Alcohol problems and posttraumatic stress disorder in female crime victims

University of Washington, Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences, Seattle, WA 98195-6560, USA.
Journal of Traumatic Stress (Impact Factor: 2.72). 06/2006; 19(3):399-403. DOI: 10.1002/jts.20122
Source: PubMed


Comorbidity between alcohol use and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been well documented. However, there are few longitudinal studies with acute trauma samples. The present study examined symptoms of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and PTSD longitudinally after assault. Female sexual (n = 69) and physical assault victims (n = 39) were assessed 2 to 4 weeks and 3 months post trauma. Women who had lifetime AUD had higher intrusive and avoidance symptoms than those who did not have AUD. Women who had any alcohol problems had higher PTSD symptoms. Participants who had alcohol problems had the same pattern of symptom recovery as those who did not have alcohol problems but remained more symptomatic over the 3 months. These findings suggest that early intervention strategies for women who have previous histories of alcohol problems and seek medical attention early post trauma may be indicated.

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    • "found that individuals with comorbid PTSD and AD were of the opinion that increases in their PTSD symptoms led to increases in their drinking, but that their drinking did not increase their PTSD and instead, mitigated it. In contrast, Kaysen and colleagues (2006) found that while women with recent trauma exposure who were problem drinkers prior to the trauma reported lower PTSD symptom severity initially than did moderate drinkers and abstainers, these women failed to recover at the same rate as non-heavy drinkers and remained more symptomatic with regard to their PTSD. It is possible that in the immediate aftermath of trauma, heavy drinking interferes with natural recovery, thereby helping to maintain elevated PTSD symptomatology that might otherwise resolve. "
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    ABSTRACT: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol dependence (AD) frequently co-occur, although results of both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies evaluating the nature of their relationship have been mixed. There has been varied support for competing models explaining how these conditions influence one another. To assess both the self-medication and mutual maintenance models, as well as examine the potential moderating role of drinking motives, the current study used Generalized Estimating Equations to evaluate daily associations for an average of 7.3 days between PTSD symptoms and alcohol use in a mixed-gender sample of individuals who met criteria for both PTSD and AD. Results generally supported a self-medication model with elevated PTSD symptoms predictive of greater alcohol use on that same day and on the following day. Contrary to a mutual maintenance model prediction, drinking did not predict next-day PTSD symptoms. Results also indicated that both coping and enhancement drinking motives were significant moderators of the PTSD and drinking relationships, suggesting that these relationships may be more or less salient depending on an individual's particular drinking motivations. For example, among those higher on coping drinking motives, a 1-unit increase in PTSD symptom severity was associated with a 35% increase in amount of alcohol consumed the same day, while among those low on coping drinking motives, a 1-unit PTSD increase was associated with only a 10% increase in alcohol consumption. We discuss implications of these findings for the larger literature on the associations between PTSD and alcohol use as well as for clinical interventions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of Abnormal Psychology
    • "For example, in a longitudinal study of 3,000 women, those who were assaulted over the course of the study were more likely to have abused alcohol at follow-up (Kilpatrick, Acierno, & Resnick, 1997). Various other studies suggest an increase of alcohol drinking following trauma exposure (Burnam, Stein, & Golding, 1988; Kaysen et al., 2006; Kilpatrick et al., 1997). Our study also indicated that among alcohol consumption indicators, binge drinking (having six drinks or more on one occasion) was more reliably related to victimization status than the others alcohol consumption variables, thus providing confirmation of previous studies showing that alcohol-consumption-related injury risk was more strongly related to acute exposure than measures of longterm exposure (Vinson, Borges, & Cherpitel, 2003). "

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    • "Substance use-health-risk behaviors such as smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and illicit drug use can lead directly to a variety of medical problems (e.g., cancer and cardiovascular problems) as well as interact with other mechanisms (e.g., biological abnormalities) to cause physical illness (Schnurr and Jankowski, 1999; Rheingold et al., 2004). In addition, another mechanism possibly underlying the relationship is that engaging in substance use-healthrisk behaviors can put a person at greater risk for traumatic event exposure (Conrod and Stewart, 2003; Kaysen et al., 2006). Though there is some support that traumatic event exposure and PTSD increase one's risk for engaging in substance use-health-risk behaviors (as discussed previously), it is unclear if PTSD mediates the relationship between traumatic event exposure and substance usehealth-risk behaviors. "
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    ABSTRACT: Both experiencing a traumatic event and PTSD are related to physical health problems (e.g., Schnurr and Jankowski, 1999) and health-risk behavior (e.g., Stewart, 1996). Using structural equation modeling analyses, we examined the interrelationships among number of distinct traumatic event exposures, PTSD diagnosis, physical health, and substance use behavior using epidemiological data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R; Kessler et al., 2004). Results provide some evidence that PTSD mediates the relationship between: (a) number of distinct traumatic event exposures and poor physical health defined by clusters of difficulties with gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, and/or cardiovascular health, and (b) number of distinct traumatic event exposures and substance use behaviors. However, substance use behaviors did not significantly mediate the relationship between PTSD and poor physical health.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · Psychiatry Research
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