of this presentation is to explicate the meaning of trauma-informed practice in the context of addictions services, and to create an understanding of how to embed trauma-informed principles across all levels of organisational structure, culture and function.

A synopsis of the processes involved in the implementation of a trauma-informed framework at the Manly Drug Education and Counselling Centre (MDECC), a counselling service for young people with problematic substance use and their families, will be presented. A case example will be discussed and intervention strategies for increasing safety and stabilisation will also be provided.

For more information on the upcoming 2017 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference and to secure your spot, please visit addictionaustralia.org.au.

 

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