What are the links between psychological trauma and addiction?
June 29, 2005
Childhood sexual abuse, as well as combat stress among ex-soldiers, are forms of trauma that are linked to drug and/or alcoholabuse, according to a new study.
People undergoing alcohol or opiate detoxification in Shropshire were assessed for past sexual abuse. The rates of abuse were similar in alcohol and drug dependence, two-thirds of women being affected, and one-third of men.
Generally, abuse did not affect the pattern of substance misuse, although drug misusers were more likely to inject and use cocaine. No impact was found on the severity of dependence.
However, significantly more alcohol or drug-related problems were reported in those who had experienced sexual abuse.
Ex-military personnel attending 'Combat Stress' residential units have high levels of psychological trauma. The also have high numbersof problems in various areas, with an average of 4.25 out of six domains being affected by past history of abuse and current trauma symptoms.
The authors of the study emphasise the importance of coping skills training, and consistent, positive treatment settings.
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Source: Royal College of Psychiatry, 21/06/2005
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