When a child grows up experiencing some form of trauma, they can be left with many negative feelings and emotions. While some of the trauma can be managed through therapy, there are many cases in which that trauma is not addressed and a child carries it into adulthood.
If this happens, a child may end up developing a substance addiction. Here’s what you need to know in order to understand the role your trauma plays in a child’s emotional development and how you can help to prevent them from struggling with addiction in the future.
The Connection Between Childhood Trauma and Addiction
Whether by a parent, peer, or other influential figure in their life, a child can be heavily affected by emotional degradation or abuse. Emotional bullying can lead children to develop anxiety and have low self-esteem, which, when carried into adulthood, can cause them to fill emotional voids with substances.
If a child is molested or otherwise sexually abused, the trauma that results can wreak havoc on their mental and emotional well-being. While the effects can be worse when the abuse goes unaddressed, even sexual abuse that is reported can leave adults searching for ways to quell lingering trauma.
If a child or teen identifies as LGBTQ+ but grows up in a family that doesn’t accept them, the rejection that child feels can carry long into adulthood. In many cases, those who end up struggling with addiction as a result of this rejection can reap benefits from specific LGBTQ+ friendly treatment.
When a child grows up with a parent or guardian that struggles with substance abuse, any resulting neglect or learning of addictive behaviors can affect them to the point that they develop addiction problems themselves.
If childhood trauma goes unresolved or unaddressed as a person transitions into adulthood, the lingering emotional and psychological issues can leave them searching for a way to cope. In cases like this, adults can turn to drugs or alcohol to calm anxiety and negative feelings.
Addressing Trauma-Specific Addiction
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse due to trauma, it's never too late to seek help. Through a variety of treatment modalities, such as family therapy and trauma-informed care, the team at Silvermist Recovery Center can validate these traumatic experiences and offer a safe and supportive environment to begin the process of healing.
Contact us today at (724) 268-4858 to learn more about how our Pennsylvania addiction recovery center can help you.