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What is a Trauma Center?

A trauma center is a medical facility, either stand alone, or within a hospital that is equipped to provide specialized care to patients who have suffered traumatic injuries. Trauma centers are prepared with staff and specifically designed to take special care of the most severe and life threating injuries that come through the door. These injuries can include results of an accident, violence, natural disasters, and other traumatic events.

In addition, trauma centers play an important role in addressing the overlap between trauma and addiction coming through the healthcare system. Those who have experienced traumatic events like the ones stated above, may lead individuals to be at an increased risk of acquiring a substance abuse problem as a way to cope with the trauma. In turn, those who struggle with addiction may also be more vulnerable in being the victim of a traumatic event as a result of risky behaviour associated with their alcohol or substance abuse.

Trauma centers provide the intense care to those who battle with both trauma and addiction. The staff in a trauma center posses the expertise to address the medical and psychological aspects pertaining to trauma and addiction concurrently. This trauma care in addiction treatment involves the recognition of the underlying trauma that may contribute to the substance abuse battle.

Trauma centers can also provide specialized treatment programs for individuals with the co-occurring addiction and traumatic event. These programs can include trauma-focused therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and support groups specific to addressing both trauma and addiction at the same time. Trauma centers also have the ability to work with community resources including mental health resources, and addiction treatment centers, to ensure patients get the continuing care for their recovery beyond the treatment center.

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