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When Adults Become Addicted Due to Childhood Trauma

“Did you know that the word 'trauma' comes from the Greek for ‘wound’?”

image of unhappy young boyThe American Psychological Association defines trauma as an emotional response, yet we know that our bodies suffer physical symptoms as well. Indeed, a trauma-inducing event can wound all of our systems. It can affect our thought processes, sleep, digestion, immune systems, outlook on life, and how we feel about ourselves and others.

As bad as all this sounds, it can be much worse for children.

As adults, we recognize and understand how events impact us, but children exposed to trauma often have no idea what is happening to them. They experience the traumatic event—perhaps a one-time incident such as a car accident or a longer-term occurrence such as physical abuse—and then experience the associated symptoms of trauma. They do not know how to process the symptoms or understand why the symptoms are happening. As a result, these all-invasive wounds might go untreated for weeks, months, or years.

According to Veterans Affairs, as many as 43% of boys and girls experience at least one traumatic event as children. Of those figures, VA goes on to note, “3% to 15% of girls and 1% to 6% of boys develop PTSD.” Post-traumatic stress disorder is a common mental health diagnosis for persons who experience trauma. As high as those percentages are, they do not take into account the number of children who have gone through a devastating experience and not told anyone or receive a diagnosis. In other words, the numbers are likely higher.

For instance, Child Protective Services statistics indicate three million reports received per year, 30% of which indicate abuse ranging from categories of neglect (65% of cases), physical abuse (18%), sexual abuse (10%), and psychological abuse (7%). There are one million cases of abuse a year reported and subsequently confirmed, but there is still no way to know how many couldn’t be verified and how many go unreported. The bottom line is, there are potentially millions of incidents of child neglect and abuse that have caused PTSD and associated symptoms, unbeknownst to sufferers who grow up never realizing they’ve become double victims.

image of young men combining alcohol and snorting cocaineWithout proper help, many turn to substances to self-medicate.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that “People are most likely to begin abusing drugs...during adolescence and young adulthood.” These substances can include everything from alcohol and cannabis to methamphetamine, synthetic cannabinoids, acid (LSD), illegally-gained or misused prescription opioid-based painkillers, and more. NIDA cites many contributing causes for why youth might turn to drugs, with traumatic events and mental health conditions being listed as primary causes. In those cases, drug use can turn into abuse and addiction as the drugs alter the person’s brain activity and force them to reprioritize their entire lives. In these developmental years, such actions can shape one’s future, leading to addiction in adulthood and the consequent struggles and dangers that entail.

image of young girl sitting cross-leggedWe can expect that adults who had normal childhoods can objectively look at their own lives and connect the dots between their past and present. However, childhood trauma, untreated mental health issues, and substance abuse seriously disrupt those abilities. As a result, an adult with a co-occurring mental health disorder and substance abuse problem might never fully recognize the link between their prior trauma and current problems.

Even if they do, it can be virtually impossible to deal with the combination of issues alone. “Despite popular belief, willpower alone is often insufficient to overcome an addiction,” NIDA writes. “Drug use has compromised the very parts of the brain that make it possible to ‘say no.’” This is why it is imperative to seek professional treatment and explore therapy options to get well.

If you or someone you care about, has an ongoing history of alcohol or substance use and/or relapse, contact Gulf Breeze Recovery or call: (855) 433-4480 to speak to an addiction expert to learn more about their residential program, out-patient program, and intensive out-patient program, and which of these can best fit your individual needs.  These programs have helped many people overcome their addiction and embrace their new happy, healthy, substance-free lifestyle.

We help people not just to survive, but to THRIVE!

“Did you know that the word 'trauma' comes from the Greek for ‘wound’?”

image of unhappy young boyThe American Psychological Association defines trauma as an emotional response, yet we know that our bodies suffer physical symptoms as well. Indeed, a trauma-inducing event can wound all of our systems. It can affect our thought processes, sleep, digestion, immune systems, outlook on life, and how we feel about ourselves and others.

As bad as all this sounds, it can be much worse for children.

