There are factors that can significantly increase the risk of developing an addiction to drugs and alcohol later in life, and child abuse is one of the most common factors. Conversely, research has shown that child victims of abuse, particularly sexual abuse, often develop substance use problems later in life. In regards to the links between child abuse and substance abuse later on in life, adults who were abused as children may turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with the trauma of their childhood
Childhood Emotional Abuse, Negative Emotion-driven Impulsivity, and Alcohol Use in Young Adulthood
Shin & Lee & Jeon & Wills (2015)
Child Abuse and Neglect, 50
Examines the effects of childhood emotional abuse and the risks of alcohol use, binge drinking, alcohol-related problems, and alcohol use disorders. The study finds that the relationship between emotional abuse and urgency influences types of alcohol use.
Families Affected by Parental Substance Use
Smith & Wilson (2016)
Reviews short-term effects of maternal substance use during pregnancy and long-term implications of fetal exposure. This article also describes medical, psychiatric, and behavioural symptoms of children and adolescents in families affected by substance use.
Inadequate Child Supervision: The Role of Alcohol Outlet Density, Parent Drinking Behaviors, and Social Support
Freisthler, Johnson-Motoyama, & Kepple (2014)
Child Youth Services Review, 43(1)
Examines the role of caregivers drinking alcohol and how it leads to supervisory neglect. This study demonstrates that discrete relationships between alcohol-related variables, social support, and specific supervisory neglect should be considered on a spectrum from single to repeated incidents and with regard to consequences.
The Intervening Role of Urgency on the association Between Childhood Maltreatment, PTSD, and Substance-Related Problems (PDF - 275 KB)
Mirhashema, Allen, Adams, van Stolk-Cooke, Legrand, & Price (2017)
Addictive Behaviors, 69
Assesses the association between child maltreatment, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use disorders. The study finds childhood emotional abuse and negative urgency are associated with substance-related problems (SRP), suggesting that PTSD plays an important role in the severity of SRP.
The Relationship Between Child Maltreatment and Substance Abuse Treatment Outcomes Among Emerging Adults and Adolescents
Garner, Hunter, Smith, Smith, & Godley (2014)
Child Maltreatment, 19(0)
Examines the relationship between child maltreatment and several key outcomes. The study of a large clinical sample also discusses the differences in the relationship between child maltreatment and treatment outcomes in emerging adults and adolescents.
Research Finds Substance Abuse Varies Widely in Association with Child Abuse, Neglect
Discusses the need to differentiate parental behaviors regarding child welfare policies of taking children from homes of parents with drug and alcohol addictions. The article promotes change in the assumption that drug and alcohol use lead to maltreatment and more consideration of the range of behaviors that drugs and alcohol elicit in individual parents.