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J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(8), 70; doi:10.3390/jcm5080070

PTSD Symptom Severities, Interpersonal Traumas, and Benzodiazepines Are Associated with Substance-Related Problems in Trauma Patients

Wright-Patterson Medical Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433, USA
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, OH 45469, USA
Misawa Air Base Medical Center, Misawa Air Base, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Frances Kay Lambkin and Emma Barrett
Received: 5 May 2016 / Revised: 27 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 10 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 2016)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [206 KB, uploaded 10 August 2016]


Background: Trauma is commonly associated with substance-related problems, yet associations between specific substances and specific posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSSs) are understudied. We hypothesized that substance-related problems are associated with PTSS severities, interpersonal traumas, and benzodiazepine prescriptions. Methods: Using a cross-sectional survey methodology in a consecutive sample of adult outpatients with trauma histories (n = 472), we used logistic regression to examine substance-related problems in general (primary, confirmatory analysis), as well as alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug problems specifically (secondary, exploratory analyses) in relation to demographics, trauma type, PTSSs, and benzodiazepine prescriptions. Results: After adjusting for multiple testing, several factors were significantly associated with substance-related problems, particularly benzodiazepines (AOR = 2.78; 1.99 for alcohol, 2.42 for tobacco, 8.02 for illicit drugs), DSM-5 PTSD diagnosis (AOR = 1.92; 2.38 for alcohol, 2.00 for tobacco, 2.14 for illicit drugs), most PTSSs (especially negative beliefs, recklessness, and avoidance), and interpersonal traumas (e.g., assaults and child abuse). Conclusion: In this clinical sample, there were consistent and strong associations between several trauma-related variables and substance-related problems, consistent with our hypotheses. We discuss possible explanations and implications of these findings, which we hope will stimulate further research, and improve screening and treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: PTSD; trauma; stress disorder; substance use; alcohol; tobacco; nicotine; drugs PTSD; trauma; stress disorder; substance use; alcohol; tobacco; nicotine; drugs
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Guina, J.; Nahhas, R.W.; Goldberg, A.J.; Farnsworth, S. PTSD Symptom Severities, Interpersonal Traumas, and Benzodiazepines Are Associated with Substance-Related Problems in Trauma Patients. J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5, 70.

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