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  • October 2017
  • Vol. 18, No. 7

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New Brief Links Childhood Trauma to Opioid Misuse

A recent brief highlighting the link between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and opioid misuse contends that a trauma-informed approach will be essential to resolving the nation's opioid epidemic. The brief recommends the use of evidence-based therapeutic treatment programs to get at the roots of addiction and investment in both proven and promising substance use prevention and treatment strategies.

The June 2017 brief from the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice contends that any national strategy to combat the opioid crisis needs to include a trauma-informed approach to succeed. The brief points to one study linking ACEs with increased risk for prescription drug misuse and another showing that over 80 percent of patients seeking opioid addiction treatment suffered at least one form of childhood trauma. It notes that two-thirds of this group reported having witnessed violence.

The brief notes that a trauma-informed approach can help in two ways: programs that prevent trauma exposure and programs that use such approaches to help existing addicts heal, recover, and become productive.

Trauma-Informed Approaches Need to Be Part of a Comprehensive Strategy for Addressing the Opioid Epidemic is available at http://ctipp.org/Portals/0/xBlog/uploads/2017/7/17/CTIPP_OPB_No1.pdf (238 KB).

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