Advocates for Human Potential, Inc.

Future Topics and Presenters

Date: September 19, 2018 2:00 PM ET
Presenters:Tommie Bower, Lisa Talbot-Lundrigan and Steve Valle
Title of Presentation: Double Trouble: Working with the Complications of Addiction and Trauma
Description: Separately Substance Use Disorder (SUD)/addiction and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD)/trauma are difficult, chronic disorders. Research and experience show that when they co-occur, the complications double. Both conditions hijack the executive functions of the brain and return it to survivalist mode of chronic alarm followed by attempts to sedate that alarm. Unfortunately for this population, efforts at recovery, even in the best of circumstances, can fail because of recounting traumatic memories and unexpected returns of unhealthy influences, i.e. encountering former drug use partners.

This presentation offers a practical description of the way executive functions are diverted to a chronic alarm state. We will use that lens to discuss the missing skills of self-management, such as the ability to predict and plan for triggers or the ability to manage intense feelings without sedation. We know that recovery from both disorders require learning and practicing a similar set of skills which lead to self-mastery. Strategies to help develop self-management skills necessary to the healing of both disorders are offered. Finally, we will discuss the predictable, normal stressors of reentry and approaches to educate and prepare inmates for that challenge.

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