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Childhood Trauma and Addiction 

woman talking about childhood trauma with therapist

Table of Contents

There are many different causes for addiction. One of the main reasons why someone may fall into an addictive lifestyle later in life is due to childhood trauma. Studies have shown that around 75% of people who experienced trauma as a child end up dealing with addiction later in life. 

If you or someone you know has gone through childhood trauma and now has an addiction, reach out to Destination Hope for treatment today. 

What Exactly is Childhood Trauma

There isn’t just one definition or description of childhood trauma. It can come about in many ways and impact different kids in various ways, too. With this being said, some of the things that might be classified as childhood trauma include:

  • Psychological, physical, and/or sexual abuse
  • Parental neglect
  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • Grieving over the loss of a parent or another loved one
  • Medical trauma
  • Car accidents
  • Dealing with a drug or alcohol-addicted parent or family member
  • Dealing with a mentally ill family member

As just noted, the way that the trauma will manifest itself in a person’s life could be extremely different than it shows up for someone else who went through a similar experience. However, many children who go through a traumatic experience will hide it deep down inside. They may repress as much of the event as they can. While this helps them to survive, later in life, it can bring about numerous health, relationship and personal problems. 

Why Do Childhood Trauma Experiences Lead to Addiction 

Now that you know childhood trauma experiences often lead to addiction, let’s dive further into why this happens. 

A primary need for children is attachment. We look to our parents for security and for most of our other needs, as well. When we attach to people who care about us, endorphins are released in our bodies, making us feel better. This is the basic of any relationship. 

If something occurs that breaks this connection or attachment, such as parental neglect, there is a change in the way endorphins fire. It becomes more difficult to recognize healthy attachments and you may become stressed when thinking about bonding with specific people. 

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Perception of the World

Another issue that comes about when someone goes through childhood trauma is the perception they have in this world. Children are innocent beings. However, the world corrupts their mind and body in many ways. When a child is abused or traumatized, they likely will start seeing the world as a bad place. They will have a much harder time trusting people, even those who are supposed to be the closest to them. Over time, seeing the world as such a negative place, can lead someone to abuse alcohol or drugs as a way of coping with how they feel. 

Finding an Escape 

Children who experience something traumatic are often left lonely and isolated. They don’t feel people will understand what they have gone through. Unfortunately, many children don’t even get the help they need to try moving past the trauma. For this reason, throughout life, they do their best to find an escape. Oftentimes, the escape is through alcohol and drug use. 

When falling into the vicious cycle of covering up emotions and thoughts with alcohol or drugs, it can be tough to find a way out. If you or someone you know has led a life of addiction due to childhood trauma, please reach out to our Destination Hope Recovery Center team for help. We know how damaging childhood traumatic experiences can be and we want to help you create the life you deserve. 

Reducing Effects of Childhood Traumatic Experiences

Unfortunately, the effects of childhood trauma can last the rest of your life. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce the effects these experiences have on your life. Some of the tips that you can use to reduce these effects include:

  • Admitting you need help 
  • Identifying the root of your trauma
  • Acknowledging what happened to you
  • Identifying behaviors present due to the trauma
  • Get professional mental health and addiction treatment 

Are you experiencing a feeling of being trapped, repressed anger, being unwanted, lack of self-worth or the need to escape? Have you been abusing alcohol or drugs to deal with the way you are feeling? If so, the childhood trauma you have gone through may be causing these issues in your life. If you find that is the case, it is time to reach out for professional treatment here at Destination Hope. 

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Treatment Options When Trying to Overcome Childhood Trauma

Now that you recognize the issues that are present in your life due to childhood trauma, you can make a plan to overcome it all. The first step is to admit that you need assistance and our team is ready to help you. The next step is to get enrolled in a mental health and/or addiction treatment program. Here at Destination Hope, we have a range of treatment options including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Substance abuse detox
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Partial hospitalization program
  • Intensive outpatient program
  • Residential mental health treatment 

The program that will work best for you is going to depend on your current mental health state, whether you are self-medicating with alcohol or drugs, how long you have been dealing with childhood trauma, the extent of your repressed emotions and much more. It may seem like a lot to figure out, but let your mind rest easy knowing that our Destination Hope team is here to help. 

Overcome Childhood Trauma and Addiction Starting Today

Here at Destination Hope, we don’t want anyone to have to struggle with childhood trauma and addiction on their own. Our team is trained and experienced in handling both these issues, along with many other mental health disorders, too. If you or someone you know needs to overcome childhood trauma and addiction starting today, contact us here at Destination Hope and we can work with you throughout this process. If you have more questions about the treatment options or how to get the help you need, our team is here to answer those questions, as well. 

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