Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

PTSD Can Lead To A More Severe Course And Worse Outcomes For A Substance-abuse Disorder

Date:
March 4, 2008
Source:
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
Summary:
Up to one-half of those seeking help for substance-abuse disorders also have post-traumatic stress disorder. New findings show that the frequency of a PTSD is greater among those dependent on drugs rather than alcohol, and that having a PTSD tends to predict a more severe course and worse outcome for an SUD.

From one-third to one-half of those seeking treatment for a substance-use disorder (SUD) can also have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The first multi-center study of PTSD among individuals seeking treatment for an SUD has found a greater prevalence of PTSD among those who were drug- rather than alcohol-dependent, and that having PTSD was associated with a more severe course and worse outcome for an SUD.

"We already knew that there is a quite relevant association between PTSD and SUDs," said Martin Driessen, professor of psychiatry at Ev. Hospital Bielefeld in Germany, and corresponding author for the study. "More specifically, PTSD is a risk factor for the development of an SUD, particularly a drug dependence. However, it was unclear whether this is true for both abusers and dependent subjects, or only one of these groups, which is why we studied clearly dependent subjects."

"Drug dependence has frequently been observed in war veterans who also suffer from PTSD," added Andreas Heinz, director and chair of the department of psychiatry at Charitι -- University Medical Center Berlin. "Both men and women often increase drug abuse and develop dependence following war and other trauma."

For this study, Driessen and his colleagues interviewed 459 subjects (274 males, 185 females) seeking help in 14 German addiction-treatment centers: 39.7 percent had alcohol dependence; 33.6 percent had drug dependence; and 26.8 percent had both. Interviewers used the International Diagnostic Checklists, Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale, Addiction Severity Index, and Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale to assess all participants. Individual characteristics and treatment outcomes were later analyzed.

Results showed the prevalence of PTSD was greater among those with drug rather than alcohol dependence. "We found a prevalence of PTSD that was roughly double, around 30 percent, in drug-dependent subjects than that found in alcohol-dependent subjects, at about 15 percent," said Driessen. "Although we expected this, based on previous research, we were somewhat surprised to find such a high difference between drug and alcohol dependence."

Having a PTSD was also associated with worse outcomes for an SUD, Driessen said, such as more family problems, less employment, and more severe psychological symptoms.

"The subjects suffering from PTSD had higher hospitalization rates, shorter periods of abstinence, and higher drug craving," added Heinz. "However, the study did not show whether PTSD was a cause or consequence of drug dependence in individual subjects."

In addition, said Driessen, the associations between an SUD and PTSD were stronger when the PTSD diagnosis was definitive -- that is, based on the interview as well as the questionnaire -- compared to those patients with a probable or subsyndromal PTSD. A mere trauma exposure without PTSD was not associated with an SUD, he noted.

Both Driessen and Heinz recommended that clinicians examine patients with an SUD in order to determine if PTSD is an underlying factor, and that researchers continue investigating specific treatment options.

"Women in this study showed higher PTSD rates, which is in accordance with the literature," said Heinz. "Women also more often show clinical depression, which often precedes alcohol dependence, while in men, depression seems to follow alcohol dependence in most cases. Further research on psychotrauma and its sequelae such as PTSD, anxiety and depression may point to gender differences in the course and consequences of drug and alcohol addiction. In addition, neurobiological correlates such as monoamine and stress hormone dysfunction and alterations in central processing of affective and reward-indicating stimuli should be assessed. They may predict treatment response and indicate whether specific treatment options with psychotherapy or addictive pharmacological therapy are helpful."

Results are published in the March issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

 


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "PTSD Can Lead To A More Severe Course And Worse Outcomes For A Substance-abuse Disorder." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080304214437.htm>.
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. (2008, March 4). PTSD Can Lead To A More Severe Course And Worse Outcomes For A Substance-abuse Disorder. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080304214437.htm
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "PTSD Can Lead To A More Severe Course And Worse Outcomes For A Substance-abuse Disorder." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080304214437.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) — Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins