Tree of Addiction

Trauma-Informed Model of Addiction

In this model, the roots of addiction lie in early childhood experiences that result in emotional conflicts in later life. These may be major traumas such as violence and abuse, or more minor issues that can establish themselves into a negative sense of self: depression, stress, anxiety, low self-esteem etc. The trunk of the addiction tree is the normal human state of consciousness; unhappy and unfulfilled to varying degrees. We naturally seek relief from this by engaging in behaviours that we think will create happiness and avoid pain. Substance use is just one way of doing this. All these behaviours are essentially seeking outside of ourselves, rather than looking inwards at the roots.