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Childhood trauma and addiction

Steve Stokes

Untreated trauma is rife among people being treated for drug and alcohol dependence, causing years of unnecessary suffering and potentially costing the country 100s of millions of dollars. Attempts to classify childhood trauma as a separate condition from PTSD in DSM V was rejected but most clinicians would recognise it as complex PTSD or Developmental Trauma Disorder. Clients do not present with classical PTSD symptoms – there is more regression, and higher incidence of dissociation and self-harming behaviour. Given the high rates of childhood trauma in adult cases of comorbid mood disorders and substance abuse, early intervention is ideal. GPs and other clinicians should routinely screen patients with drug and alcohol problems for trauma and treat both conditions simultaneously.

PACFA CONFERENCE 2014
Complexity & Connectedness In Life & Love
13-15 June 2014, Sydney, Australia
Visit PACFA at: www.pacfa.org.au

Steve Stokes
Steve Stokes
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Steve Stokes

Steve Stokes, Program Director, South Pacific Private / Clinical Member of the Australian Counselling Association. Steve has been working in the field of addictions and Mental Health for over 25 years, and is currently the Program Director for South Pacific Private in Curl Curl, NSW. Steve believes in the effectiveness of counselling within a family system and in treating addiction as an organising principle through working with all members of the family.

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