Trauma focused interventions: caring for adults with comorbid trauma and substance use disorders

Okemwa, Leonidah
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University of Delaware
Background/Purpose: Mortality related to substance overdose in the U.S. affects young and old individuals with trauma history playing a key role in determining health outcomes. Substance overdose deaths may be preventable if the underlying emotional trauma is diagnosed and treated appropriately. The aim of this project was to promote trauma care through staff education and evaluate its impact on abstinence and treatment adherence rates in adults with substance use disorder. Methods: Staff at the local substance use disorder treatment facility received a one-hour in-person training on SAMHSA developed six principles of trauma-informed care. Staff then implemented trauma-informed care practices for twelve weeks. A de-identified chart review was completed to collect data on abstinence and treatment adherence rates over a twelve-week period. This was compared to the pre-implementation data collected on the same patients and variables with a look-back period of one year. Results: Over a period of 12-weeks, 50 charts were reviewed, out of which, 38 patients (76%) showed abstinence, while 10 (20%) were re-admitted to the inpatient setting. Using two-tailed t-test, statistically significant improvement in post-intervention abstinence and treatment adherence rates was established. Conclusion & Implications: This nurse-led project promoted adoption of evidence-based care that improved patient outcomes related to abstinence and treatment adherence. This project has the potential for positive contribution to the implementation of trauma-informed care in patients with substance use disorder.
Adults ACEs , Mental health , Social determinants of health , Substance use in adults , Trauma informed care