Could trauma-informed yoga benefit drug treatment for youth?

Yoga Outreach has been providing trauma-informed yoga classes to justice-involved and at-risk youth for 18 years.


Based on the empirical studies that have established trauma-informed yoga as an evidence-based treatment intervention, and the observations of Yoga Outreach teachers, Yoga Outreach submitted a proposal to the Department of Justice to examine the efficacy of trauma-based yoga, and similar mindfulness-based stress reduction programs, as a promising adjunctive treatment intervention for justice involved youth receiving treatment for substance use disorders.


This study examines published studies and “grey literature” on both the standard substance use treatment models as well as a small, but growing body of empirical studies investigating the efficacy of trauma-based complementary programs. The literature review also considers the need for gender-responsive and culturally-responsive treatment models that more specifically address the unique needs of female young offenders and Aboriginal young offenders.