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J Psychoactive Drugs. 1994 Oct-Dec;26(4):369-78.

Integrated treatment for the survivor of childhood trauma who is chemically dependent.

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  • 1Evans & Sullivan Clinic, Beaverton, Oregon 97005.


A substantial percentage of individuals who are chemically dependent also suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder and other survivor syndromes related to childhood abuse. The synergism of these multiple conditions creates unique treatment challenges. An enhanced, integrated treatment approach increases the chances of a successful clinical outcome. This article discusses a treatment model for chemical dependence and trauma-related syndromes that blends mental health and 12-Step and other chemical dependence treatment notions into an integrated approach that treats both disorders simultaneously and comprehensively. The model uses the strategic principle of "safety first" to drive all interventions and has five stages to organize the selection and timing of treatment tactics: crisis, skills, education, integration, and maintenance. This article also presents specific therapeutic tactics for each stage and a composit case example blending the history and recovery process of a survivor to illustrate the model in action.

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