“What causes addiction?” is one of the most often asked questions in the field of substance abuse. Although there is no definitive answer, there are a number of factors that increase or decrease a person’s vulnerability to addiction. Common risk factors for addiction and substance abuse include a personal or familial history of addiction, the presence of a mental health issue, the influence of peers, the absence of parental supervision, and genetic susceptibility. Trauma, especially early life trauma, is another risk factor that gets little attention. Substance misuse and addiction may be affected by traumatic experiences such as rape, emotional abuse, loss of a parent or a loved one, victimization by crime or accident, and devastating natural catastrophes. But how are trauma and addiction connected? This blog by experts from Taylor Recovery Center, a one-of-a-kind luxury rehab in Houston aims to help us understand trauma and addiction.
Trauma: What Is It?
The term “trauma” refers to the psychological and emotional effects of a strong reaction to a shocking or upsetting incident. The effects of trauma, which might range from witnessing a car crash to enduring sexual abuse, are not uniform among individuals. Untreated trauma can have detrimental impacts on a person’s health, both short- and long-term.
Connection Between Trauma and Addiction
Drug addiction is a complicated illness characterized by obsessive use despite negative consequences. Genetic, environmental, and psychological variables are all potential catalysts. One of these factors that can play a role in the onset of addiction is trauma. Trauma and addiction are connected since one may resort to substance abuse after a traumatic experience. For instance, a victim of sexual abuse may start using drugs to put off the traumatic experience. They seek relief from their feelings and the burden of their past by using the drug. However, this can become a vicious cycle of addiction if the individual continues to use drugs while knowing the negative effects they have on their brain.
Additionally, trauma can alter the brain’s reward system, making it more open to addiction. Researchers have found that people who have experienced trauma are more likely to develop substance use disorders due to changes in brain regions that regulate reward, motivation, and stress responses. This may also help explain why those who have experienced trauma are more likely to become addicted.
In addition, those who have experienced trauma are more likely to have co-occurring illnesses like depression or anxiety. Self-medication with medications to treat symptoms of mental illness is a known risk factor for developing a dependency on such substances.
There are other ways in which trauma and addiction are connected. For example, since persons with addictions are more likely to partake in dangerous activities when high, such as driving or fighting, they are also more likely to suffer traumatic experiences. In addition, relapse is common among former addicts who have experienced trauma because of the way in which it can bring on intense cravings for drugs.
Taylor Recovery Center, A Renowned Luxury Rehab, Offers the Best Dual Diagnosis Treatment For Trauma and Addiction in Houston
Here at Taylor Recovery Center, our professional staff is well-versed in treating patients who are struggling with both trauma and addiction. Recovery from trauma and long-term sobriety from addiction are both possible with the right treatment. Contact our online experts for more information about our inpatient, outpatient, and intensive outpatient services.