Childhood abuse leads to alcohol abuse

Alcohol abuse among U.S. Navy recruits who were maltreated in childhood.

AIMS: To examine relationships between childhood maltreatment and alcohol-related problems among U.S. Navy recruits.

METHODS: An anonymous sample of 5697 Navy recruits completed a survey regarding their alcohol consumption, alcohol problems (binge drinking, drinking until drunk, alcohol dependence, alcohol-related arrests), and experiences of childhood physical and sexual abuse.

RESULTS: Most of the recruits used alcohol, and a substantial proportion reported histories of childhood maltreatment. Recruits who had been victimized as children were more likely to use alcohol. Furthermore, among drinkers, those who had been abused were more likely to exhibit alcohol problems than were non-abused drinkers.

CONCLUSION: Substantial numbers of personnel with alcohol-related problems may be using alcohol to self-medicate due to a history of childhood abuse. Attention to the association between alcohol abuse and childhood maltreatment might help improve the efficacy of military alcohol reduction programs.

Research report; Trent L, Stander V, Thomsen C, Merrill L. Alcohol abuse among U.S. Navy recruits who were maltreated in childhood. Alcohol Alcohol. 2007 May 28;


Things are NOT Falling Apart, They are Falling Into Place!: Rising Above Your Childhood

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