Study: Exposure to Trauma in Children Linked to Later Substance Abuse

This week PsychCentral reports on a study investigating the long-reaching effects of secondhand trauma. Using data from 1.4 million children born between 1984 and 1995, Swedish researchers looked at whether an immediate family member had experienced one or more of four events before the child turned 15: (1) cancer diagnosis; (2) an injury that resulted in permanent disability; (3) victim of an assault; or (4) died. 

They found that a child who was exposed to the trauma from just one of these events had about twice the risk of substance use disorder within six years as young adults. 

The study is slated for the August issue of the journal Addiction.