While a lot of attention is paid to holding abusers accountable in the legal system, the focus on recovery fades as an abused child moves into adulthood, despite the overwhelming evidence of increased at-risk behaviour and health issues after experiencing childhood abuse.
Traumatized children often grow up to experience substance abuse or addiction, sometimes as much as 10 times the risk of a child who hasn’t experienced trauma. Substance abuse often masks deeper issues triggered by sexual or physical abuse, like feelings of worthlessness or suicidal ideation. Drug and alcohol abuse often starts as these children become young adults and attend university where substance use can be seen as “normal” or part of the college culture.
Recent studies have shown that teaching positive coping methods decreases the chance of future substance abuse and increases positive outcomes. For students who have substance abuse issues while in college, there are limited resources for learning new methods of coping with trauma, and little community of their own age and mindset.
One university system is doing something about that by providing resources for students who are recovering from addiction or abuse. The University of Texas has created a network called Center for Students in Recovery. The goal is to “provide a supportive community where students in recovery and in hope of recovery can achieve academic success while enjoying a genuine college experience free from alcohol and other drugs.”
The Center provides access to support systems for recovery, including mentors and tutors, as well as 12-step meetings and classes on meditation, yoga, and nutrition. It also schedules regular sober social activities.
It’s encouraging to see college students in Texas receive support that could help them move ahead with recovery from childhood sexual abuse and trauma. It will be interesting to see how this program spreads to other campuses.
If you, or someone you love, have been abused, please contact our office today at 888.212.0440 or through the form below for a free case review.