There is a painful bottom to trauma and addiction. Our drug rehabs Fort Lauderdale staff see it everyday. You read it in newspapers and hear it on newscasts on a nightly basis; victims of trauma and addiction in south Florida living a life of crime and self-degradation in the streets. As a victim of childhood trauma, and a recovering addict and alcoholic, I’ve seen and done more than I care to admit. I would lie, cheat, and steal to get my drugs. I would cause incredible pain to everyone in my life that cared about me… and I would do it over and over again. Yet my bottom, as painful as it was to me, could be considered mild against some of the extreme situations that I’ve been witness to.
In this article, we will discuss the story of Jackie C; an unfortunate victim of trauma and abuse since childhood. We will discuss some of the gritty details of her trauma-related addiction. The one’s that no one ever wants to talk about. Jackie’s bottom was extreme, but she has made it through and is currently receiving trauma therapy as part of her recovery program. So let’s spend a few minutes discussing trauma and addiction in Fort Lauderdale; and then, even more importantly, let’s discuss solutions.
Jackie C and her Personal Struggle with Trauma, Addiction, and Recovery
Jackie C. was born in Hells Kitchen, NYC in 1987. She says “I was born in hell and have been trying to climb out ever since.” She is the third of five children who grew up in a small three-bedroom apartment in a neighborhood dominated by violence and crime. Her father was a union construction worker with a strong thirst and abuse for alcohol. Her mother, a Ukrainian immigrant who displayed little affection or emotion was also a daily drinker, but not as violent or angry as her father.
Jackie says that she never felt safe as a child and always had a feeling of butterflies in her stomach. At school, she was bullied and at home she was verbally and physically abused by both of her parents. Her siblings were more worried for themselves then worried about Jackie. She vowed to herself to escape to a better life – and then she discovered drugs.
When Jackie was 15, she encountered her older brother getting ready to shoot heroin. She was well aware of the dangers posed by addictive drugs and had vowed to never become a victim of addiction. But her brother offered her a sniff, and she never looked back.
Her Life on the Streets of New York City and Her Journey to our drug rehab in Fort Lauderdale.
By the time Jackie turned 18, she had managed to graduate from high school and had a job working as a bartender in a local saloon. She was drinking heavily and using a combination of drugs that included cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. Her income from bar tending was not enough to pay for rent, food, utilities, and drugs; so she slacked off on paying her rent and was eventually evicted. This is when her life really began to spiral out of control.
Needing a place to stay, she accepted an offer from one of her dealers for a room in exchange for doing some “chores” and favors. She had no idea what she was getting into. After this arrangement was made, she noticed that the drugs were stronger and better than ever – and as there was more availability, her addiction grew stronger. The chores for her dealer in exchange for her room began innocently but quickly became sexual favors. She didn’t think anything of it; in fact, she enjoyed the attention for a while. Then everything changed.
One night her dealer brought some friends home and Jackie was forced into having sex with them. She cried as she objected but got slapped and was forcibly raped by several men. This type of abuse became non-stop and Jackie found herself stuck. She was threatened that if she left no one would provide her with drugs. This went on for months until her dealer finally threw her out on the street after a fight.
By this time Jackie was a full-time drug addict and was living a life of pain and misery. One of her dealer’s friends that had been abusing her was also a pimp. He offered to keep her drug supply flowing if she would work for him… and she accepted. At first, it was only for his friends; but after they grew tired of her she was forced onto the street. She was now a common street walker.
Trauma and Addiction Lead to Near-Death Experience
One night while turning tricks on 12th Avenue, Jackie nearly died. In the past she had overdosed several times and had been attacked by Johns. However, on this particular night, she was raped, beaten, and left for dead. If not for a Good Samaritan who called 911 she would have died.
She woke up in the hospital with bruises all over her body and a fractured skull. She was also suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms. If not for the kindness of one of her nurses, Jackie might be dead – but she is not. Her nurse had a brother who became addicted to drugs and the nurse wanted to help.
Trauma Therapy and Addiction Treatment Options for Victims in Fort Lauderdale
Jackie’s Nurse in NYC had a brother who was in a program to treat trauma and addiction in Fort Lauderdale. The Trauma therapy that he was receiving, in addition to group and 12 step meetings were having a very positive effect on him. In 2017, at the age of 30, the nurse who tended to her wounds and possibly save her life was able to help Jackie get into the same program. It has not been an easy road.
