Trauma can lead a person to drugs or alcohol to cope. Trauma can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and puts a person at risk of developing an addiction. Traumatic events can bring back painful memories or flashbacks.
Childhood trauma can lead to drug or alcohol addiction in adolescence or adulthood. Abuse in any form is traumatic for a child and can impair a child’s development. Fear, bad memories, and safety are some reasons why childhood trauma victims turn to drugs or alcohol.
A teenager who suffered childhood trauma is at high risk of developing an addiction. Teens often engage in risky, impulsive, or dangerous behavior and can be easily influenced by peers to try drugs or alcohol.
Here are 5 reasons why childhood trauma can lead to drug or alcohol use:
- Seek safety. People who experience childhood trauma can feel unsafe. When they use drugs or alcohol, their moods, emotions, and feelings change. They can feel safer now as opposed to the vulnerable child they once were.
- Escape painful memories. People with childhood trauma use drugs and alcohol to escape the haunting memories of their trauma and suppress any thoughts that lead to reminiscing about the event.
- Feel good. Drugs and alcohol change the brain’s function and cause the neurotransmitters to release high levels of dopamine. The dopamine gives the person a temporary pleasurable effect.
- Maintain control. A person who goes through childhood trauma can feel like they are in control when they use drugs or alcohol. The temporary shift in attitude allows the person to freely express his or herself and be in control of what they do.
- Relieve stress. Sometimes people with childhood trauma turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve stress and anxiety. Drugs and alcohol can actually contribute to more stress and anxiety and worsen symptoms of an underlying mental health condition.
If you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD and addiction, get help now. Treatment is available for a dual diagnosis. Mental health and addiction are treatable and recovery is possible.
Cypress Lakes Lodge specializes in addiction treatment and is located in a serene, remote, lush-green, oxygen enriched environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy and offers yoga and meditation for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204