Every parent wants the best for their children, but not every child gets the best, and not every parent delivers the best. As the years pass, we consistently learn more about how the events and occurrences of our youth impact our lifestyle choices and decisions as adults. Parents can even have nothing but good intentions but still impart some negative experiences to their kids, experiences that might lead to substance abuse later on in life. Let’s go over this and explore the factors.
In a groundbreaking article that has been published and shared nearly a quarter of a million times on social media platforms, Dr. Daniel Sumrok, (the director of the Center for Addiction Sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Medicine), discusses the extreme impact that one’s childhood can have on their chances of becoming an addict in young adult life or adult life. In an opening statement, he drops the hammer by saying that:
Talk about controversial and edgy. But Dr. Sumrok has a point. If we can look into and address an addict’s past, we can help him create a better future. Dr. Sumrok initially saw the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in people with eating disorders. He found that ninety percent of individuals with eating disorders also had experienced sexual trauma in their youth. Once he came across that evidence, it became clear that negative experiences in one’s youth absolutely impinged on their adult lives.
Dr. Sumrok attributed Adverse Childhood Experiences to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, giving an analogy to a hypothetical experience with a lion:
The doctor discusses how things like Adverse Childhood Experiences, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a great deal of other, adverse phenomena can begin in one’s childhood and extend into one’s adult life. And while one is constantly remaining watchful and vigilant for the “lion that bit the foot off,” one will often self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to cope with the veritable plethora of negative emotions and mental constructions that come along with living at constant ends with one’s own traumatic experiences.
Dr. Sumrok believes without any shadow of a doubt whatsoever that our childhood experiences can and do dictate much of our adult lives.
Most parents do a great job raising their kids. We aren’t trying to scare parents or convince them that they have to be extremely cautious with their children, one-hundred and ten percent of the time. There are, however, a few tips that parents can follow to ensure their kids do not grow up to struggle with addiction:
Keeping our kids safe from drugs and alcohol is simply a matter of educating them on the risks attendant with such substances, making sure they know to keep good company, and making sure they have rewarding and enjoyable upbringings that are full of love and pleasant experiences, not traumatic ones.