PTSD and Substance Use Disorders

June is Post-traumatic stress disorder awareness month. PTSD is commonly associated with war veterans but, as seen in the infographic below, it can also occur in people who have experienced the sudden death of a loved one, a car accident, or a range of other traumatic events. 

PTSD and substance use disorders often occur together. One study found a 41% prevalence of lifetime PTSD among individuals who used heroin. The same study found that individuals with PTSD were more likely to experiment and develop dependencies on a wider range of substances. They also had poorer physical and mental health, but were more likely to be in treatment. This means that treatment centers have a much higher than average proportion of individuals with PTSD, which speaks to the importance of various types of therapy. 

Many PTSD resources are available online:

National Institute of Mental Health

DualDiagnosis.org