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The Impact of Trauma on Addiction and Recovery

The Impact of Trauma on Addiction and Recovery

Traumatic events that a person experiences during childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood can be the leading causes of addictions. It is vital to be aware that addiction and trauma can be severe and that one needs to seek help from a specialist. This article will focus on what we need to know about addiction and trauma recovery and why trauma drives people toward addiction.

What Is Trauma

Trauma is an emotional response to distressing events, such as injury, abuse, or natural disasters. This can stem from incidents like automobile accidents or sexual assaults. Each response to trauma is unique, emphasizing the importance of taking it seriously. Elevated stress levels can impede average brain growth, particularly in children and adults.

How Does Trauma Affect the Brain

Trauma exposure releases toxic stress hormones into the brain, gradually causing damage. Prolonged stress can remap neural pathways, impacting cognition and emotions over time.

Connection Between Trauma and Addiction

Childhood trauma correlates with a specific type of trauma bond addiction. Encountering at least four traumatic incidents increases the likelihood of developing alcohol and substance use disorders by 60% and a 50% chance of obesity, indicating a trauma bond addiction.

Environmental factors play a role. Regularly seeking substances for relief can be a form of self-medication and a manifestation of trauma bond addiction.

Types of Traumas

There are many types of traumatic experiences, and each victim may react differently to them. It’s vital to remember that everyone responds differently to addiction and trauma.

  • Assaults of the physical kind, such as beatings, jumps, or hits, can be highly distressing. Anyone, including a friend or acquaintance, could be the perpetrator.
  • Rape or molestation are examples of sexual assault, which is a shared traumatic event and often leads to addiction and trauma.
  • Abusive behavior toward a partner or a child by one or both parents is considered domestic violence.
  • Emotional abuse is the manipulation of another person through emotions like criticism, embarrassment, shame, blame, and manipulation for control.

How Different Types of Trauma Link to Addiction

Many people with an addiction have experienced trauma at some point in their lives; in fact, trauma is a risk factor for developing addiction. Trauma can even derail someone who is trying to cope with life after addiction. There are distinct connections between different kinds of addiction and trauma recovery.

  • PTSD, substance abuse, and addiction

A lot of people who are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resort to self-medication. This can go both ways; people with drug abuse problems are also at increased risk of encountering new traumatic incidents.

  • Physical trauma and addiction

When someone is abused or suffers physical trauma, it can cause severe physical discomfort. Painkillers may help people deal with their problems, but more significant doses—caused by more physical damage—raise the risk of addiction.

  • Emotional trauma and addiction

If you’ve been bullied or abused emotionally as a child, it could lead to mental health problems like depression or worry later. Addiction is more common among those who have experienced emotional trauma because these people often turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with or dull their feelings of pain and sorrow. This often leads to a trauma bond addiction as well.

Treating Trauma and Addiction

Untreated trauma and addiction have long-term consequences, necessitating therapy, rehabilitation, or medical attention. A dual diagnosis is crucial for those dealing with both substance abuse and mental illness or trauma.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is vital for addressing traumatic experiences and substance abuse. It teaches stress management and coping skills, complementing recovery programs and support groups. Medically supervised detox is essential, given the potential harm from withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient care centers provide a supportive environment for individuals navigating trauma or addiction.

Best Mental Health Services in North Carolina

Addiction and trauma recovery can be difficult. The Blanchard Institute is a trusted place for individuals looking for a life after addiction. Our team of experts can help you get a patient-specific treatment. Contact The Blanchard Institute today to begin your addiction recovery.

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