5 Things You Should Know about the Link between Childhood Trauma and Alcoholism

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Statements such as, “You’ll never amount to anything” and “You are useless” may sound little to a child but they go a long way into the future. Spanking a young person with no good reason and showing no love is equally effective at ruining their life that lies ahead.

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If you’re a therapist, then you understand that childhood trauma makes people bear beliefs and fears attached to their circumstances for years. This is one of the commonest reasons that lead men and women into addiction. Many turn to alcohol or substances as a way to escape their problems. An example of this is the topic at hand. This means there’s a clear connection between childhood trauma and alcoholism. Here are some things you should know about this link.

1. Most Alcohol Addicts Who Have Had Childhood Trauma Seek Help

A 2013 study revealed that many alcohol addicts who are now seeking help are those who have been previous victims of childhood trauma. The main types of traumatic experiences that such men and women had according to the report were abuse and/or neglect.     

2. The Severity of Addiction is Directly Related to the Level of Trauma

The same study suggested that there was a direct relationship between the victims’ drinking problems and the degree of their childhood trauma. The severer the abuse or neglect they had in their early years, the greater the level of their addiction and vice versa.

3. Neurological Anomalies from Trauma May Result in Alcoholism

You can better understand The Link Between Childhood Trauma And Addiction In Adulthood after knowing how experiences influence the brain’s development. While it’s impossible to deny that biology and genetics play a vital role in developing the brain, this organ has the innate ability to react and adapt to stimulation from the environment.

During childhood, the brain is growing and maturing. At this time, it creates, strengthens, and periodically sheds off neural connections (synapses) that compose a network of neurons that give the organ its many functions.

Your experiences affect the brain’s development in the same way learning to walk or speak does. This causes certain synapses to develop and grow stronger or to break depending on the type of experience. Positive experiences are beneficial to brain development. Negative ones impede or alter the process, one of the effects being substance abuse.

4. Emotional Abuse and Neglect are the Commonest in Alcoholics

Although there are other causes of childhood trauma, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect are the commonest. This is according to a 2013 study. Moreover, there are more men and women who have drinking problems as a result of emotional neglect and abuse as compared to the other types.

5. Victims of Trauma Could Be Trying to “Self-Medicate”

The effects of childhood trauma can be massive and stressful. Some victims may resort to drugs or alcoholism as a self-medication. It may seem proper to manage Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms such as agitation, depression, and social withdrawal through sedative or stimulating drugs. Sadly, the remedy often results in addiction, which is another issue.


Childhood trauma can seriously tarnish your adulthood if you don’t get help quickly enough. It can easily cause you to resort to the use of sedative or stimulating substances, one of which is alcohol. In the end, you may end up in alcoholism, a more serious monster to conquer. Seek therapeutic services today if you or someone nearby have had a traumatic past.  




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