Opioid Abuse in Adulthood Might Be Linked to Childhood Trauma

Opioid Abuse in Adulthood Might Be Linked to Childhood Trauma

Emotional abuse can result in post traumatic stress disorder. According to a new study published in Addictive Behaviors, childhood experiences of emotional trauma can lead to opioid abuse in adulthood. Various studies have indicated that childhood traumatic experiences can lead to a higher risk of experimentation and/or substance abuse in adolescence as well.

Post traumatic stress disorder can include severe and benign symptoms. The ideology that PTSD was reserved for extreme trauma has been replaced. Through brain imaging research, scientists have found that the brain suffers similar trauma from emotional, verbal, and mental abuse. The brain does not differentiate one pain from the other. Pain and trauma is pain and trauma. Both emotional pain and emotional trauma have a serious impact on the brain of a child.

Science Blog writes, “With emotional abuse, the abuser is saying ‘You are the problem.’ Being called names, being told you’re not good enough, being told no one cares about you undermines your ability to cope with difficult emotions.” Opioid abuse, and any kind of substance abuse, is often labeled a “coping mechanism”. PTSD in itself is a development of protection. Emotions and other symptoms which accompany trauma are harsh and can be too much for the young and innocent mind of a child to process. Many years later into their trauma treatment, adults and adolescents realize they could not have been capable of coping with the trauma they experienced. Turning to drugs like opioids is an obvious form of self-medication. Opioid drugs are primarily analgesics, providing numbing pain relief in addition to euphoric sensations.

Interestingly, the new study offers a validation for the theory of a relationship between childhood trauma and opioid abuse. “The severity of the PTSD was directly linked to the severity of their opioid-related problems,” the article explains. Children had a higher likelihood of being more risk-taking and thrill-seeking in adolescence when they struggled with emotional trauma or any kind of PTSD in childhood.

Treating Emotional Trauma In Childhood And Opioid Abuse In Adolescence

When parents discover that their loved adolescent is abusing painkillers, synthetic opioids, or heroin, there is a panic to treat the child’s drug problem. Also treating emotional trauma and any other mental health issues is essential to total recovery.


First Corinthians reminds us that love never gives up. God has not fallen short! At Stonewater Recovery Center, we are providing a continuum of care to carry your beloved child through every phase of treatment necessary in order for him to heal and grow. Building a foundation of hope, faith, trust, and love, our clinical program offers change, from the soul. Call us today for more information on our residential treatment programs for adolescents: tel:+1-662-598-4214.