Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Look for Alcohol Misuse in Vets with PTSD

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Look for Alcohol Misuse in Vets with PTSD

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- Increased vigilance for alcohol and substance misuse might be warranted for people with posttraumatic stress disorder, according to a study of 379 recent U.S. veterans.

Significantly higher hazardous or harmful drinking was reported among those with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), compared with those without the diagnosis, for example. Current alcohol dependence and current substance use were each higher in those affected with the disorder, said Angela Meade Eggleston, Ph.D.

"The combination is particularly bad," Dr. Eggleston said, noting that in a study of pregnant women, those with a substance use disorder and PTSD "are more likely to report suicidality, aggression, and psychosocial impairment, compared with patients with a substance use disorder and another psychiatric disorder, or a substance use disorder only" (Compr. Psychiatry 2009;50:415-23).

In the current study, some of the veterans reported abstinence when asked only about the previous month, "so it is important not to take just a snapshot," Dr. Eggleston said at the annual meeting of the International Society for Trauma Stress Studies. Thirty percent of veterans with PTSD and 19% without reported symptoms of alcohol use disorders within the past year.

Recent veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom were recruited from the Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC), located on the Durham VA campus in North Carolina. The subjects had participated in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom and had experienced combat deployments, active duty, National Guard, and/or Reserve service since October 2001. Data were collected by questionnaire and an interview at least 28 days apart.

For this study, heavy drinking was defined as five or more drinks daily for men and four or more for women, as recommended by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.