Clinical challenges in the treatment of patients with posttraumatic stress disorder and substance abuse.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
Current Opinion in Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.55). 12/2007; 20(6):614-8. DOI: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3282f0ffd9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this article is to review the current literature on co-occuring posttraumatic stress disorder and substance-use disorder, with an emphasis on clinical aspects and emerging treatments.
In clinical populations (focusing on either disorder), about 25-50% have a lifetime dual diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder and substance-use disorder. Patients with both disorders have a more severe clinical profile than those with either disorder alone, lower functioning, poorer well being, and worse outcomes across a variety of measures. In recent years, several promising treatment programs have been developed specifically for co-occuring posttraumatic stress disorder and substance-use disorder, with one model having been established as effective thus far.
Comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder/substance-use disorder is a frequent diagnosis in clinical populations that severely affects course and outcome. Treatment approaches appropriate for this vulnerable population need to be evaluated further and implemented in routine practice.

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