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Studies have indicated that there are high rates of childhood trauma among people with addictions. Now, recent research findings have revealed more insight into the impact of these experiences and their effects on addictive behaviors.
Researchers at the University of Exter have discovered that people who have experienced childhood trauma get a more pleasurable “high” from morphine. Now, the scientists who made this recent discovery compared the effects of morphine on 52 healthy people: 27 with a history of childhood abuse and neglect, and 25 who reported no such experiences in childhood.1
According to the study, those who reported having childhood trauma liked the morphine more, felt more euphoric side effects, and had a stronger desire for a second dose. Comparatively, those without traumatic childhood experiences were more likely to dislike the effects of morphine and feel nauseous or dizzy.
Why do traumatic childhood experiences affect responses to morphine?
Understandably, one thing you might be wondering is why traumatic childhood experiences cause this type of sensitivity to the pleasurable effects of opioids. While there is no definitive explanation yet, the researchers that conducted the study do have one possible explanation.
For example, according to the study from the University of Exter, childhood trauma may negatively influence the development of a pain-relieving system called the endogenous opioid system. This system is found throughout the central nervous system in the body and is sensitive to endorphins, which are natural opioids produced by our bodies.
To explain further, when babies are comforted in infancy, such as when they cry, their bodies produce endorphins. But, when their emotional needs go unmet, their endogenous opioid system may develop differently. As a result, it could become more sensitive to the euphoric and rewarding effects of opioids. Consequently, these developmental differences could be the key to understanding the link between childhood trauma and its link to the effects of opioids.
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Why is this study important?
Most importantly, the lead author who conducted the study, Dr Molly Carlyle, said this may be the first study that links childhood trauma with the effects of opioids in people who don’t have a history of addiction. The findings suggest that people who have experienced childhood trauma may be more sensitive to the pleasurable effects of opioids. As a result, it may help reduce the stigma of heroin addiction.
Far too often, heroin addiction is treated as though it’s a personal weakness or a moral failing and that people who struggle with it simply lack self-control. However, the findings of this study emphasize the fact that we should be treating people with opioid addiction with more compassion, just like we would treat other survivors of childhood trauma.
Receive compassionate treatment for addiction at Nova Recovery Center
To sum things up, regardless of who you are or what type of history you’ve had, at Nova Recovery Center, you can expect to receive the highest quality professional addiction treatment from compassionate staff members. We understand what you’re going through and we know how to help you achieve long-lasting sobriety.
Furthermore, we offer a variety of addiction treatment programs to meet you where you are and address your needs. Our staff can help you determine which program(s) would be most helpful for your current situation:
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If you’re ready to get help for your addiction, we are available to speak with you now. Please call (512) 605-2955 or contact us online to get started.
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One of our understanding, dedicated advisors will contact you about your options. Begin healing today.
Nova Recovery Center is dedicated to helping you or your loved one get help. Please call or fill out this form for a confidential consultation. One of our understanding, dedicated advisors will contact you about your options. Begin healing today.