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What is Trauma Bonding and How Does it Relate to Addiction?

What is Trauma Bonding and How Does it Relate to Addiction?

Trauma Bonding is a strong attachment to an abuser which often occurs in cases of domestic violence inflicted by a loved one, or a sexual assault.

An individual can develop a trauma bond with their abuser when repeatedly subjected to some form of abuse. As well as if they find themselves trapped in an abusive relationship. Addiction can also increase the chances of trauma bonds and perpetuate the cycle of abuse and addiction.

An individual can develop a trauma bond with their abuser when repeatedly subjected to some form of abuse. As well as if they find themselves trapped in an abusive relationship.

Trauma bonding can occur in different situations involving abuse or violence and does not only happen in abusive relationships. This including a child who has been repeatedly abused by an alcoholic parent or a prisoner of war who develops a strong attachment to their captors.

Addiction recovery centers report that they have received frequent inquiries from people who experience trauma bond relationships and substance abuse simultaneously.

How Addiction Affects Abusive Relationships and Trauma Bonding?

Addiction-fueled behaviors, such as manipulation, lying or sexual abuse can be more intense than those of non-addicted abusers. Keep in mind addiction and drug abuse are never an excuse for abusive behavior. Addiction may not cause aggression but it could intensify abusive behavior. Addiction is also highly correlated with spousal violence and child abuse and neglect.

Love bombing occurs when an abuser uses excessive attention, gifts, flattery, and even sex as a form of manipulation. Addiction treatment centers report that Love Bombing cycles occur in both addicted abusers and their non-addicted counterparts. An individual can be trapped in the relationship regardless of whether the aggressor is addicted, the victim is addicted, or both.

Addiction to Abuse

The cycle of abuse in these toxic relationships is similar to the cycle of addiction. Victims can experience codependency and addiction to their abuser. 

Addiction recovery centers report that this addiction is due to victims’ need to reduce their anxiety and sense of insecurity. As well as out of a desire to please their abuser. 

Addiction treatment centers have observed that certain individuals may find themselves deeply attached to an abusive partner. This trauma bond can cause them to subject themselves to years of abuse.

Substance Abuse Can Become A Coping Mechanism

Victims of abuse can become addicted to drugs as well. This becomes a coping mechanism to cope with physical or mental abuse.  Addiction treatment centers report that individuals who seek out addiction treatment after leaving an abusive relationship often suffer from both trauma bonds and substance use disorder.  

They have also noted that not only does this abuse tend to leave a lasting impact on victims, but it also makes it difficult for them to recognize their own abusive relationships in the future. Addiction recovery centers note that some relationships will bond over the experience of using drugs and alcohol.

How to Help Someone in Abusive Relationships with Addiction Present?

Helping a family member, loved one, or even yourself when there is abuse and addiction involved is a complicated matter. It’s important the victim receive therapeutic treatment for the mental health part and substance abuse treatment for the addiction part if applicable.

Keep in mind, early intervention is crucial. If you suspect abuse or addiction, don’t wait to take action. Victims may backpedal when they confide in a friend or family member. 

Addiction treatment centers have found that abusers often blame their behavior on drugs or alcohol, even if they are sober during the abusive incident. Treatment centers, like Harm Reduction Center, can help individuals hold themselves accountable for their actions.

Addiction treatment centers report that some individuals may stop using drugs and alcohol for a period of time so as not to trigger their partner’s leaving. This is not a long-term solution for trauma bonding or addiction. Eventually, the cycle repeats itself.

Seek Help

Addiction treatment centers like Harm Reduction Center in South Florida can help. Addiction can be hard to overcome. It’s important for you and your family members to seek professional help so that the individuals will have the best chance of recovery.

Many times, addiction is a result of trauma bonding or vice versa. Addiction and trauma bonding is often associated with extreme or long-term abuse situations or other forms of trauma. Harm Reduction Center has the ability to provide substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment simultaneously. Don’t wait, get help today!