The Link Between Childhood Trauma and Alcoholism

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The Link Between Childhood Trauma and Alcoholism

An estimated 95,000 people die every year of alcohol poisoning. You might think excessive drinking and alcoholism are a problem that people develop as adults, but most perpetrators of childhood abuse also grow up to abuse alcohol.

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Chances are you know someone who abused them or in your childhood, and you might be wondering what the link is between childhood trauma and alcoholism.

If you’d like to figure out how to approach this issue with your loved one, continue reading. Here are some of the biggest factors that contribute to alcoholism later in life.

How Childhood Trauma Can Lead to Alcoholism

There is a strong link between childhood trauma and alcoholism. Alcoholism is a disease that is often caused by early childhood trauma.

Childhood trauma can lead to alcohol abuse because it can cause you to feel numbed or disconnected from your emotions.

This can lead you to turn to alcohol in order to cope with your pain. Alcohol may help you numb your emotions temporarily, but it will ultimately make your problems worse. 

Different Types of Childhood Trauma 

While the causes of alcoholism are multi-factorial, the different types of childhood trauma have been identified as significant risk factors. These traumas can include:

Physical and Sexual Abuse

Experiencing physical and/or sexual abuse as a child can lead to alcoholism later in life. It is a coping mechanism for many people who have experienced physical and sexual trauma.

Alcohol abuse numbs the pain and makes the memories easier to bear. Unfortunately, it also leads to further problems down the road. 

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can lead to feelings of isolation, low self-worth, and shame. These feelings can lead to turning to alcohol to cope with mental health issues. Alcoholism can then lead to more trauma and a vicious cycle. 

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Trauma can lead to a number of different psychological problems, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can make it difficult for an individual to cope with everyday life, which can lead to them turning to alcohol as a way to escape their problems. 

Treatment for Alcoholism

Treatment for alcoholism should take into account the role that trauma has played in the development of the disease and should address both the addiction issues and the trauma.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, it is important to seek help from a professional who can address the underlying issues that may be driving the addiction. 

There are also many resources available to those who need them. Individuals who have experienced trauma should get the help they need in order to prevent them from developing this serious problem and learn how to cope in healthy ways.

End the Cycle of Alcoholism and Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma is a serious issue that can lead to alcohol abuse later in life. But alcoholism is a disease that can be treated. So, don’t wait, get help today.

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