People turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with trauma at any age. Some trauma can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and put a person at risk of developing a drug or alcohol addiction. Traumatic events can bring back painful memories or flashbacks, which is why some people with PTSD turn to drugs or alcohol as an escape from reality.
Childhood trauma can lead to drug or alcohol addiction in adolescence or adulthood. Abuse in any form is traumatic for a child. Sexual, physical, emotional, and mental abuse is very traumatic and can impair a child’s development.
Teens often engage in risky, impulsive, or dangerous behavior and can be influenced by peer pressure to try addictive substances. A teen with a traumatic history is likely to use drugs or alcohol to relieve painful memories of his or her childhood abuse or trauma.
Here are some reasons why childhood trauma can lead to addiction:
- Escape from memories. People with childhood trauma abuse drugs and alcohol to escape the memories of their trauma and suppress any thoughts that lead to reminiscing about the event.
- To 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.
- Safety. People who experience childhood trauma can feel safe when they abuse drugs or alcohol because their moods, emotions, and feelings change. They can feel safe now as opposed to the vulnerable child they once were.
- 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.
- Stress relief. Sometimes people with childhood trauma turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve stress and anxiety. Substance abuse can actually contribute to more stress and anxiety.
- Develop social relationships. Childhood trauma might have affected the person’s social relationships as a child. Using drugs or alcohol can make a person feel more social.
Seek medical treatment if you have PTSD or experienced childhood trauma and are using drugs or alcohol to cope. Mental health and addiction are treatable and recovery is possible. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help today. Cypress Lakes Lodge specializes in dual diagnosis and holistic treatment therapy for addiction and addictive behaviors and integrates natural healing for the mind, body, and spirit. Make a life-saving decision to get help.
Cypress Lakes Lodge specializes in addiction treatment and is located in a tranquil, 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