Why Victims of Abuse Tend to Use Drugs

Abuse comes in many forms: physical, mental, emotional, sexual… the list goes on. The ramifications of these different types of abuse can be very serious. People who live through abuse may develop a number of emotional and mental health problems that can increase their chances of using drugs.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the reasons that victims of abuse tend to use drugs more often than others. These issues can often be resolved at a San Diego addiction treatment center.

Problems Caused By Abuse

Abuse can lead to a number of different problems. These are some of the most common.


One of the main problems caused by abuse is trauma. Trauma can result from abuse of all kinds. A trauma response occurs when an individual is pushed beyond their ability to cope with a certain situation. The related emotions are then stored as trauma.

Trauma continues to affect an individual until it has been dealt with. Unfortunately, it also colors the way that they approach life. People with trauma may have trouble building relationships or they may struggle with seemingly irrational fears.

All of these issues can make a person more likely to start using drugs or alcohol. They may begin to feel that they are unable to cope with a ‘normal’ life due to their trauma responses. These responses may make everyday situations overwhelming and difficult to manage.


People who struggle with abuse may also develop problems with anxiety. Someone who is raised by chronically negligent parents, for example, may develop issues with social anxiety. Someone who was physically abused by their father may develop anxiety around men.

In either case, this anxiety can make it very difficult to function in society. People struggling with these difficult anxieties may begin to develop a substance abuse problem in order to overcome these unwanted emotions.


Another common condition that can emerge because of trauma and abuse is depression. Depression can occur more often as a result of repeated traumas, especially during childhood.

Someone who was repeatedly violated or abused by their parents will be much more likely to develop depressive disorders. These disorders are often marked by fatigue, a lack of motivation, and a distorted or negative self-image.

These issues can interfere with an individual’s ability to function normally in society. They may find it difficult to maintain a job, build relationships, or attend school. In an attempt to manage these problems they may reach towards drugs or alcohol.


Childhood abuse can lead to a number of mental health problems. When people are unaware of the cause of these issues, it becomes much easier to reach for drugs or alcohol in an effort to mitigate the discomfort.

Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol are not a sustainable long-term solution. In many cases, they can worsen or aggravate the very problems that the abuse victims are trying to overcome.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, or if you believe that trauma might be involved, it’s worth your time to connect with a San Diego addiction treatment center. Here, you’ll be able to learn more about the effects of trauma, depression, anxiety, and addiction.

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