Psychological distress in childhood trauma survivors who abuse drugs

University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, United States
The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse (Impact Factor: 1.78). 02/2002; 28(1):1-13. DOI: 10.1081/ADA-120001278
Source: PubMed


The relationships between the level of childhood maltreatment and current psychological distress were examined in a community sample of 676 substance abusing men and women using a validated self-report instrument (the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire) designed to measure physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and physical and emotional neglect. Current levels of self-reported psychological distress/symptoms were measured using a 53-item Brief Symptom Inventory. Prevalence of early trauma ranged from 44% for emotional neglect to 65% for sexual abuse. The severity of all forms of childhood maltreatment were directly associated with current psychological distress.

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    • "Epidemiological studies have found that ACE increases the risk for the development of substance use disorders (SUD) (Anda et al., 2002; Dube et al., 2003). Previous studies indicate that childhood maltreatment is associated with earlier initiation of illicit drug use (Nomura et al., 2012) and that child abuse and maltreatment is more prevalent among cocaine-dependent individuals compared to the general population (Medrano et al., 2002). Studies of cocaine-dependent individuals have found a significant association between exposure to childhood maltreatment and psychological distress in response to aversive psychosocial stimuli. "
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    ABSTRACT: Drug dependence and adverse childhood experiences (ACE) are commonly reflected by dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA). Accumulating research indicates that the neuropeptide oxytocin may regulate HPA function, resulting in reductions in neuroendocrine reactivity to social stress among individuals with drug dependence. However, emerging literature suggests that individual differences may differentially impact intranasal oxytocin's effects on human social behaviors. This study employed a double-blind, placebo-controlled design to examine the extent to which ACE influenced the effects of intranasal oxytocin (40IU) on neuroendocrine reactivity to a laboratory social stress paradigm in a sample of 31 cocaine-dependent individuals. ACE scores modified the relationship between intranasal oxytocin and cortisol reactivity. While ACE modified the relationship between intranasal oxytocin and DHEA response in a similar direction to what was seen in cortisol, it did not reach statistical significance. Findings are congruent with the emerging hypothesis that intranasal oxytocin may differentially attenuate social stress reactivity among individuals with specific vulnerabilities. Future research examining the nuances of intranasal oxytocin's therapeutic potential is necessary. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015
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    • "As anticipated, trauma exposure occurring at various points across the lifespan (before, during, and after military service) had effects on depressive and traumatic symptoms (see Table 4). These results are similar to the prior literature on civilians (Medrano et al., 2002) and veterans (Koola et al., 2013) in that childhood trauma was associated with adult psychological distress. The average number of pre-and post-military traumas each also had small direct effects on drug use, controlling for other variables. "
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    ABSTRACT: The current study was undertaken to examine whether posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and depressive symptoms mediated the association between trauma exposure (combat-related trauma and non-combat traumas occurring before, during, and after military service), and drug abuse symptoms use among male and female veterans. Participants were 2304 (1851 male, 453 female) veterans who took part in a multi-site research study conducted through the Department of Veterans Affairs Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (VISN 6 MIRECC). Path analytic models were used to determine the association between problematic past-year drug use and combat-related and non-combat trauma experienced before, during, or after the military and whether current post-traumatic stress symptoms or depressive symptoms mediated these associations. For both male and female veterans, depressive symptoms significantly mediated the effects of pre- and post-military trauma on drug abuse symptoms. Mental health providers who work with trauma-exposed Iraq and Afghanistan era veterans should assess for drug use, depressive symptoms, and life-span trauma (i.e., not only combat-related traumas) as part of a thorough trauma-based assessment for both men and women. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Drug and alcohol dependence
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    • "Interestingly, we found no evidence for a beneficial impact of minimal psychological distress, as measured by the K10, on alcohol and cannabis use. Some evidence suggests that both stress and maltreatment may predict alcohol and drug use (e.g., Young-Wolff, Kendler, & Prescott, 2012) and that minimal levels of stress could counteract the effects of maltreatment on substance use (Medrano et al., 2002). However, we found no significant relationship between the K10 measure and substance use in any of the analyses. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Research from developed countries shows that child maltreatment increases the risk for substance use and problems. However, little evidence on this relationship is available from developing countries, and recognition of this relationship may have important implications for substance demand reduction strategies, including efforts to prevent and treat substance use and related problems. Latin America and the Caribbean is a rich and diverse region of the world with a large range of social and cultural influences. A working group constituted by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in June, 2010 identified research on this relationship as a priority area for a multinational research partnership. Methods: This paper examines the association between self-reported child maltreatment and use in the past 12 months of alcohol and cannabis in 2294 university students in seven participating universities in six participating countries: Colombia, El Salvador, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama and Uruguay. The research also considers the possible impact of religiosity and minimal psychological distress as factors contributing to resiliency in these samples. Results: The results showed that experience of maltreatment was associated with increased use of alcohol and cannabis. However, the effects differed depending on the type of maltreatment experienced. Higher levels of religiosity were consistently associated with lower levels of alcohol and cannabis use, but we found no evidence of an impact of minimal psychological distress on these measures. Conclusions: This preliminary study shows that the experience of maltreatment may increase the risk of alcohol and cannabis use among university students in Latin American and Caribbean countries, but that higher levels of religiosity may reduce that risk. More work to determine the nature and significance of these relationships is needed.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Child abuse & neglect
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