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Opioid epidemic linked to childhood emotional abuse, study shows

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A study by researchers at the University of Vermont has revealed a link between adult opioid misuse and childhood emotional abuse, a new finding that suggests a rethinking of treatment approaches for opioid abusers.

To uncover the link to emotional abuse, the study, published in the current issue of Addictive Behaviors, analysed and cross referenced the results of a series of psychological tests administered to a sample of 84 individuals with a history of problem opioid use who had also suffered childhood trauma.

Earlier research has found that a high percentage of adults who abuse substances were maltreated in a variety of ways as children. But few previous studies have investigated the causes of opioid addiction specifically, and no earlier ones narrowed the link among opioid users to emotional abuse.

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