The Abyss: Addiction, Homelessness, and Trauma

Webinar Slides(PDF)

Without healing, trauma can structure a person’s brain in a way that sets them up to be a high risk for addiction. Addiction is one of the most effective and efficient ways to kill the physical and psychological pain resulting from trauma. This short-term relief too often becomes an all-consuming way of life, which often results in homelessness, poverty, and struggles to succeed in services and life in general.

This webinar will examine the research and science behind the connections between addiction and trauma. With this knowledge, it becomes clear why those with unresolved trauma often struggle with addiction, and can find it very difficult to make the life changes necessary to establish sobriety. It also provides a context to understand why those managing an addiction find it almost impossible to make the important changes which help them emerge from the devastation of homelessness. This information helps build empathy for the scope of these challenges, and further shows the importance of integrating medical care with mental health and substance abuse services.


  • Matt Bennett, Chief Innovation Officer, Coldspring Center for Social and Health Innovation, Denver, CO
Categories: Behavioral Health, Clinical Practice, Severe Mental Illness, Substance Use
Tags: Webinar
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