The Relationship Between Trauma and Addiction

The Relationship Between Trauma and Addiction

A Common Theme Surrounding Addiction

If you talk to many people in recovery, you will likely notice that trauma (not necessarily caused by addiction) is a common theme. The relationship between trauma and addiction may even be part of you or your loved ones story.

For many, past trauma suffered is interpersonal. It stems from exposure to verbal abuse, physical abuse or sexual abuse during childhood or adulthood. Individuals may have grown up in a household where one or both parents were in active addiction. This is often associated with abuse, neglect and exposure to domestic violence. For others, the trauma can be more about events. If you are a military veteran, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder related to combat experience.

The Correlation Between Trauma and Addiction

It is clear that there is a strong correlation between trauma and addiction. Concrete statistics are hard to come by. But according to one estimate, up to 75 percent of people who seek substance-abuse treatment have been exposed to trauma in the past.

Does trauma lead to addiction or cause addiction? The answers to those questions are not clear. Not everyone who develops an addiction has trauma in their past and vice versa. Trauma does certainly make drug and alcohol abuse more likely. The anxiety, depression, flashbacks and other symptoms associated with PTSD are disruptive or even debilitating. Many trauma victims turn to drugs and alcohol to “self-medicate,” or to experience temporary relief from their symptoms.

We Understand The Relationship between Trauma and Addiction

We know that self medicating to bury past trauma can become a very slippery slope. This is not a long-term solution. In fact, over time it will absolutely make things worse. That’s why, when people struggling with addictive addiction are finally able to seek treatment, it is crucial to address both the addiction and the trauma that may have contributed to it. Long-term recovery may not be sustainable otherwise.

Let Us Help Today

If you are in early recovery and see the relationship between trauma and addiction, please know that you are not alone. Finding the right support system, including a sober living facility and support group, is one of the best ways to stay sober and to begin the important process of healing from past trauma. Contact Casa Nuevo Vida today to learn more about how we can help you or your loved one.

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