DR. LISA NAJAVITS: TREATING PTSD AND SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS
September 21, 2021
Hosted by Dr. Patricia Halligan
Research shows that among people seeking treatment for Substance Use Disorders, lifetime PTSD rates range from 30 to over 60%. This is a complicated group that tends to have worse outcomes when compared to either disorder alone. Dr. Lisa Najavits, world renowned expert in PTSD and Trauma Treatment discusses her award-winning, innovative treatment manual "Seeking Safety," which treats PTSD and Substance Use Disorders concurrently. Dr. Najavits discusses the common myth that treatment needs to focus on the past, on the painful retelling of the trauma story and the intense re-experiencing of feelings associated with the trauma. She says this myth deters many people from seeking trauma treatment. Her manual is present-focused and teaches coping skills that help people manage PTSD symptoms, cope with cravings and take back their personal power that was lost through the trauma and the addiction. "Seeking Safety" offers 25 different topics, promoting both relationship skills and individual skills. These topics include Detaching From Emotional Pain, Compassion, Setting Boundaries in Relationships, Asking for Help, Coping with Triggers, Finding Meaning and Safe Self Nurturing. Dr. Najavits goes into depth as she explains some of the grounding exercises (physical, mental and soothing grounding) that help people detach from emotional pain. She offers some simple, practical and portable skills that give people the ability to shift their emotional state at any moment. Dr. Najavits offers hope to those suffering from comorbid PTSD and Substance Use Disorders, encouraging them to stay in the present moment and focus on what you can do now, today, in the present moment. "You can create a new story for yourself and find a sense of meaning and purpose moving forward..." This, she says, is an antidote to trauma and addiction.
RECOVERY…THE HERO’S JOURNEY
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel
RECOVERY: THE HERO’S JOURNEY provides best practice information and support to people struggling with Substance Use Disorders/Process Addictions and Prescription Drug Dependence. We confront the stigma surrounding Opioid Use Disorder and Benzodiazepine Dependence, understanding that both are the direct result of an overprescribing epidemic. We discuss Buprenorphine, a first line, long term treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. We validate people struggling with Benzodiazepine Dependence (ie-Xanax/Klonopin), and offer resources and a recovery plan.
Experts explore Eating Disorders, Sex Addiction, PTSD, and the effects of today’s Cannabis on teens and young adults, offering guidance and resources to individuals struggling with these issues and their families. This podcast gracefully combines interviews with experts in the field and patient stories of recovery and redemption. The show is about connection, reclaiming personal integrity and hope.
Dr. Patricia Halligan
Dr. Patricia Halligan is an Addiction Psychiatrist, who specializes in the treatment of patients diagnosed with Substance Use Disorders, Prescription Drug Dependency and Process Addictions. She completed a residency in Psychiatry at Cornell-The New York Hospital, followed by a Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina in 1998. Dr. Halligan is double board certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry and is a trained CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist). Believing in the healing power of connection, she trained at the Center for Group Studies in NYC and runs modern analytic group therapy for people in recovery.
Dr. Halligan has been prescribing Buprenorphine in her private practice since 2003 and continues to be a strong advocate for patients with Opioid Use Disorder throughout the Opioid Epidemic. She has spent the last two decades in the trenches of two tragic epidemics caused by the overprescribing of both Opioids and Benzodiazepines.
Aware that the lack of addiction training in medicine has largely contributed to both epidemics, she has resolved to devote some time to teaching. She creates CME accredited addiction education videos and training workshops for health care providers. Dr. Halligan decided to create this show to support people who are taking the hero’s journey into recovery and their families. You’ll hear interviews with experts surrounding best practices, and embrace the elimination of stigma.