Abnormal Psychology: Mental Health and Mental Illness

What Do Recent Statistics Say About Drug Use in the United States?

What is the relationship of childhood trauma and addiction?

There is considerable evidence of an association between trauma and neglect in childhood and addiction in adulthood. In other words, adults with addiction report a higher incidence of childhood trauma and neglect than adults without addiction. Both psychological and neurobiological research show that inadequate parenting and harmful childhood experiences can deeply interfere with the development of mature self-control, including the ability to regulate emotion and behavior. In these circumstances, drug use can be very attractive because it serves (at least at first) to reduce negative emotion and enhance positive emotion. In the absence of effective emotional regulation skills, any shortcut to positive emotion can be very appealing. Moreover, people with poor impulse control are less likely to monitor their drug use. As a result, recreational drug use is more likely to escalate into addiction.


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