Implementing Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) in SUD Treatment and Recovery-Oriented Systems


SAMHSA designated trauma-informed care as a best practice. Trauma-informed care is an organization- or system-wide approach, grounded in a deep understanding of trauma that emphasizes safety for both providers and survivors, empowerment for clients, and avoidance of practices that lead to re-traumatization. Trauma-informed care can also help reduce burnout among behavioral health care providers, potentially reducing staff turnover.


As stated by the Missouri Model for Trauma-Informed Care:

“The implementation of a trauma-informed approach is an ongoing organizational change process. A ‘trauma-informed approach’ is not a program model that can be implemented and then simply monitored by a fidelity checklist. Rather, it is a profound paradigm shift in knowledge, perspective, attitudes, and skills that continues to deepen and unfold over time."


Implementing trauma-informed care is a multi-year process that often benefits from external facilitation and consultation. The goals of this multi-level transformation within an SUD treatment context are to create a culture that recognizes:

  • The widespread prevalence of traumatic events on individuals, families, communities, and nations
  • The impact, signs, and symptoms of trauma
  • The need for integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices
  • The importance of actively resisting re-traumatization


Mid-America ATTC, in partnership with University Health’s Center for Trauma-Informed Innovation, is committed to providing SUD treatment and recovery-oriented organizations and providers with the technical assistance they need to create more trauma-informed cultures.


Levels of Technical Assistance (TA) for Trauma-Informed (TI) Support:

TIC TA Levels


TIC Resources:


For more information or to request Trauma-Informed Technical Assistance, please contact Dena Sneed at