Sexual Trauma and Drug Addiction
The link between sexual trauma in women and drug addiction is strong. So many women who’ve been sexually abused as children, raped, or sexually manipulated in some way also try to cover that enormous emotional pain with drugs and alcohol.
Drug Addiction Starts As Pain Relief
Sexual trauma goes way beyond embarassment and fear. It’s about shame, shame for even being a person with normal body parts. Your body is made to seem permanently dirty, contaminated, and spoiled. And what’s worse is that this body is with you everywhere you go. You can’t escape your physical body, so what are you to do?
This is where women and girls often choose various ways of numbing their mental and physical awareness of the abuse or trauma. They might have flashbacks and PTSD symptoms. They might have a general distrust of men or emotional closeness. They may feel just wrong altogether with little ability to pinpoint it.
When this all gets to be too much, they find a way to escape or cover the pain. As I’ve said before, most women with addictions don’t set out to see if they can work up a huge complicating problem in their life. They chose alcohol and drugs as a way of coping somehow and it eventually gets out of hand. If their drug or alcohol experienced numbed them enough, they are likely to continue trying it.
Pain Relief Isnt About Using Drugs In Moderation
Unfortunately, when a person is using drugs and alcohol as a coping method, they aren’t usually looking out to make sure their stays moderate and safe. They are using however much they think they need to get the job done. And perhaps more is better, so why stop at one or two drinks or one small hit? After a while, the body gets used to it and the numbness isn’t good enough. So more is needed to do the job. Before long, the woman is physically and emotionally addicted. Even in moderate amounts, drugs and alcohol mess around with emotions.
Emotions that were already at the extremes will remain there. Healthy coping methods will effectively be shut out by the drugs and alcohol. Decisions are made with feelings and little thought. Drug or alcohol induced blackouts mean nearly anything could be happening – risky sexual activity, greater drug use than intended, driving under the influence, child abuse, illegal behavior, or even suicide attempts.
Drug Rehab Can Help Women With Sexual Trauama
A woman with this kind of emotional pain is unlikely to just get over it on her own. Going cold turkey might be very painful, and then it just exposes the issues the woman was trying to hide from anyway. If a woman doesn’t learn healthy ways of coping and reaching out, just taking away the drugs will change very little in the long run.
Drug treatment or alcohol treatment in a setting with just women is an ideal combination. Women with deeply set sexual trauma have lost their identity as a woman. Or if their abuse started when they were a child, they may have not had a good understanding of what healthy womanhood was all about. Women’s drug rehab is a place women can safely explore these things.
Many women with addiction have some form of trauma experience, so stories and experiences are likely to share common threads. Women learn to share and to support others in their pain. Drug rehab certainly isn’t a cure for the emotional pain from sexual trauma. But it can do a lot to get a hurting woman moving in a healthy direction.