Researchers from the University of Vermont (UVM) recently discovered a connection between substance abuse in adult life and early emotional abuse with PTSD symptoms during childhood. The plan on using this information to give them better insight as to how to treat people suffering from addiction.
“These post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms went on to have these folks have more difficulty with substances as an adult,” UVM assistant professor Matthew Price said.
According to Price, people who suffer emotional abuse early in their lives also start using drugs at a younger age. In their study of 84 Vermont residents with a history of opiate abuse and emotional abuse, the researchers found that about 75 percent of them had PTSD symptoms. However, researchers stated that opiates weren’t the only drug they abused, it just tended to be their preferred choice.
Several of the people in the study relapsed several times during their recovery, and Price believes that’s because their treatment failed to address the underlying mental health issues.
“Many folks aren’t able to make the transition from one point to the next and these are two problems that really co-occur and they need to be dealt with simultaneously as well as the treatment facilities can,” Price said.
By addressing the lasting effects of childhood trauma and PTSD, the UVM researchers believe that they could improve treatment for people struggling with addiction.
“We’ve seen that if we can intervene and help folks learn how to get over their experiences so to speak, and develop better coping strategies that they can go on to develop far better outcomes down the line,” Price said.
At Schick Shadel Hospital, our staff has worked with countless patients since we first opened our doors more than 80 years ago, and have successfully helped more than 80,000 people break free from their addiction. If you or someone you love are looking to make the next step towards recovery, send us a confidential message through our online form or call us at (800) 272-8464 to speak with one of our medical professionals today.