The relationship between childhood trauma and drug dependence at an in-patient treatment centre in the Western Cape
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The outcome of child abuse, i.e. physical, emotional and/or sexual, and child neglect is multifactorial. The severity, duration and nature of abuse and the child’s vulnerabilities are all contributory factors with regards the outcome of abuse. Children who are traumatized are likely to be profoundly affected. Studies have shown and nearly every researcher agrees that early childhood traumas lie at the root of many emotional and psychological illnesses. It has been noted that drug abuse is a major problem in the Western Cape. This thesis explored the relationship between subjectively perceived childhood trauma and drug dependence in an in-patient treatment-seeking sample of adults in the Cape Town Metropolitan Area in the Western Cape. This thesis presents the results of a measure of childhood trauma, namely the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire [CTQ] and a measure of drug dependence, the Drug Use Disorder Identification Test [DUDIT]. The sample consisted of 52 participants and included both males and females. Only participants who were identified as drug dependent were included in the study. Patients who were actively psychotic and/or alcohol dependent were not included in the study. Ethical clearance was obtained from the University of the Western Cape’s higher degree ethical committee. The anonymity of the participants, the importance of responding openly and honestly and the sensitive nature of the questions were highlighted during the test administration. Questionnaires were administered in accordance with the guidelines stipulated in the respective manuals. The data was analysed through correlation. The study found a positive correlation between childhood emotional abuse and drug dependence, and childhood physical abuse and drug dependence.