The presence of trauma is a clear risk factor for subsequent substance abuse, and the use of substances for self-medication worsens the symptoms of PTSD, leading to a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. Clinical efforts to reduce the risk of substance use disorder (SUD) among young adults are based on empirical identification of risk factors for addictive behaviors in this population. Traumatic events, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in particular, have been linked to SUD in several populations. Emerging data, particularly from adolescent samples, suggest that exposure to traumatic events increases the risk of SUD for young women, but not for young men.
The purpose of this study was to examine trauma-related risk factors for alcohol and drug abuse among a national sample of young adults and to compare these risk factors between men and women. Participants were 1,753 young adults who participated in the 7-8 year follow-up telephone survey of the original National Adolescent Survey. In the entire sample, 29.1% met the criteria for substance abuse. Trauma-related risk factors for alcohol and drug abuse differed between men and women.
The clinical implications of these results are discussed. Exposure to traumatic events and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been linked to SUD in several populations. Some people try to cope with symptoms of PTSD by using drugs or alcohol. PTSD and substance abuse, such as drinking too much or using drugs, are linked.
Learn about the relationship between substance abuse and PTSD. There are treatments that can help with PTSD and substance use problems at the same time, and VA has programs for veterans. Trauma is a risk factor in almost all substance use disorders. Decades of research have found a strong link between exposure to traumatic events and SUD.
Conversely, people with substance use disorders are also more likely to experience traumatic events, leaving millions of people in a perpetual cycle of traumatic experiences and an increased risk of substance abuse. Interestingly, the odds ratio for SA was significantly different between women and men, indicating that young adult women who have been sexually assaulted are at higher risk of alcohol abuse than men who have been sexually assaulted. Among female participants, 167 (19.1%) met the alcohol abuse criteria and 51 (5.9%) met the previous year's drug abuse criteria, with 38 (n%3d 4.4%) reporting comorbid alcohol and drug abuse. Clinical efforts to reduce the risk of SUD among these young adults are based on the empirical identification of risk factors for addictive behaviors specific to this population.
A thorough understanding of the interactions between these cardiovascular risk factors, medications, drug abuse, alcohol and smoking is difficult and requires further study. The Veterans Exercise Testing Study (VETS) is a continuous, prospective evaluation of veteran subjects referred to stress tests for clinical reasons, designed to address stress test, clinical and lifestyle factors and their association with health outcomes. Second, logistic regression analyses were performed to predict last year's alcohol and drug abuse in the entire sample to determine if gender was a significant predictor. Identifying other risk factors for developing PTSD is important for understanding and developing better treatment strategies for this disorder.
For example, age was a major risk factor for women, where those in the lower age range (18-20 years) were more vulnerable to alcohol and drug use. Abuse categories were not mutually exclusive; 313 (17.9%) participants met the criteria for alcohol abuse only, 67 (3.8%) met the criteria for drug abuse only, and 129 (7.4%) met the criteria for alcohol and drug abuse. The current study also draws on existing literature by highlighting the different patterns of trauma-related risk factors that arise for alcohol and drug abuse in men versus women. Alcohol and drug abuse symptoms were evaluated independently and these categories were not mutually exclusive.
The current study focused on selected modules of the interview, including sexual assault (AS), physical assault (AP) and severe physical punishment, witnessing violence, PTSD, alcohol and drug abuse, and family history of alcohol and drug abuse. For example, efforts to reduce the risk of alcohol and drug abuse targeting younger women who have experienced SA appear to be justified, as do similar efforts aimed at men who have experienced FA and who have witnessed violence. In the present study, drug and alcohol abuse were univariately related to PTSD, but only current smoking remained in the multivariate model. .