You have heard that “children are resilient.” While true, you should never consider childhood trauma a minor issue. Whether it stems from abuse, neglect, or loss, trauma can affect someone decades later. Drug and alcohol abuse is common among people who have suffered some trauma. Learning how traumatic events impact someone can help you better understand the role they play in substance use disorder.
Childhood Trauma and Lasting Effects Into Adulthood
It is unfortunate that any child suffers during the most formative period of her life. Her young brain is rapidly developing, so to deal with traumatic events at this time can have negative consequences far into the future.
Children cannot make sense of trauma in the way that adults can. This is why they may have difficulty overcoming an event that is not as traumatic for grownups. Also, they cannot rely on their loved ones for emotional support if their family members are the ones causing the distress.
Trauma can be a significant, one-time event or an ongoing condition. The types of trauma that may lead to substance abuse include:
- A parent’s incarceration
- Domestic violence
- Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse
- A parent with substance use or mental health disorder
One of the most damaging problems is ongoing emotional abuse. While this type of abuse leaves no physical scars, the emotional ones are left decades later. Parents who reinforce the ideas of worthlessness and stupidity in their children can sow the seeds for drug and alcohol dependency.
The Connection Between Trauma and Substance Use Disorder
Children who grow up in a stressful, negative environment are more likely to fall victim to substance abuse as they mature. They turn to drug and alcohol abuse as a way to escape or cope with negative emotions. They did not learn positive coping skills, so they fall back on what feels comfortable.
Substance abuse is not the only problem that may develop from childhood trauma. Other issues include eating disorders and mental health disorders, leading to the need for treatment for co-occurring disorders.
Without the proper nurturing environment during childhood, many people attempt to find solace the wrong way.
Recovering at The Willows
The Willows is a female-only rehab facility providing substance abuse treatments in a peaceful setting in Fairview, North Carolina. Our treatment center is located on an old horse farm, giving our clients a serene backdrop in which to recover.
Our services include:
- Outpatient and PHP treatment
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Trauma therapy
- Experiential therapy
You can turn your life around and regain control. Call us today at 855-773-0614 for more information on overcoming drug and alcohol abuse that stems from childhood trauma. Our compassionate team is ready to help you.