It is not uncommon for some people to search for an outlet to deal with childhood trauma. Many of those people choose to use drugs as coping mechanisms. Relying on legal or illegal substances to gain relief from traumatic situations that have occurred during childhood can result in drug abuse and addiction. This can lead to ongoing issues with the law. To better understand why your loved one may have a drug addiction, you should learn more about how child trauma can contribute to this dependency.
The effects of trauma on children
Children are resilient by nature. However, when negative events occur in their lives, such as the deaths of loved ones, divorces or something else that they may see as equally traumatic, their outlook can take a drastic turn south. The impact of those events is often devastating because they may not be emotionally mature or stable enough to deal with and understand them. Without proper guidance and care from their loved ones, peers and therapeutic professionals, some kids never seem to recover completely and become adults who are addicted to drugs.
Signs of childhood trauma
Children are not the only ones who struggle with this type of situation; their relationships with their friends, families and loved ones are negatively impacted as well. There are some signs of childhood trauma you should keep an eye out for. Kids who are exposed to trauma may withdraw and distance themselves from loved ones and family. They may also start to engage in activities and behaviors that are hazardous to their health and well-being. It is not uncommon for traumatized children to exhibit any of the following characteristics:
- Feelings of depression, guilt and anger
- Loss of appetite
- Drug abuse
- Intent to harm self or others
It is important for children to receive professional help so they can overcome the issues that are detrimental to their health.
Types of trauma
The chances of addiction are greater for children who are subject to more varying degrees of stress. For example, kids living with parents who are addicts, mentally ill or unstable, and are exposed to any combination of emotional, sexual or physical abuse or neglect, are far more likely to resort to drug use in their adult lives. It is important for you to know the type of trauma that has occurred to avoid choosing a recovery program that uses tactics that exacerbate their issues instead of resolving them.
Dealing with adolescents who have been traumatized when they were young is not easy. Depending on the circumstances that led to this point, their path to recovery may not be as short or easy as you may like. You may need to stage some sort of intervention to convince them to get professional addiction treatment and help. You are also recommended to seek out professional counseling for yourself and your family to counteract the negative impact of the situation.