Exploring the Intersection of Trauma and Addiction

Estimated watch time: 2 hrs 2 minutes

Presentation Materials:

Molly Jones, LSW

Clinical Education Coordinator for Advanced Recovery Systems

Molly Jones, LSW is a Clinical Education Coordinator for Advanced Recovery Systems. In this role, Molly is responsible for providing clinical education and training to various client populations, treatment providers, and other behavioral health stakeholders across the country. Molly provides in-person, virtual, and on-demand behavioral health education and is able to cover a wide variety of topics under the behavioral healthcare umbrella.

Molly is a Licensed Social Worker in the State of Colorado and based out of Denver, Colorado. Prior to joining the ARS Community Outreach Team in August 2019, Molly worked in a variety of social work settings. She has worked in direct practice, counseling older adults, adolescents, high acuity clients, and other populations struggling with various mental health and substance abuse related issues, as well as a Permanency Planning Worker for the Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Division in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Molly has worked in the field of Social Work since 2013, and holds the philosophy that all individuals, with proper support and awareness, possess the ability to learn, change, and grow to achieve the highest quality of life and sense of self possible.

Molly earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Family Life Education with a focus on Gerontology from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. In her time with Advanced Recovery Systems, Molly has primarily worked with first responders and their families, as well as the International Association of Fire Fighters and various municipalities across North America. Molly is the Peer Team Clinician for the IAFF’s 9th District Peer Support Team, has been featured in news publications and mental health podcasts, and provided clinical oversight to local non-profits in Colorado.

Dr. Nicole Kelly

Fire Inspector and member of Local 2969 Brevard County, FL and owner of First Response Acupuncture

Nikki is a national board-certified, licensed acupuncturist and herbalist who specializes in the treatment of post-traumatic stress, emotional disorders, chronic pain, insomnia, and the reduction of stress and anxiety in first responders. Nikki uses acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and moxibustion therapy to help clients get back to health and balance. Prior to her role as a fire inspector and acupuncturist, Nikki served as a firefighter/EMT with Brevard County Fire Rescue.

Objectives and Summary:

Exploring the Intersection of Trauma and Addiction will focus on the trauma-addiction loop, as well as review the prevalence of post-traumatic stress and addiction within first responder populations. The exposure to potentially traumatic events is a common and cumulative experience for many members of the first responder profession. Chronic and cumulative exposure to trauma in this line of work greatly increases the likelihood of members of this population developing post-traumatic stress, acute stress disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also true that many members of the first responder community turn towards drugs, alcohol, and other compulsive behavior as a way to manage or reduce difficult thoughts, feelings, and other symptoms related to post-traumatic stress. This webinar aims to identify and discuss the ways in which trauma often underlies addictive behaviors and disorders. Attendees of this presentation will gain a greater awareness of the impact of trauma exposure, as well as how and why people so often turn towards maladaptive ways of coping. Molly will highlight the ways responders can be more proactive in processing trauma, identify adaptive ways of coping with trauma, and how to support yourself or others who are sober, or even sober-curious. 

Presentation Materials: