Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) are two conditions that commonly co-occur in individuals who have experienced traumatic events. PTSD is a mental health disorder that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, war, or natural disaster. Symptoms of PTSD can include nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and avoidance of situations that trigger memories of the traumatic event.
AUD, on the other hand, is a chronic disorder characterized by a problematic pattern of alcohol use that leads to significant impairment or distress. Individuals with AUD may experience a range of symptoms, including cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and difficulty controlling their drinking.
Research suggests that there is a strong association between PTSD and AUD, with individuals with PTSD being at higher risk of developing AUD compared to those without PTSD. Furthermore, individuals with co-occurring PTSD and AUD often have more severe symptoms and poorer treatment outcomes than those with either disorder alone. As such, it is important to understand the relationship between PTSD and AUD and to develop effective treatments that address both conditions.
A clinical trial compared three groups of people who all had PTSD and AUD and had one of the following interventions: Cognitive Processing Therapy, Relapse Prevention, and compared the results with people that had Assessment-Only.
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
It is a type of therapy that helps people change negative thoughts and beliefs related to traumatic experiences. It helps people who have PTSD by reducing symptoms such as nightmares, and flashbacks, and avoiding things that remind them of their trauma. People who receive CPT usually have 12 sessions of therapy, once a week.