Neurobiology of Addiction and Trauma: Intricate Links

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Neurobiology of Addiction and Trauma: Intricate Links

June 16, 2022 @ 9:00am - 1:00pm

The Relationship Between Addiction-Related Brain Chemistry and Trauma Response

About the Training

This presentation will describe the correlation of the brain chemistry of addiction and the trauma response. Addiction will be defined as a “hijacking” of the brain’s instinctive survival pathways. Risk factors and recovery needs will be reviewed. Trauma will be defined, and various forms of trauma discussed. The impact of trauma on the brain, body, behavior, and relationships will be reviewed. Triggers and the process of trauma will be discussed. Gender differences in the experience of trauma will be described. The A.C.E. study will be reviewed. Short and long-term symptomology will be reviewed. Resiliencies, buffers, and brain health will be explored. The 5 core principles of trauma informed care will be reviewed with recommendations for professional self-care.


  • Participants will gain awareness of the brain chemistry of addiction and risk factors
  • Participants will be able to define trauma and traumatic events
  • Participants will learn and engage with the 5 core principles of trauma informed care
  • Participants will understand the impact of trauma on the brain, body, behavior and relationships
  • Participants will be able to understand the gender differences in the experience of trauma

About the Facilitator

Carol Ackley, LADC - Retired Executive Director Of River Ridge Treatment Center

Carol Ackley, retired executive director of River Ridge Treatment Center (2000-2015) ,developed and implemented gender responsive, trauma-informed, co-occurring treatment services in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area. She created and supervised outpatient and residential substance abuse treatment for adults and educational services for adolescents and adults.

Ms. Ackley was educated at the University of Wisconsin and the College of St. Catherine. She has worked in the substance abuse field for over 25 years as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor in the state of Minnesota. She has developed many training programs on women’s issues and substance abuse, addictive disorders, co-occurring disorders, trauma-informed services, the impact of addiction on family systems, and adolescent vulnerability to substance abuse. Her lecture, “Brain Chemistry of Addiction,” has been used widely to educate people in business, behavioral health and social services, academia, corrections, and the judiciary, as well as clients and their families. She has been a reviewer for the Treatment Improvement Protocols (TIP) series for the National Institute of Health, has played a leadership role in a Minnesota-wide consortium of providers of behavioral health services for women and their families, and has done consulting work with National Institute of Corrections.

Ms. Ackley has been associated with Dr. Stephanie Covington since 1997 and has assisted her in the development of gender-responsive, trauma-informed programming for women/men and girls/boys. She is currently training and consulting around the country.


Important Information

  • CEU applications have been submitted to the Boards of Behavioral Health, Social Work and Marriage and Family Therapy. 4 CEUS will be available, including one ethics CEU where applicable.
  • Attendees will be issued a CEU certificate upon completion of a post-event survey and post-test. Certificates will not be issued on-site at the event.
  • To comply with board requirements for tracking attendance, attendees will be required to check-in to the event and check-out at the conclusion of the event.


June 16, 2022
9:00am - 1:00pm
Event Category:


DHA Companies


Content Appropriate For
Addiction Counselors, Mental Health Therapists, Peer Recovery Specialists, Medical Professionals, Students/Interns, General Public
Continuing Education Units
CEU Availability
Board of Behavioral Health & Therapy, Board of Marriage and Family Therapy, Board of Social Work
Food Service
Continental Breakfast, Catered Lunch, Coffee & Water
Event Content


Dakota Lodge: Thompson County State Park
1200 Stassen Lane
SAINT PAUL, MN 55118 United States
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