The Link Between Childhood Trauma & Addiction.

The Link Between Childhood Trauma And Addiction In Adulthood.

Some signs of risk can be seen as early as infancy or early childhood, such as aggressive behavior, lack of self-control, or difficult temperament. As the child gets older, interactions with family, at school, and within the community can affect that child’s risk for later drug abuse.

Children’s earliest interactions occur in the family; sometimes family situations heighten a child’s risk for later drug abuse, for example, when there is:

  • a lack of attachment and nurturing by parents or caregivers;

  • ineffective parenting; and

  • a caregiver who abuses drugs.

Interactions outside the family can involve risks for both children and adolescents, such as:

  • poor classroom behavior or social skills;

  • academic failure; and

  • association with drug-abusing peers.

Other factors—such as drug availability, trafficking patterns, and beliefs that drug abuse is generally tolerated—are risks that can influence young people to start abusing drugs. Studies such as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, formally called the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, reported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, indicate that some children are already abusing drugs at age 12 or 13, which likely means that some begin even earlier. Early abuse often includes such substances as tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, and prescription drugs such as sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medicines. If drug abuse persists into later adolescence, abusers typically become more heavily involved with marijuana and then advance to other drugs, while continuing their abuse of tobacco and alcohol. Studies have also shown that abuse of drugs in late childhood and early adolescence is associated with greater drug involvement. It is important to note that most youth, however, do not progress to abusing other drugs.

Scientists have proposed various explanations of why some individuals become involved with drugs and then escalate to abuse. One explanation points to a biological cause, such as having a family history of drug or alcohol abuse. Another explanation is that abusing drugs can lead to affiliation with drug-abusing peers, which, in turn, exposes the individual to other drugs.

Researchers have found that youth who rapidly increase their substance abuse have high levels of risk factors with low levels of protective factors. Gender, race, and geographic location can also play a role in how and when children begin abusing drugs.

Substance abuse is often used as a coping mechanism to deal with painful memories associated with abuse. Using drugs and alcohol is also a way to deal with feelings of loneliness and isolation, improve a sense of self-worth, and to cope with untreated mental health issues such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

Thanks to

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All