Childhood trauma and addiction can have a severe effect on someone’s life. Childhood trauma comes in many forms and most people who experience it live with the repercussions into adulthood, which unknowingly take a toll on their lives.
Addiction can affect anyone, yet society stigmatizes addicts and perceives them as people who love dangerous habits or are weak-minded. However, the reality is more complicated because addiction has a close link to trauma and substance abuse. Survivors of traumatic experiences, such as molestation or terrorist attacks, are at higher risk of developing substance addiction. For mental health and substance abuse treatment, contact Amatus Recovery Centers at 833.631.0525 today.
Many studies relate trauma to unhealthy behaviors, such as binge drinking. According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), there is a correlation between substance abuse and children’s negative experiences. Therefore, those who experience adverse challenges can have both mental and physical health problems, meaning that addictive behaviors are directly related to a person’s background and history.
There are several causes of childhood trauma, including:
- Sexual assault
- Physical violence
- Emotional abuse
- School shootings
- Natural disasters
- Forced displacement
- Historical trauma
The Relationship Between Trauma and Mental Health
Children’s brains are adaptable and can easily change to meet an environment’s needs; hence, the plasticity enables it to absorb critical information during trauma. Unfortunately, children may hide the harmful behavior absorbed from a dangerous situation through fear.
In the case of trauma, children’s brains can develop physical changes, such as the size of the Hippocampus (which regulates learning and memory). As a result, this affects them for the rest of their adult life. This illustration explains how the brain adapts to adverse environments, thus making negativity become the norm.
Dealing With Childhood Trauma and Addiction
Before you deal with trauma and addiction, it’s essential to understand the connection between the two. Typically, people with histories of traumatic experiences are likely to develop an addictive habit. According to studies, children with four or more traumatic experiences are likely to become alcoholics or obese, and the underlying co-occurrence of addiction and trauma is complicated.
Many of those who struggle with trauma turn to substance use for self-medication, consequently leading to addiction. Although millions of people in the US take alcohol and other drugs to manage the symptoms of mental illnesses, this habit causes lots of suffering to an already traumatized person.
Self-medication through substance use can dull the memory of trauma, but momentarily because the symptoms will reappear more intensely. Alternatively, some people develop other addictive behaviors in place of alcohol and drug use, including compulsive overeating or gambling.
If you continue avoiding trauma, you’ll likely suffer more severe consequences later on in life. Fortunately, an expert can propose specific treatment methods to deal with unresolved traumatic experiences.
If you engage in drug or alcohol abuse because of childhood trauma, a rehab facility will recommend treating addiction first before the shock. For the best results, therapists will ensure that you’re sober before addressing childhood trauma.
Overcome Addiction and Trauma at Rehab
Childhood trauma and addiction require urgent treatment to enable you to resume a healthy life. Addiction can lead to various challenges that can destroy your life, so seek prompt, professional treatment at a rehab center.
You’ll get a wide range of treatment programs at rehab, including:
- Residential addiction treatment
- Drug & alcohol detox programs
- Intensive outpatient therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Outpatient treatment program
- Community housing program
Are you struggling with childhood trauma and addiction? Don’t continue to suffer in silence; consult a therapist for the right treatment to restore your life or that of a loved one. Don’t let the trauma you experienced at a tender age deny you happiness. Contact Amatus Recovery Centers at 833.631.0525 to get started on recovery.