Traumatic Childhood Experiences Linked to Substance Abuse in Adulthood

A new study suggests adults who were victims of sexual and/or physical abuse in childhood, or who witnessed chronic parental violence, are at greatly increased risk of substance use.

Researchers from the University of Toronto found one in five drug-dependent adults and one in six alcohol-dependent adults had experienced childhood sexual abuse, compared with one in 19 in the general population of Canada, PsychCentral reports.

One in seven adults who were dependent on drugs or alcohol had been exposed to chronic parental domestic violence, compared with one in 25 in the general population, the researchers report in Substance Use & Misuse. Parental violence was considered chronic if it occurred at least 11 times before the child turned 16, the article notes.

Full story of traumatic childhood experiences and substance abuse at

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Will Savage

Quantum Units Continuing Education provides online CEU training's to licensed professional mental health therapists, counselors, social workers and nurses. Our blog provides updates in the field of news and research related to mental health and substance abuse treatment.