I’m surprised that this isn’t considered obvious, given how well known addiction as a result of childhood abuse is common. What is interesting is the possible successful treatment with psychedelic drugs.
What causes drug addiction? One Canadian physician argues that the problem isn’t the drugs themselves.
Dr. Gabor Maté believes — based on research and his own experience working at harm reduction clinics in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a poor area that has one of the worst drug problems in North America — that the root of addictive behaviors can be traced all the way back to childhood.
“Not all addictions are rooted in abuse or trauma, but I do believe they can all be traced to painful experience,” Maté wrote in his 2010 bestseller, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. “A hurt is at the center of all addictive behaviors. It is present in the gambler, the Internet addict, the compulsive shopper and the workaholic. The wound may not be as deep and the ache not as excruciating, and it may even be entirely hidden — but it’s there.”