The Link Between Addiction And Sexual Abuse

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The Link Between Addiction And Sexual Abuse

The childhood trauma of sexual abuse can put a person at an increased risk of suffering from substance abuse. Studies show that women sexually abused as children are up to three times more likely to suffer from addiction at some point in their life. At the Crosby Clinic, we witness firsthand the struggles that many individuals go through push them toward substance abuse as a way to cope with their problems. Unfortunately, the problems these individuals face are only amplified by substance abuse.

Given the fact that sexual abuse can increase the likelihood of a person turning to substance abuse later on in life, it is imperative to recognize signs of sexual abuse in order to help those suffering, before it is too late.

What Is Sexual Abuse?

Abuse is considered sexual in nature when it involves sexual activity that is brought on someone forcefully, by making threats, or by taking advantage of a victim who does not consent to it. Sexual abuse occurs in several ways but can include a person being touched inappropriately, a person being kissed or hugged in a sexual way, or asking a victim to perform sexual acts.

Victims of sexual abuse may react fearfully, or they may be shocked. This type of abuse can cause a victim to become withdrawal, shy, or develop a mental disorder or substance use disorder as a result — individuals who are victims of sexual abuse benefit greatly from undergoing several forms of therapy.

How Does Sexual Abuse Contribute To Substance Abuse

There is a rocky relationship between sexual abuse and substance abuse. Each disorder may contribute to the other. For many, experiencing trauma as a child or adolescent can increase the chance of them turning to substances as a coping mechanism. Alternatively, individuals engaging in substance abuse are placing themselves at risk of being victims to sexual abuse.

For many sexual abuse sufferers, turning to substance abuse is a coping mechanism that helps numb the pain of the traumatic event. Using substances often distracts their mind, so they are not inclined to deal with the emotional trauma.

Sexual abuse and substance abuse can create a vicious cycle, which can result in several side effects for individuals that do not receive substance abuse help.  Individuals that continually abuse substances as a coping mechanism for sexual abuse place themselves at greater risk of developing devastating health complications or suffering an overdose. Individuals who suffer from being sexually abused and suffer from addiction can benefit greatly from a dual diagnosis drug treatment program.

Let The Crosby Clinic Help You Take Control Of Your Life

At the Crosby Clinic, we fully understand how a person’s negative experiences can drive them toward a life of substance abuse. Although it may seem difficult, it is important that you understand that you are not alone. We are here to help. Our drug treatment program offers numerous holistic treatment options that target a person’s physical and psychological health. Together, we can make a positive difference in your life beyond your previous struggles. Contact our clinic at (760) 751-1234 to get started.

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