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Article

The Intentional Self-Medication of 9/11-Related PTSD Symptoms with Alcohol: 15 Years after the Disaster

Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, World Trade Center Health Registry, 30–30 47th Ave, 4th floor, Long Island City, NY 11101, USA
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155327
Received: 10 June 2020 / Revised: 16 July 2020 / Accepted: 22 July 2020 / Published: 24 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 9/11 Health Update)
The self-medication hypothesis may explain the co-morbidity of affective and substance use disorders. Research shows increased prevalence, frequency, and intensity of binge drinking and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among those directly exposed to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC), however, little is known about PTSD symptomology and intentional self-medication with alcohol (ISMA) among this group. We used WTC Health Registry data (N = 28,935) to describe the relationship between ISMA and specific symptom clusters of probable 9/11-related PTSD, the number of PTSD symptom clusters endorsed, and binge drinking intensity. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate the adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). ISMA was most strongly associated with the hyperarousal PTSD symptom cluster (AOR = 2.04 [1.88, 2.21]) and the endorsement of one (AOR = 1.80 CI [1.65, 1.95]), two (AOR = 2.51 CI [2.28, 2.77]), or three (AOR = 2.84 CI [2.55, 3.17]) PTSD symptom clusters, indicating a clear dose–response relationship. A significant number of 9/11-exposed persons continue to experience PTSD symptoms and engage in ISMA as a potential coping mechanism. Repeated screenings for self-medicative alcohol use among survivors of mass traumas with PTSD symptoms is of public health importance. View Full-Text
Keywords: alcohol use disorder; self-medication hypothesis; PTSD; September 11th; disaster epidemiology alcohol use disorder; self-medication hypothesis; PTSD; September 11th; disaster epidemiology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Garrey, S.K.; Welch, A.E.; Jacobson, M.H.; Brackbill, R.M.; Gargano, L.M. The Intentional Self-Medication of 9/11-Related PTSD Symptoms with Alcohol: 15 Years after the Disaster. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5327. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155327

AMA Style

Garrey SK, Welch AE, Jacobson MH, Brackbill RM, Gargano LM. The Intentional Self-Medication of 9/11-Related PTSD Symptoms with Alcohol: 15 Years after the Disaster. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(15):5327. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155327

Chicago/Turabian Style

Garrey, Sascha K., Alice E. Welch, Melanie H. Jacobson, Robert M. Brackbill, and Lisa M. Gargano. 2020. "The Intentional Self-Medication of 9/11-Related PTSD Symptoms with Alcohol: 15 Years after the Disaster" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 15: 5327. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155327

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