How patients perceive the relationship between trauma, substance abuse, craving and relapse: a qualitative study

N. Gielen, J.S.M. Krumeich, M. Tekelenburg, C. Nederkoorn, R.C. Havermans

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Abstract

In this qualitative study, patients with comorbid substance use disorder (SUD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were interviewed on their ideas about the link between SUD and PTSD. Although they clearly reported self-medication, they also gave a more complex description of how they believe their PTSD influences their SUD. The results suggest that SUD/PTSD patients believe they did not start using substances because of their experienced traumas or PTSD, but that PTSD symptoms are nonetheless important in the maintenance of their addictions. A clear link exists between craving, relapse, and PTSD symptoms. SUD/PTSD patients would prefer a "whole-person approach" when being treated for their PTSD. It is suggested that the integration of skills training and attention for patients who are fearful of PTSD treatment might improve SUD/PTSD treatment results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-470
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Substance Use
Volume21
Issue number5
Early online date20 Jan 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

Keywords

  • Addiction
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • qualitative
  • POSTTRAUMATIC-STRESS-DISORDER
  • TREATMENT PROGRAMS
  • PTSD
  • PERCEPTIONS
  • PREVALENCE
  • ADDICTION
  • SURVIVORS
  • SYMPTOM
  • ISSUES
  • INCEST

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