Childhood Abuse and Alcohol Addiction

Kate Hall
Author:
Kate Hall
Senior Paralegal, Abuse
Date:
15/11/2021

This week is Alcohol Awareness Week, aimed at raising awareness of alcohol addiction and campaigning for change. Organised by Alcohol Change UK, the theme for this year is ‘Alcohol and relationships’, highlighting the impact that the Coronavirus pandemic had on alcohol consumption. According to Alcohol Change UK, research found that many people in the UK drank more during the pandemic because of loneliness and isolation.

While alcohol can play a large social role in our lives it can also affect our relationships with others when it becomes a problem.

Link between Childhood Trauma and Alcohol Abuse

Research has found that childhood abuse and trauma can increase the risk of developing mental health disorders and alcohol or drug addiction in adulthood.

Mental health problems and addiction can quite often go hand in hand, with those suffering from trauma using alcohol or drugs as a way of coping and suppressing the psychological impacts of the abuse. This can often create a vicious cycle that’s difficult to break – as increased alcohol and substance use can end up heightening feelings of depression and anxiety. It can also put a strain on relationships with partners, family members and friends.

At Simpson Millar, we’ve supported many abuse survivors who have battled problems with alcohol alongside dealing with the abuse they’ve been through. We understand how challenging it can be to come to terms with your trauma whilst also battling addiction.

We also understand the impact addiction can have on your ability to start or pursue a claim, so we are here to support you throughout the process.

If you’d like support and legal advice about abuse, please get in touch with our Abuse Solicitors who will be happy to help you.

Call us on 08002605010 orrequest a callback

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction can affect everyone in different ways and it’s not always easy to spot the signs.

If you’re worried about someone close to you, or about your own drinking habits, here are some things to look out for:

  • Inability to stop drinking or say no to alcohol
  • Loss of interest in everyday activities
  • A strong craving for alcohol
  • Problems sleeping
  • Mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression
  • Changes in mood e.g. becoming more irritable or secretive
  • Relationship problems with family, friends or a partner
  • Drink driving
  • Increased alcohol tolerance levels
  • Withdrawal symptoms e.g. shaking, sweating and nausea
  • Attempting to hide drinking habits from others
  • Neglecting responsibilities e.g. work or childcare

It’s common for those struggling with alcohol addiction to deny there’s a problem or become defensive if someone close to them tries to bring it up. If you’re worried about someone close to you, it’s important to talk to them calmly, with empathy and without any criticism or blame.

If you’re worried about your own dependency on alcohol, there are plenty of support services out there to help you. You should also consider talking to a partner, friend or family member about your concerns.

Where You Can Get Support

As well as going to your GP for help, there are anonymous helplines and charities who can offer support for alcohol abuse and mental health problems.

They include:

If you are a survivor of abuse and you’re struggling, please know that we are always here to listen. If you’d like confidential legal advice and support about reporting your abuse to the police or making a claim, please get in touch with our dedicated Abuse Team.

For free legal advice call our Abuse Claims Solicitors

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