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Sexual abuse and substance abuse

Discussion in 'Dual-Diagnosis Treatment' started by Lucy, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Lucy

    Lucy Member

    My counselor says a lot of people who were abused sexually has substance abuse issues. I don't yet but I feel like I am getting there. Just wanted to post it to make people feel more "normal" about it.
  2. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    You must know that you have done nothing wrong and that someone was harmful to you. It is not the end of the world and there are so many that have managed to have a normal and happy life even in relationships. It is good to talk about it and work on your feelings and issues with what happened. It did happen and that is awful but today starts the beginning of a new life for you. I see you are talking about it and that is a good start, it takes time to heal but avoid geting into an addiction because this will not make you feel any better, in fact it will make things worse. Go to therapy, let it all out and live day by day as if each day is a brand new one. By thinking about abusing drugs or alcohol you will be destroying the chance to have a normal life, and yes you can have a normal life, don't lose hope and don't feel bad about it because you must remember that you did nothing wrong, someone wronged you and you need to confront it, deal with it and give them no satisfaction in seeing your life fail. Stand up, stand tall and fight for your chance to have a good, happy and loving life.
    Lostboy8731 and Joseph like this.
  3. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    I think its pretty obvious that people who abuse drugs have little or no self control over their bodies hence they are prone to sexual abuse. It's a fact that the rate of H.I.V infection and other sexually transmitted diseases is prevalent among the drug users. So your counselor is right and you better heed his advice before you become another statistic.
  4. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I can say from my own experience that I ended up with an alcohol problem due to the emotional and physical abuse that I experienced in my home. For me it was an escape into a state of numbness, where I could temporarily switch off my mind and not have to feel or think about the things that were tormenting me on a daily basis.
    I have already mentioned in several other threads that detoxification from a substance alone is only the first step towards recovery. It involves many different levels and can take a life time to heal.
    RoseK likes this.
  5. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

  6. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    The on thing that I have learned while working with juvenile sex offenders is that using drugs is common when people are trying to cover up what they are feeling, feel ashamed of what happened to them, and do not know how to talk about it. Shame is a major contributing factor here, and I think that it's important to deal with the emotions surrounding the abuse. I know that some people don't really "do" therapy, but having an outlet can be really beneficial to fighting back against the idea of using drugs to "forget" about what they are feeling, or cover up emotions.
  7. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    People who suffer from any kind of abuse or trauma are susceptible to addiction. They self medicate to alleviate the pain. It is a normal reaction to a bad situation.

    If you recognize the potential problem, you can stop it. Denial is the only thing that can prevent you. Stay strong, get support and continue your counseling. Good luck, and we are here if you need us!
  8. Determined2014

    Determined2014 Senior Contributor

    Yes most people who were sexualy abused tend to burry their misery in drugs, but there are those who deal with it on their own without abusing drugs and there are those who go for counselling, so you are right not all end up abusing drugs.
  9. Twinsmommy31

    Twinsmommy31 Active Contributor

    It seems like the two can easily go hand in hand. Some are able to turn away from substances but others are not. We all handle things differently. Painful situations can results in a need to cover up the pain. It is sad but it does start a cycle of substance abuse that could end badly if not treated.
  10. sillylucy

    sillylucy Community Champion

    I feel like so many people I know have been abused. Know that you did nothing wrong and that your attacker is the one who is to blame. Turning to substances just gives you more problems. It does not help improve you. I know you want to forget and feel numb, but try something like meditation. Try something positive.
  11. NikkiDesrosiers

    NikkiDesrosiers Senior Contributor

    Being sexually abused is something that can negatively effect every aspect of someone's life- especially if they never reached out for help or got closure - in many cases the 'shame' of what they experience can drive them to extreme measures of alleviating the emotional turmoil and drugs is often their outlet - it is important that victims seek help to prevent themselves falling victim to a substance abuse problem as well.
  12. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    I don't know how true that is. I wouldn't let that effect you. I certainly don't think a counselor should talk this way in such generalities. It is kind of opening the door for you, like a suggestive sell. You make your own reality. Will Smith says, "I know who I am. I know what I believe and thats all I need to know."
    Nick W. likes this.
  13. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    In a way I'm with Adrianna. I think that many people who have been abused turn to drugs for different reasons, but I believe that it does also sound like opening a door. I'm not sure that I understand the "I'm not yet, but I'm getting there" idea. Don't get there. Stop. It's within your control to do so.
  14. bourge_21

    bourge_21 Senior Contributor

    It really depends on the victim. Well, it has psychological effects, especially when the victim is a minor. Sexual abuse is a multi-sided issue. If you are the victim, and you say you are 'sexually abused', what do you think is the right thing to do? Are you going to deal with a substance just because a psychologist give you that information? That's silly. Report the bastard and deal with it through the right process.
    Nick W. likes this.
  15. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    I agree. You can't use it as an excuse to get started. If you see yourself heading in that direction, it's time to put the breaks on and do something before it becomes a real issue, or before it's too late. Also, yes, report the bastard.
  16. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Well yeah that is the whole thing about the counselor saying, "a lot of people who were abused sexually has substance abuse issues."
    The position of the victim is vulnerable and a counselor is the one who is the center of attention for the victim who needs help. So when THAT person says THESE very words. It will influence the victim in counsel. People today in general are open to suggestion, but it is not necessary to jump into that suggestion in any given situation. Set yourself apart by being strong and on top.
    The "I'm getting there" phrase is the victim going along with what the counselor claims is the norm. They think well they say everyone does this that is abused. It is just so out of line for a counselor to talk like this. The vulnerability of that person and the position of the counselor. A counselor must choose their words wisely because this is a delicate time to rebuild the confidence and healthy self esteem of that person. Guiding them in the most positive direction possible. The problem is some counselors are sometimes victims of what they are counseling on; this is how they came to the job so they speak loosely. Lucy is smart enough to realize the big picture. Anyone that can get themselves help is in the right direction.
  17. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    You are normal!!! It is a bad situation that has altered your life and you can change that by understanding that bad people exist in this world and unfortunately you were one of the victims. Be strong, acknowledge and accept that you have been through this and know that life can be good for you and that happiness does exist for you!!
  18. emily0531

    emily0531 Member

    Yes, I agree. Many people have had the same experience that you have. It may be impossible to forgive the people who hurt you, but focusing on the positive people in your life may help.
  19. ProShell

    ProShell Member

    This is important to note.

    When a person is hurt in some way, like through sexual abuse or other violence, they might feel a need, and look to drugs, alcohol, or unhealthy behaviors to fill it.

    I think it is good that you have brought this up, and I hope that you can share more insight from your counselor.
  20. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    A councillor or psychologist has a job to do and that is to make sure that you are able to talk about and confront the issues that have led you to the place that you are in. They do not brainwash you and alter the ideas that you have but are merely there for a support system that you have never had. As a psychologist I find that people who have been able to open up and admit that something happened are the ones that recover fully as those who cannot speak out will let it rupture inside . With no outlet for our problems it can lead to an isolated and disrputive life. A councillor dealing with people who have been through bad situations are also there to support you and give you the strength to break free and begin a life without something weighing you down. It is up to the individual to want to be free from the cursed life and strength comes from within after you believe that it is not your fault and that there is nothing to be ashamed of and that there is HOPE for a better and grander life.