The Centre for Healing Blog


Addiction (Substance Abuse, Alcoholism, Codependency etc)

addiction addictionrecovery addictions May 13, 2022

Addiction for a very long time is something that has been stigmatised, shamed, looked down upon and people who are suffering from addiction are punished, outcasted from society and sent to prison.

The cultural view on addiction for the most part is that it has been some kind of moral failing, lack of willpower, a personal defect within the person or a conscious choice someone makes (like anyone would choose to live a life suffering in the grips of addiction).

The second model of addiction arose with the creation of 12 step programs, which is the disease model. This was a step in the right direction as it taught so called “addicts” to relate to themselves differently.

They where taught that they have an incurable disease which must be managed and if they where to refrain from using substances, they must attend meetings and work a thorough program in order to live a functional life free from their substance of choice, and the chaos active addiction causes.




In 12 step there are concepts such as “self centred fear is the core of our disease, obsession and compulsion are how it presents etc. Although personally I think 12 step can be very beneficial for lots of people and I encourage people to attend if i feel it will benefit them, I do not believe it tells the whole story.

There is a large piece of the puzzle missing in the model.

The final model of addiction is one that brings in the understanding of trauma and the role it plays in compulsive self soothing behaviours. As Gabor Mate states “Every addict has trauma, but not everyone who has trauma becomes an addict”.

My conclusions are a little different, as I see addiction as a very broad spectrum of behaviours that are compulsive, obsessive and done in order to find some sort of relief and homeostasis.

When our nervous system is in a state of survival and dysregulation it is a very natural response to seek relief from those quite painful states. We will use anything we can in order to regulate ourselves back down to calm and safe.

The more the dysregulation, the more the compulsion, the more our nervous system is stuck in FFFF (Fight, flight, freeze, fawn) the more we will seek something externally to pacify or override that response. 

Trauma causes the nervous system to get stuck in a fear state, our neurophysiology gets wired for survival.

This explains the 12 step concept “self centred fear is the core of our addiction” as our wiring becomes primarily oriented around survival the individual self.

Many people in 12 step programs have stated to me they do not believe they have trauma. And my answer to this is that from the traditional dictionary definition and perspective this may be true, but if we understand trauma from the perspective of the autonomic nervous system and how it adapts we can certainly see that all addiction, no matter how small is driven by trauma.


Want to work with us?
If you're a Coach, Therapist, Healer or Someone in the Industry CLICK HERE
Want to Deepen your own Healing Journey or become a Practitioner CLICK HERE


The latest findings and insights into the nature of trauma has given us a whole new perspective on addiction, a trauma informed perspective. The way we perceive something and the depth of insight we have into it dictates the way we relate to it.

As a culture the need for a trauma informed approach to mental health and addiction is not only a more compassionate, realistic and scientific approach, it is absolutely necessary if we are going to begin to unravel this growing epidemic. 

Condemnation and judgement is born of ignorance, but understanding and clear seeing brings about a natural compassion.

A trauma informed approach to addiction will bring about a natural transformation within the field of mental health and rehabilitation.

In peace,
The Centre for Healing

Want to work with us?
If you're a Coach, Therapist, Healer or Someone in the Industry CLICK HERE
Want to Deepen your own Healing Journey or become a Practitioner CLICK HERE