From the August 2012 magazine.

August 2012: Alcoholism At Large

Childhood abuse among alcoholics
A new study has found significant rates of childhood trauma among alcohol-dependent individuals undergoing inpatient detoxification and treatment. Childhood trauma experience can include sexual, physical and emotional abuse as well as physical or emotional neglect.

“Previous studies have found that alcoholic patients self-report higher rates of physical and sexual abuse in childhood compared to the general population,” said Markus Heilig, clinical director at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and the author for the study. “Our findings demonstrate that childhood emotional abuse is nearly as prevalent among alcoholic patients as physical and sexual abuse. Members of the public shouldn’t take lightly the potential effects of emotional abuse in childhood or in any life stage. Just because there may not be visible physical scars does not mean that no lasting damage has been done.”

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