Objectives: This study had three objectives. Firstly, the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma exposure was compared between individuals with and without substance use disorder (SUD). Secondly, we compared self-rating of PTSD and clinical judgement. Thirdly, an analysis of the characteristics of SUD/PTSD patients was performed.
Methods: The sample consisted of 423 patients with SUD and 206 healthy controls. All individuals were screened on PTSD using the self-rating inventory for PTSD.
Results: Significantly higher numbers of PTSD and trauma exposure were found in the SUD group (resp. 36.6 and 97.4%). PTSD went frequently unnoticed when relying on clinical judgement alone. Patients with SUD/PTSD were significantly more often unemployed and had a lower educational level. Axis I comorbidity and especially depressive disorders were more common in the SUD/PTSD group.
Conclusion: It is concluded that patients with SUD/PTSD are a substantial and vulnerable subgroup in addiction treatment facilities and that a systematic screening for PTSD is required.
- clinical judgment
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- substance use disorder
- trauma exposure