1. Childhood Trauma- Childhood trauma can include neglect, abuse, or even sexual assault. If there is not a nurturing environment during childhood or there are traumatic events that occur then therapy will be needed to prevent any substance abuse problems from occurring. A parent who is emotionally distant or inconsistent in discipline may also contribute to this type of behavior later on in life.
2. Physical Abuse- Physical abuse can cause an individual to turn to alcohol or drugs in an effort to block out the pain and the memories. Spouses who are battered, teenagers who are abused, and even those assaulted during an attack from an unknown stranger may have problems coping with this type of event.
3. Sexual Assault- Rape, molestation, and other types of sexual assault can leave permanent scars. This is true no matter how old the victim is or what sex they are. Often victims of these events will use alcohol or drugs to block out the mental anguish and horrible memories instead of working through them. This can leave a festering wound that is invisible but damaging just the same.
4. Poor Coping Skills- Each individual will have a different level of coping skills when it comes to the stresses and experiences that life throws at us. Research has shown that some individuals have more effective coping skills than others, and those without these skills are much more likely to have substance abuse issues.
5. Chaotic Home Life- A chaotic home life can lead to substance abuse, even in adults. Unhappy marriages, constant friction at home, and other issues may cause the individual to stop off at a bar or stop at a friend’s house to get high so that they feel better able to cope with what waits at home.