Evidence shows a clear link between traumatic experiences and substance abuse.
Many people suffering from addiction can trace the onset of heavy use to a traumatic or stressful experience. At that time, they began to drink and use as a form of self-medication, to deal with the pain they suffered.
For many, self-medication works for a time. But when the trauma isn’t faced and processed, the grief and pain–and substance use–get worse. Soon, the person may begin turning to substances for even the most minor of stressors.
Whatever traumatic experience they may have had becomes their excuse for using.
In order to get out of this cycle of justification and self-medication, people often need professional help. By getting into treatment, the person can begin to differentiate the symptoms and signs of drug abuse from the problems created by trauma. Getting treatment will give them the best chance to cope with their problems as they move forward toward a happy and healthy life free of substances.