Behavioral Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder PMC

Given the paucity of studies we opted to include the latter two studies in this review (See Table 1). The results of these two studies do not significantly alter the conclusions/recommendations except to help suggest future research directions. A 2023 study suggests post-traumatic disorders are among the most common co-occurring diagnoses in people with substance use disorder (SUD). Soldiers with PTSD who experienced at least one symptom of AUD may be disinhibited in a way that leads them to make risky decisions, including the potential for aggression or violence.

ptsd and alcohol abuse

It’s also effective for treating alcohol use disorder.[7] So, a patient with PTSD and alcohol use disorder might participate in individual therapy, like stress inoculation therapy, to learn healthy and effective strategies for coping with PTSD symptoms. In the next section, two studies focus on the prevalence and correlates of AUD and PTSD in racial and ethnic minority communities. Werner and colleagues (2016) report on the increased rates of trauma exposure and PTSD among African American (AA) women as compared to European American (EA) women, and examine differences in the relationship between PTSD and AUD among AA and EA women. This study extends prior work by examining the unique contributions of specific types of trauma and PTSD on alcohol involvement in AA and EA women, and identifying racial/ethnic disparities in the prevalence and timing of first alcohol use, AUD symptoms and AUD diagnostic progression.

PTSD and SUD in Veterans

The valuable hints and tips that follow are a result of our partnership with SoberBuzz, aimed at empowering you on your path to well-being. The mission at SoberBuzz is to empower you to step into the exciting opportunity of reconnecting with your true self. Along this transformative path, you will acquire essential life skills and tools to effectively manage your emotions and confront life’s challenges without relying on alcohol as a crutch. The first step in addressing problematic drinking is to redefine what it entails. By removing traditional stereotypes, we can encourage people to recognise that their relationship with alcohol deserves attention and care. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it can exacerbate PTSD symptoms such as anxiety and depression.

They also examine the debate regarding sequential versus integrated treatment models. Different psychotherapeutic techniques and therapies may be used to treat comorbid AUD and PTSD. Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, can help people identify their emotions and triggers for symptoms to help them develop better coping mechanisms. The type of treatment that is best for you can depend on the type of trauma you experienced.

Cognitive behavioral conjoint therapy

AspenRidge has developed a multi-faceted, integrative dual diagnosis treatment program. AspenRidge understands that trauma may have a substantial impact on substance use and dependence. However, please know that you can still take control of your drinking habits and work towards a healthier life.

  • In this double-blind, placebo controlled study the main outcomes were PTSD symptoms, response to stress reactivity, and alcohol craving in the laboratory.
  • Not only does that make it harder to address the PTSD issue of memory-related trauma, but it also creates an alcohol addiction that carries its own detrimental symptoms and likewise needs to be treated.
  • A 2023 study suggests post-traumatic disorders are among the most common co-occurring diagnoses in people with substance use disorder (SUD).

Subjects as a group decreased their drinking significantly over time, but there were no significant group differences. In this study, the drinking outcomes were confounded by a site difference such that they were better at the site in which a majority of subjects were also in sober housing. PTSD symptoms also decreased significantly over time, but there were no group differences. Sleep disturbances and nightmares were also assessed; these significantly improved over time but there was no effect of medication.

Couples therapy

There was at best weak evidence to support the use of medications to treat AUD among those with comorbidity with PTSD. Naltrexone was effective in decreasing craving in those studies that evaluated it (Foa et al. 2013, Petrakis et al. 2012). Topiramate was promising as it was effective in decreasing alcohol use, but thus far has only been evaluated for comorbidity in one small study. Comorbidity between PTSD and AUD represents a key area in alcohol research, made richer by developments in both basic and clinical science and one in which there is an urgent need to identify effective treatments. The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive summary of the pharmacological treatment literature that exists for AUD and comorbid PTSD specifically for the alcoholism field.

Genomic risk for post-traumatic stress disorder in families densely … –

Genomic risk for post-traumatic stress disorder in families densely ….

Posted: Wed, 21 Jun 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

The nature of the disorder suggests that many interpret and process trauma differently. However, traumatic events trigger PTSD, which is why the condition is prevalent among military members who have been involved in overseas conflict. An estimated 9% of the U.S. population matches the criteria of PTSD, with women more likely to develop symptoms than men.

Typically, the sessions are 60 to 120 minutes, approximately once a week for 4 to 10 weeks. Alcohol behavioral couple therapy46 and behavioral couples therapy for alcoholism and drug abuse47 are manual-guided (also known as manualized) treatments for AUD that incorporate participation of a significant other or romantic partner. The interventions target relationship skills and skills related to reducing AUD severity. Alcohol behavioral couple therapy uses motivational interviewing techniques and focuses on harm reduction, and behavioral couples therapy for alcoholism and drug abuse emphasizes attaining and maintaining abstinence. This includes a detoxification process that occurs in conjunction with therapies that have proven successful in controlling PTSD.

Once people experience traumatic circumstances, they can also develop guilt and shame which can manifest in alcohol and/or drug dependency. Alcohol dependency can worsen PTSD symptoms and create uncomfortable side effects. The first step is to talk with a healthcare provider and ask for more information about treatment options. Each VA Medical Center has an SUD-PTSD Specialist trained in treating both conditions to reach the best health outcomes. If there are signs you are at risk for both conditions, you will be encouraged to talk with a healthcare provider about how to best support your recovery. Eventually, the overuse of drugs or alcohol can develop into substance use disorder (SUD).

How does alcohol affect PTSD symptoms?

Future research on this complex, dual-diagnosis population is necessary to improve understanding of how individual characteristics, such as gender and treatment goals, affect treatment outcome. Behavioral intervention is considered a first-line approach in the treatment of PTSD. Several empirically supported behavioral interventions have been disseminated across populations and treatment settings.

PTSD is a mental health condition in which an individual experiences recurrent psychological distress as a delayed response to experiencing or witnessing a major traumatic event. The stress can occur moments, days, weeks, months, or even years after the triggering event. We offer trauma-focused care that addresses alcohol abuse as well as underlying complex trauma. Since trauma can manifest in many forms like PTSD, we provide an integrative strategy that supports individuals at every stage. After a thorough evaluation, we tailor our treatment program, whether in-person or online, to fit clients’ needs. Seeking treatment for both at the same time is encouraged, since they tend to feed off each other.

Leave a Reply