Childhood trauma can impact people well into their adulthood. It is especially harmful as it occurs during the adolescent’s developmental years, thus shaping their perception of the world, and can lead people to be more susceptible to harmful addictions, as addictions provide temporary relief for emotional distress.
Many types of Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) may occur. Examples include:1
It is found that adverse childhood experiences cause health inequalities. Those that are traumatized are more likely to:
Adverse childhood experiences can weigh on us throughout our lives. They can cause mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. The stress that comes with these conditions is detrimental to heart health. The combination of poor parental guidance and stress also raises the likelihood of obesity which is linked to several diseases.
Childhood trauma is the lasting effects of a traumatic experience that happened during childhood.
The signs and symptoms of childhood trauma include the following:
Addiction is a behavior a person continues to engage in and cannot stop despite negative consequences. A person can have an addiction to anything, but the term is typically used to refer to substance abuse issues. Addiction is often caused by underlying emotional issues such as adverse childhood experiences. Simultaneously treating childhood trauma and addiction is key to producing long-term results. Therapists suggest healthy ways for patients to deal with their childhood trauma, so they don’t go back to using.
Trauma and addiction are related in a variety of ways; these will be detailed further below.
Studies reveal strong ties between mental health issues and childhood trauma, particularly if the child was exposed to bullying, maltreatment, parental loss, and emotional abuse.4
People who experience adverse childhood events are more likely to abuse prescription drugs. The trauma and addiction link is likely to form in college as students may be pushed to use due to social and academic stressors.6
Statistics show that people that deal with childhood trauma are more likely to develop an addiction later in life.
Adverse childhood experiences and addiction are co-occurring conditions that are hard to fight. But help is available. Here are the steps you can take to find the assistance you need.
The first step in getting help for addiction is to determine its underlying cause and the best ways to address it. If there is an ACE and addiction link, the therapist will suggest healthy ways for the patient to process trauma so they don’t go back to using.
If someone you know is dealing with addiction, treating them with compassion and respect is important. Don’t be judgmental of them. Show them that you care and want to help.
Harm minimization principles are as follows:
You can help a person dealing with adverse childhood experiences and substance use by recommending centers and resources that are accessible to them.
Many rehab facilities help people with childhood trauma and addiction, but Soledad House takes an approach that sets us apart. Soledad House is a women’s recovery program in beautiful San Diego, California. We offer a dual diagnosis approach that addresses addiction and its underlying cause, including childhood trauma. We provide a variety of strategies and take a faith-based approach. Trauma and addiction are hard to fight. Don’t go it alone. Contact Soledad House for the trauma and addiction recovery help you need. We will assist you in moving on to a higher quality of life.