“Addicts have been in car crashes of the soul”


Tragedy of Whitney Houston and Her Daughter: The Surprising Factors That Can Make People 4600 Percent More Prone To Addiction

We know the major reason why addiction is transmitted through families – and it is not what most of us think.

By Johann Hari

Dr Felliti noticed something striking. His patients seemed to have been sexually abused at a higher rate than the general population. Far higher. One woman explained that she gained 105 pounds after being raped. “Overweight is overlooked,” she said, “and that’s the way I need to be.”

Intrigued, Dr Felitti launched a major and detailed study to find out what role – if any – traumatic childhood events played in obesity. It became known as the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Survey. They questioned 17,000 people in San Diego, mostly middle class and professional, to find out if they had gone through any of ten traumatic experiences that can happen to a child – from neglect to violence to rape. They then followed them to see if they suffered any other problems later in life. At the same time as they looked to see if there was any correlation with obesity, they also included other factors – like drug addiction…

The published research showed that for every category of trauma that happens to a child, they are two to four times more like to grow up to be an addict – and multiple traumas produced a massive risk. The correlation for addiction was startling. Nearly two-thirds of injecting drug use, they found, is the result of early childhood trauma…

Just as Dr Felitti’s obese patients tried to protect themselves from predatory sexual attention with layers of fat, his drug-addicted patients were often trying to protect themselves from the childhood storms in their own heads – by numbing themselves with chemicals. His obese patient didn’t feel so afraid of sexual assault if she had rendered herself conventionally ‘unattractive.’ His addicted patients didn’t feel their own agony so keenly if they were drugged…

Today, we have a criminal justice system that takes people who are addicted because they endured trauma, and we traumatize them more…  Dr Gabor Mate, one of the leading experts on this question, told me: “If I had to design a system that was intended to keep people addicted, I’d design exactly the system that we have right now.” …

When we look at addicts, if we are honest – and I feel it too, even though I have loved many addicts in my life – it’s hard to keep out voices of moral judgement. We look at somebody who is chronically using alcohol or drugs, and we say with a shake of the head: “Well, I wouldn’t do that.” By the end of my journey, I had realized that makes as much sense as looking at somebody who has had their legs amputated after a car crash and saying: “Cutting off your legs is weird. I would never do that.” Addicts have been in car crashes of the soul…

One thought on ““Addicts have been in car crashes of the soul”

  1. Duh! Of course. Children who’s been sexually molested grow up to be either, a molester, a prostitute, strippers, drug addicts, alcoholics, sleeps around excessively, and more.

    Liked by 1 person

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