As adults, we recognize and understand how events impact us, but children exposed to trauma often have no idea what is happening to them. They experience the traumatic event—perhaps a one-time incident such as a car accident or a longer-term occurrence such as physical abuse—and then experience the associated symptoms of trauma. They do not know how to process the symptoms or understand why the symptoms are happening. As a result, these all-invasive wounds might go untreated for weeks, months, or years.

According to Veterans Affairs, as many as 43% of boys and girls experience at least one traumatic event as children. Of those figures, VA goes on to note, “3% to 15% of girls and 1% to 6% of boys develop PTSD.” Post-traumatic stress disorder is a common mental health diagnosis for persons who experience trauma. As high as those percentages are, they do not take into account the number of children who have gone through a devastating experience and not told anyone or receive a diagnosis. In other words, the numbers are likely higher.

For instance, Child Protective Services statistics indicate three million reports received per year, 30% of which indicate abuse ranging from categories of neglect (65% of cases), physical abuse (18%), sexual abuse (10%), and psychological abuse (7%). There are one million cases of abuse a year reported and subsequently confirmed, but there is still no way to know how many couldn’t be verified and how many go unreported. The bottom line is, there are potentially millions of incidents of child neglect and abuse that have caused PTSD and associated symptoms, unbeknownst to sufferers who grow up never realizing they’ve become double victims.

image of young men combining alcohol and snorting cocaineWithout proper help, many turn to substances to self-medicate.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that “People are most likely to begin abusing drugs...during adolescence and young adulthood.” These substances can include everything from alcohol and cannabis to methamphetamine, synthetic cannabinoids, acid (LSD), illegally-gained or misused prescription opioid-based painkillers, and more. NIDA cites many contributing causes for why youth might turn to drugs, with traumatic events and mental health conditions being listed as primary causes. In those cases, drug use can turn into abuse and addiction as the drugs alter the person’s brain activity and force them to reprioritize their entire lives. In these developmental years, such actions can shape one’s future, leading to addiction in adulthood and the consequent struggles and dangers that entail.

image of young girl sitting cross-leggedWe can expect that adults who had normal childhoods can objectively look at their own lives and connect the dots between their past and present. However, childhood trauma, untreated mental health issues, and substance abuse seriously disrupt those abilities. As a result, an adult with a co-occurring mental health disorder and substance abuse problem might never fully recognize the link between their prior trauma and current problems.

Even if they do, it can be virtually impossible to deal with the combination of issues alone. “Despite popular belief, willpower alone is often insufficient to overcome an addiction,” NIDA writes. “Drug use has compromised the very parts of the brain that make it possible to ‘say no.’” This is why it is imperative to seek professional treatment and explore therapy options to get well.

If you or someone you care about, has an ongoing history of alcohol or substance use and/or relapse, contact Gulf Breeze Recovery or call: (855) 433-4480 to speak to an addiction expert to learn more about their residential program, out-patient program, and intensive out-patient program, and which of these can best fit your individual needs.  These programs have helped many people overcome their addiction and embrace their new happy, healthy, substance-free lifestyle.

We help people not just to survive, but to THRIVE!

The front of Gulf Breeze Recovery a non 12 step holistic drug and alcohol rehab specializing in helping guests overcome chronic relapse

About Gulf Breeze Recovery:

Gulf Breeze Recovery, unlike other treatment centers in Florida, is a non 12 step holistic drug and alcohol rehab that is changing the future of addiction treatment with their THRIVE® (Total Health Recovery) program focused on overcoming chronic relapse.
Gulf Breeze Recovery’s THRIVE® program is a non 12-step approach designed for those who are looking for a drug and alcohol treatment program to produce a different and positive result.
This non-12 step program allows you to drive beyond your addictions and promotes a new outlook on life.
We are licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families, and our last audit scored 99.7! Also, we are gold certified by the Joint Commission.

Program logo: Gulf Breeze Recovery offers a true non-12-Step, holistic drug treatment program with licensed mental health professionals who have small caseloads so that they can offer individualized and intensive care and it's called THRIVE®

End Chronic Relapse and Start a New Life!

At Gulf Breeze Recovery we don’t want you to have just a great recovery, we want you to have a great life!

Contact Us, or Call: (855) 433-4480

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