A recent study conducted by Eva R. Kimonis of the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the University of South Florida discovered a link between trauma, alcohol use and incarceration amongst teens.
The study was conducted on 373 incarcerated male teens ranging in age from 14 to 17 years old. These teens had been convicted of violent crimes, including rape, assault and murder. The survey questions addressed the levels of alcohol and drug use and the childhood histories of first-time offenders and compared them to secondary offenders.
It was found that secondary offenders had higher levels of alcohol use in the 6 months leading up to their incarceration than the first-time offenders. Secondary offenders also had higher incidence of and greater traumatic events during childhood than those incarcerated for the first time.
The amount of childhood and adult trauma are much higher amongst incarcerated men. In the United States, 1 in 6 male inmates reported having been abused before the age of 18, with 56% of the inmates reporting childhood physical abuse.
The Link Explained
The above conclusions in the study point to a link between childhood trauma, substance abuse and incarceration. The lead author of the study also believes that teens who experience severe trauma in childhood have a tendency to turn to alcohol or other drugs as a way to deal with the mental stress and pain.
According to Narconon rehab centers, it has been long known that both emotional and physical trauma can linger for years, with those traumas able to be reactivated easily by the mind. When you go back to the basic definition of a drug in that it relieves one of an unwanted condition, it is no surprise that a person who experiences childhood trauma whether it were emotional or physical, would gravitate towards using a substance to temporarily relieve them of that condition. Add to that the fact that 55% of all inmates in US prisons are there due to some alcohol related incident; we are not talking about all drugs here – just alcohol.
If you stop and think about that for a moment, that we’re not talking about illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine and others, simply the use of a legal drug in alcohol. It doesn’t take much to connect the dots and draw your own conclusions when you consider the actual the statistics.
With the information above, there does seem to be a definite cause and effect link between childhood trauma, alcohol and incarceration. For those already in the system and addicted to alcohol, the solution lies in effective rehabilitation like that offered through Narconon rehab centers.
For prevention youth and families should be monitored as much childhood trauma can be caused by those using drugs and alcohol in the presence of children and young adults. Sad as it is, this has to be monitored and prevented by society as a whole and kids need to be provided with effective help, support as well as drug and alcohol education.
With a rough upbringing which has physical and emotional abuse connected to it, the young adult is more inclined to use alcohol or some other drug to numb the pain. With the use of these types of drugs, their tendency to act violently, anti-social or just plain stupid increases to the point where they in turn, have a greater tendency of doing something against the law that can get them incarcerated.
This vicious circle seems to be the impetus for the large amount of incarcerated young adults throughout the US. For more information on this subject contact Narconon rehab centers.