The recent work of attachment theory and psychology
has taught addictions specialists
that dysfunctional attachment styles interfere with the ability
to derive satisfaction
from interpersonal relationships
and internal beliefs
that perpetuate this difficulty.
John Bowlby is one researcher who provided a theory
on the functions of early attachment in a child.
If there is not a secure attachment
that occurs during the early childhood years,
there can be long term ramifications
for the child's development
of security and his/her sense of self.
Bowlby states that an insecurely attached child
developed a state to maintain contact
with rejecting or inconsistent caregivers.
Children feel safe when they are closer
to the parent or caregiver,
seek comfort in times of distress,
and have people they can lean on
so they can move forward to discover life.
This is a secure attachment.
If there are early major disturbances in this attachment,
children have difficulties managing emotions,
developing a sense of self and seek comfort
outside of people.
One reason that insecurely attached children
will be vulnerable to addictive behavior
is that they are more likely to cling to things
because they have found
Experiences that are related to early developmental failures,
leave certain individuals with
vulnerabilities that enhance addictive behaviors.
The craving and seeking for proximity,
sense of well being cannot be met with a person,
so these individuals often seek fulfillment
in another source of well being,
either drug or drink or addictive relationship.
Deprivation of age appropriate developmental needs
leaves the substance abuser constantly searching
for something "out there"
that can be substituted for what is missing
Addiction as an Attachment Disorder - Flores