The Connection Between Childhood Trauma Experiences & Substance Abuse
Trauma is a person’s emotional response to a harmful event and can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. It can impact a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health—sometimes having lasting effects if not addressed. Trauma can manifest in a variety of disorders, including anxiety, depression, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Additionally, adverse childhood experiences, also known as ACEs, can result in trauma that has particularly damaging effects on the cognitive and social development of children as well as the dysregulation of their stress systems.
When one or more disorders coincide with substance use disorders (SUDs), it is considered a comorbidity. More and more research is coming to light regarding comorbidities between substance abuse and other psychopathologies.
According to a 2010 study:
- Correlations between cocaine usage and levels of childhood abuse, and current PTSD symptoms were present.
- The number of types of adverse childhood experiences, along with a history of cocaine dependence were predictors of current PTSD symptoms.
Furthermore, a 2002 study found that when compared to those with no adverse childhood experiences, “the risk of heavy drinking, self-reported alcoholism, and marrying an alcoholic were increased twofold to fourfold by the presence of multiple ACEs, regardless of parental alcoholism.”
Types of Trauma-Informed Addiction Treatments
Addiction recovery requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account the underlying trauma that can be at the root of substance misuse. Trauma-informed addiction treatment integrates evidence-based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and brain mapping therapy to help individuals address past traumas while also learning healthy coping strategies.
Treatments & Therapies Designed for You
Our facility at The Good Life Treatment Center is dedicated to providing comprehensive and personalized support for those affected by trauma and addiction. We are a team of medical doctors, therapists, and trained professionals, all working together to support your recovery through evidence-based techniques and wellness-centered activities.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, call our North Palm Beach team at (561) 250-8552 or reach out online.