How Childhood Trauma Can Affect Addiction Later on in Life

How Childhood Trauma Can Affect Addiction Later on in Life

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that nearly 7.7 million people in America have experienced trauma in a given year, and this can happen at any age. Childhood trauma in particular can weigh heavily on us, especially as our brains have not fully developed and are unable to fully comprehend what has happened. As we get older, we carry the messages of that trauma through our subconscious, where we may store certain beliefs about ourselves, others, or the world around us unintentionally. What we find over time is that the effects of this trauma may have faded but oftentimes they still remain, especially no treatment is sought.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not uncommon in the addiction community, as many turn to substances in an attempt to escape from the very pain that trauma causes. Emotional and physical pain can be difficult to bear – with alcohol and drugs seemingly taking this pain away, even if only temporarily. In 2015, researchers published a study in the journal Addiction Research & Theory to discover exactly how childhood trauma has impacted those who have injected drugs. A total of 55 participants were interviewed, with many individuals recalling violence, sexual abuse, neglect and more as a child. Ultimately, the researchers discovered that for many, childhood trauma was related to adult alcohol use. Here are some of their other findings:

·    Drug use occurred often after childhood trauma, but without a particular cause and effect

·    Drug injecting was often seen as a way to block out distressing thoughts and feelings

·    Ultimately, childhood trauma did have an effect on substance abuse later on in life, thought there were various paths taken to get there

Treatment for recovery should be approached with an understanding of trauma. The more a healthcare team is aware of how trauma impacts recovery, the more customized service they can provide. If you’ve been battling addiction, seek the help you need today. It’s time for your mind, body, and spirit to heal.

The mission of The Beach House is to provide success in the recovery process and elevate the standard of comprehensive addiction treatment. Located right on the coast of Malibu, California, expert clinical care and a holistic view of the recovery process is provided to ensure Best-in-Class treatment tailored to the needs of each client. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey today, call us at 310-924-0780.

Saving Lives; Healing Families.

Kimberly James

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.