There have been relapses and many other obstacles in the way of sobriety; but here and now in June of 2020, Jackie has been clean and sober for over 15 months. It is at The Source addiction treatment center she learned about the importance of treating co-occurring disorders while attending drug rehabs Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She now works in an addiction treatment center helping other addicts that require trauma therapy.
Jackie’s story has a happy ending. There are thousands upon thousands of others who have endured similar same pain and suffering as Jackie’s, but with a more unfortunate ending. Help in the form of trauma therapy is available. The balance of this article will focus on coping with trauma and potential resources that are available.
Truth and Facts About Trauma and Trauma Therapy by The Source Inpatient Drug Rehabs Fort Lauderdale
FACT: You Define You Own Trauma
Trauma is personal and individual. A trauma represents something that has caused your brain pain and shock. In fact, a situation causing trauma to one may have no effect on someone else. Trauma is subjective, but if you believe it to be true in your subconscious then it is very real to you.
FACT: Nearly Everyone Has Some Form of Trauma
Throughout a lifetime, everyone experiences traumatic and painful events. It could be the death of a relative or other personal event. Of course, physical and sexual abuses are particularly traumatic; but all traumatic events matter equally to the individual affected.
What are the Top 10 examples of personal traumatic events?
- The death of a loved one
- A divorce
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- A bad medical diagnosis
- Life with a chronic medical condition
- Problematic and, or unhealthy relationships
- Forced isolation
FACT: Trauma and addiction are like a “Cause and effect”
Trauma and addiction can be linked, as in childhood trauma and addiction. In fact, research indicates that individuals who score high on the Adverse Childhood Experiences Questionnaire are up to five times more likely to become alcoholics, and up to 46 times more likely to inject drugs.
The reason the statistics are so high is that people abuse drugs and alcohol as an escape and a way to soothe the mental and emotional suffering that comes with unhealed trauma.
FACT: Trauma and mental health illness and addiction are highly linked
Conditions that include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and many others often result from trauma that may lead to addiction.
FACT: Trauma may lead to Physiological Changes
Experiencing a traumatic event may lead to certain physiological changes, For example, when a person lives in fear for extended periods, brain chemistry is altered and that individual is more likely to struggle with mental health conditions and addictions.
FACT: Adults of Happy Childhoods also Experience Trauma
Living through a happy and well-nurtured childhood does not mean a trauma-free life. Many people who experienced a perfectly happy childhood may be ashamed in adulthood because of a struggle with deep mental and emotional pain.
FACT: Traumatic Memories Are Often Repressed
Due to the way the brain is programmed to handle trauma, the ability to repress painful, traumatic memories is a built-in human power. The brain protects by putting certain events outside of a person’s conscious awareness for a period of time. This allows an individual to function in real-time. The concern is that although the memory is compressed, it is still alive in the subconscious mind.
FACT: Healing Trauma Requires Compassion and Time
Healing from major trauma requires an aspect of acceptance and personal compassion. Begging the question – “When is the first time you remember feeling that way?” allows a person to recall the original bothersome event. Perhaps it was in a third-grade science class when everyone made fun of you. It could even be something seemingly harmless; like when you were five years old and your older brother locked you in a closet and left you alone in the dark.
Whatever the specific event; it is possible for an adult to envision their younger self in trauma – and provide the consolation and comfort that was originally missing.
FACT: Personal Beliefs Have the Power to Set One Free
Healing from trauma involves changing the perception of traumatic events in your consciousness.
Beliefs may not be real, but they have the power to keep stuck or set you free. If you believe that your trauma makes you a victim, you’ll find a way to “prove” that belief and make it a truth. However; only you decide that you are strong and resilient. Only you can overcome your own trauma and go after whatever you want in life.
Learn More about Trauma and Addiction in Fort Lauderdale
It has been noted by many doctors who treat Trauma and Addiction in Fort Lauderdale, that there are benefits to starting work on trauma in early recovery. That is how we form an understanding that drugs provide a relief valve from the chaos of our lives.
Equipped with this understanding; all forms of treatment including individual and group therapy, 12 step meetings, etc. can become more effective. We come to realize that nothing is inherently wrong with ourselves; we just didn’t know how damaging trauma was. We learn that drugs and addiction are a symptom of our traumas, unhealthy emotions, dysfunctional relationships, and the like. This understanding may speed up the healing process and makes allows for recovery of body mind and spirit.
There is help available for victims of Trauma and Addiction in Fort Lauderdale. The Source Treatment Center drug rehabs Fort Lauderdale, Florida offers trauma-focused residential and OEP recovery programs. Help is just one phone call away at (800) 204-0418.