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How Does Attachment Trauma Connect to Addiction?

Substance use disorder (SUD) is both complex and complicated. Every person who struggles with SUD will go through their own unique experience, and there are many reasons why addiction happens. One common reason is attachment trauma that can be connected back to childhood.

What Is Attachment Trauma?

Attachment trauma occurs in early childhood development. Instead of feeling safe, children will develop a sense of insecurity. Many different experiences can lead to attachment trauma, including the early loss of a loved one, family dysfunction, neglect, and abuse.

According to a 2019 study in Frontiers in Psychiatry, “Human beings who do not experience a sufficiently secure base develop insecure patterns of attachment.” Insecure attachment can cause a child to develop “negative expectations with regard to relationships,” as well as more difficulty in regulating emotions and stress.

Attachment Trauma and SUDs

The 2019 study notes that insecure attachment is related to mental health disorders and SUDs. Often, children will grow up and feel a need to “self-medicate” as a way to replace the lack of secure attachment. They will turn to substances to regulate emotions, handle stress, and even replace relationships.

According to a 2016 study in the Wiley Journal of Traumatic Stress, research has found that 96.5% of people with SUDs “had experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetime.” The study notes that emotional dysregulation (ED) from trauma is a common risk factor for SUD. Problems with emotion regulation and insecure attachment will shape and affect many different aspects of a person’s life.

Trauma and Addiction Treatment at The Guest House

At The Guest House, our programs are based on the principle that there is an underlying cause for every self-defeating behavior, including addiction. Our team is highly trained to help uncover deep-rooted trauma, like attachment trauma so that you can effectively begin the process of healing.

We offer a wide variety of therapeutic modalities that are designed to help you heal your mind, body, and soul in a safe and calming environment. You can explore the methods that work best for you.

Traditional talk therapies in individual and group settings can help you mentally process trauma. Non-traditional methods like conscious connected breathwork, yoga, and somatic therapy will help you learn how to regulate emotions as well as your nervous system.

At The Guest House, we understand that healing both trauma and addiction is a deeply personal process. Our programs will help you develop a deep connection to yourself as you discover true joy in your life.

Attachment trauma occurs in early childhood development when a child feels insecure after experiences like abuse or neglect. Addiction commonly develops as a method to cope with this deeply-rooted insecure feeling, as well as an inability to regulate emotions and stress. At The Guest House, our mission is to help you uncover trauma and other causes of self-defeating behaviors, like addiction. We offer a wide variety of therapies and programs in a safe environment to help you heal your mind, body, and soul. Call us today at (855) 483-7800.