Early Close Relationships

Substance use disorders are baffling, often times for the person with the disorder, as well as the people who love them. “Why can’t they just stop?” is a common question from friends and family members.  People with substance use disorders also find themselves feeling lost and not understanding why they have put themselves in the same position again and again.

One way of understanding the development of substance use disorders is to look at early relationships, starting in childhood.  Research indicates that people who had difficulty forming meaningful attachments early in life are more likely to turn to alcohol or other drugs to soothe themselves when faced with stress and difficult emotions.

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