Childhood Trauma and Substance Abuse

I received this article from DrugRehab.com today about childhood trauma and substance abuse. I thought my readers who were abused as children would find this information helpful. Please remember that the connection between trauma and illness is a vicious cycle. It becomes even more deadly if you use alcohol or drugs to cope with your unresolved trauma issues. Get help immediately.

I want to thank Trey Dyer for writing this enlightening article.

Childhood Trauma and Substance Abuse

Adults aren’t the only group that lives with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Children also experience trauma at high rates. Many adolescents suffering from PTSD turn to drugs to numb the physical, emotional and psychological pain of trauma.

Childhood PTSD

Anywhere from 15 to 43 percent of girls and 14 to 43 percent of boys in the United States experience a traumatic event, per the National Center for PTSD. Among this group, up to 15 percent of girls and up to 6 percent of boys have PTSD. Children who experience traumatic events grapple with a swirl of emotions. For example, sexually abused children often exhibit fear, worry, sadness and anger. They may also feel isolated or as though people are looking down on them. This can cause low self-esteem and an inability to trust others.

Risk Factors for PTSD in Children

RISK FACTORS FOR PTSD IN CHILDREN

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects children in different ways. The more traumas a child experiences, the more likely he or she is to develop PTSD. Children and teens who go through intense traumas have the highest levels of PTSD symptoms.

Children ages 5–12 often do not have flashbacks or difficulties remembering their traumatic experience. Instead, they think there were signs that foretold the trauma and believe these signs may show up again. As a result, they stay cognizant of their surroundings to avoid future trauma.

Young children may also show signs of trauma in their play. For example, children who survive a school shooting may gravitate toward video games that involve shooting. They may even carry a gun to school themselves.

A teen may endure traumatic events, such as physical abuse, sexual assault, vehicular accidents or cyberbullying. Symptoms of PTSD among children ages 12–18 are similar to those found in many adults: aggressive behaviors, mood swings and isolation. Teens with PTSD may also self-harm or exhibit promiscuous behavior.

Substance Abuse as a Coping Mechanism

Looking for an outlet, many adolescents with PTSD turn to drugs or alcohol.

Overall, 25 percent of physically assaulted or abused teens reported lifetime substance abuse or dependence, per the survey.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

According to a survey by the U.S. Department of Justice, 17 percent of boys who witnessed violence reported substance abuse or dependency. This statistic was similar to that of girls who witnessed violence.

The survey also found that 27.5 percent of sexually assaulted girls reported substance abuse or dependence in their lifetime. Among sexually assaulted boys, the number was 34.4 percent. Many of these children went on to commit delinquent acts, such as robbery or aggravated assault.

Overall, 25 percent of physically assaulted or abused teens reported lifetime substance abuse or dependence, per the survey.

A 2010 study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors found that PTSD contributes to the development of marijuana abuse or dependence among adolescents.

Another study, published in the journal Depression and Anxiety, found that PTSD led to alcohol, cocaine and marijuana use. The study found that levels of physical, sexual and emotional abuse in children were strongly associated with cocaine use later in life.

Remember to “never give up” on your journey to be healed from unresolved trauma.

Alex Acker-Halbur

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Emotional Trauma’s Root: The Lie or Misbelief

When I was a child my parents said they loved me and would protect me — it’s what all parents should tell and show their children. Unfortunately, the statistics show a different story: Millions of children are reported as abused and neglected every year.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15193530

I believe that at the root of emotional trauma there’s a lie or misbelief. Either the parents lie, or children are led to believe something that isn’t the truth. Saying one thing and doing another is a critical mistake in the human psyche. How many of us have heard the adage: “actions speak louder than words?” If you tell a child that he/she will be protected, yet turn around and physically or sexually abuse them, this psychological trauma becomes part of who they are. Time doesn’t heal emotional abuse on its own.

“People tend to have the most difficulty healing from trauma deliberately caused by others. The most serious and difficult to treat trauma occurs when violence or emotional wounds are inflicted by a person on whom the victim is dependent (i.e., a parent-child relationship).” To cope with the trauma, many people turn to substance abuse, depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and PTSD, or develop a personality disorder. http://www.activebeat.com/your-health/8-distressing-facts-on-emotional-trauma/8/

Wikipedia defines a lie as “a statement that is known or intended by its source to be misleading, inaccurate, or false.” We’ve all told “little white lies” in our lives, but to tell a child that you love her/him and then physically harm them is nothing but cruel and damaging.

We’ve called out the Catholic Church for it’s lying about priests abusing boys; we’re now calling out powerful men in the media, entertainment field, work place, and politics to stop lying about sexually harassing and assaulting women. NOW is the time to stop the lying about abusing our children and make it a criminal offense to emotionally, physically, psychologically, and spiritually harm children. It’s not a secret anymore!

“We must learn to recognize early signs of abuse in order to help save the 5 children that die every day from child abuse and neglect.” https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse-statistics/ Don’t lie to your children. Show them what true love is all about.

NEVER GIVE UP!

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Spread the Word | Tell the World

child-594519_640[I receive emails like this one from the American Society for Positive Care of Children (American SPCC) on a regular basis. They have great articles and information to help protect children. If you’re interested, please sign-up on their site to receive these important notices. Speak up because children can’t!]

 

SPREAD THE WORD | TELL THE WORLD
Using Social Media to Raise Awareness

Child abuse is everyone’s business. By coming together as a community, and collaboratively sharing through our social media channels, we can spread the word, break the silence, raise public awareness, and shine a light on the epidemic of child abuse and neglect in America.

Jointly, we can raise public awareness, to deliver a louder voice for the voiceless. Please join us in speaking up about child abuse, neglect, exploitation, maltreatment of children, bullying, cyber-bullying, parenting, and Shaken Baby Syndrome.

SPEAK UP, BECAUSE CHILDREN CAN’T

We’ve already created multiple images, videos, and messages for you to choose from and easily share.

Go to our webpage and get started today. Perhaps even set a calendar reminder to share daily or weekly.
You are the difference! Speak up for children, because they can’t.

Use the power of the social media to make a difference.
Join us. Start sharing today. Let’s go viral!


In Gratitude,
American SPCC Staff, Youth Ambassadors & Volunteers
501(c)3 Nonprofit Charity

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The #1 Reason Children Recant Abuse Allegations

BY
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