Can Trauma in Childhood Lead to Substance Abuse?
Most people might not realize it, but the path to addiction often starts because of early childhood experiences. Childhood trauma is a significant contributor to chemical dependency later in life.
How the Brain Adapts
Overwhelming stress in childhood causes our brain and body to adapt in order to stay safe and alive. This is a very important adaptation that takes place; however, it has serious consequences if the individual no longer has to focus on survival and instead needs to focus on living life in healthy non-violent relationships as a partner, mother, colleague, or friend. If unaddressed, this overwhelming stress or trauma may adversely impact the overall health and well being of the woman requiring care, her children, and/or her larger family unit. Often, in an attempt to manage this stress response, many women turn to using or abusing chemicals in order to cope.
Trauma Affects the Entire Person
Additionally, many women experience a complex intersection between trauma, mental health problems, chemical dependency, and physical illness. Wayside has worked diligently over six decades to develop and sustain the expertise required to address these unique needs. Over 85% of the women we serve have experienced significant trauma in their lives and over 60% have complex medical needs. Our implementation of best practices and robust staff education policies allow us to address every facet of these needs.