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Study Shows PTSD and Addiction Can Be Treated Together

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

soldiers marching single fileA new study challenges the conventional clinical wisdom about treating patients who suffer from both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse. Therapists feared that the evidence-based treatment for PTSD—helping patients to face the trauma by describing it repeatedly—would trigger relapses in patients who also struggled with addiction. Patients who experienced both addiction and PTSD usually received substance abuse treatment before they underwent therapy for their PTSD. However, a study just published by the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that PTSD treatment may not exacerbate addiction after all. Australian researchers treated over 100 patients, randomly selecting some to receive only substance abuse treatment and some to receive treatment for both substance abuse and PTSD. At the end of the study, both groups showed a reduction in PTSD symptoms. Those who received both kinds of treatment did not see an increase in the severity of their addictions. According to TIME Magazine, one-half to two-thirds of people with addictions also experience PTSD.

Source: CNN Study Shows PTSD Symptoms Approve When Substance Abuse Treatment Added

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