Sadly, many of life’s events can lead to individuals experiencing trauma in some form.
Trauma can involve a number of things including actual or threatened events that affect a person’s safety or life, events experienced or witnessed that can have an impact (Terrorist attacks, natural disasters, military service, etc.), having been personally abused or witnessed abuse (physical, mental, sexual), or have experienced a death of a loved one (grief). People dealing with traumatic experiences, such as emotional and psychological trauma, will turn to anything for a reprieve from their feelings, and for many of us, this is drugs and/or alcohol.
When dealing with trauma and substance abuse, the risk factor and existence of co-occurring mental health or mood disorders, like a form of depression, anxiety, and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be present. Studies also indicate that individuals already dealing with substance abuse and chemical dependence experience more traumatic events than non-users.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration strongly recommends drug treatment programs bring to light trauma in treating mental health and substance use disorders.