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Facts About Childhood Trauma [Infographic]

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Facts About Childhood Trauma

Children thrive when parents raise them in a safe and nurturing environment. Unfortunately, far too many young people suffer through trauma during their formative years. Childhood trauma can often lead to substance abuse and addiction, and learning about the connection can be key to embracing change and gaining emotional stability.

Click here to download the childhood trauma infographic.

The Connection Between Childhood Trauma and IV Drugs

Intravenous drugs are those that can be injected with a needle. They include drugs like heroin, opiates, and cocaine. Although these drugs are already dangerous on their own, injection is perhaps the most dangerous administration. In addition to the risks of addiction, unclean needles increased the risk of infection.

Sadly, a person's chance of IV drug use increases by a staggering 4,600% if they experienced trauma as a child. Those who experience trauma need to be aware of this risk and do everything to avoid IV drug use as a result.

Self-Reported Trauma Among Substance Abuse Program Participants

Roughly seven out of every 10 teens in substance abuse programs say that they experienced some form of childhood trauma. While there are many reasons that teens abuse substances, trauma is a leading cause. Consider that the number might be even higher among teens that are abusing substances and who don't have access to professional treatment.

PTSD and Substance Abuse

It’s well-documented that when adults develop post traumatic stress disorder, their chances of also developing an addiction increase. That same logic is certainly true when it comes to teens. Children and teens who struggle with PTSD are 59% more likely than other teens without PTSD to begin abusing substances. PTSD treatment, however, can reduce the likelihood of substance abuse and addiction in those same teens.

The Rate of Trauma in American Children

It’s easy to think of trauma as a rare problem, but unfortunately, it’s not. In fact, one out of every four Americans will struggle through traumatic events before their 16th birthday. Examples of childhood trauma include:

  • Physical or sexual assault
  • Abuse
  • Witnessing a violent crime
  • Living through a natural disaster
  • Military action or community violence

Connecting Adolescent Trauma and Alcoholism

Childhood trauma isn’t just linked to drug use. While alcohol abuse develops for a myriad of reasons, trauma is certainly one of them. That's why children who experience trauma are four times more likely to struggle with alcohol abuse as adults. 

If you or a loved one has experienced childhood trauma and now struggles with substance abuse, we can help. At The Clearing in San Juan Island, Washington, our substance abuse programs can help you achieve lasting sobriety. What we treat is not just the addiction, but the root cause. Call 425-275-8600 to begin working toward recovery today.


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Gregg Makuch

This post was written by Gregg Makuch

Gregg helps get the word out about The Clearing. When he’s not riding his bike and enjoying the beauty of the San Juan Islands, Gregg loves to cook and spend time with his family.

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