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Child Sexual Abuse is Correlated with Alcoholism

  • anonymous Asks ...

    I believe that the sexual abuse I suffered as a child and teen is the reason why I am an alcoholic today. I have decided that I need to get help and I want to go to a rehab but I think I need to address what happened to me in the past if I really want to get better and so I don't think that AA style rehab is what I need. What types of therapies r programs would you recommend I be looking for in a rehab?

  • Delisted Expert Says ...

    I think it takes courage to seek an answer to the dilemma you face. However, it is well known that before someone can address their issues around trauma, they must stablize any active addiction they have first. With alcohol, you could find it difficulty to stop drinking if you are trying to heal the trauma of child sexual abuse. If fact, bringing up the painful memories of child sexual abuse can make recovery from alcohol very difficult or impossible, and could, in some cases, increase your drinking.

    I would encourage you to find a substance abuse professional who has training in childhood trauma or child sexual abuse and obtain an evaluation for treatment. If you go into treatment for alcoholism and stop drinking, you will be more ready and able to address your childhood trauma without relapsing with alcohol. The childhood sexual abuse may be a contributor to your alcoholism, but your alcoholism can prevent you from successfully healing the trauma of your sexual abuse.

    Many people in recovery have been physically, emotionally, and sexually abused as children. However, they usually do not attempt to address this until they have maintained soberity for at least6 months to a year from the last time they took a drink.

    I wish you every sucess in your recovery and healing journey!

    John W. O'Neal, Ed.S, MSW, MA LPC, NCC

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