Monthly Archives: December 2015

The #PTSD and Alcohol Series (Part 3)

PTSD Word MapFollowing on from earlier posts on the correlation between PTSD and alcohol consumption, the comments around – “Why Don’t more Firefighters have PTSD?” and my 2nd post on the subject – PTSD and Alcohol Part 2 – I’d like to continue on the subject.

During my continuing research, I recently found a piece entitled – Do The 12 steps Help with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? This first part of a (so far) two part article extols the benefits of participation in a group therapy process.

…patients with substance use disorders and PTSD who received focused treatment for PTSD immediately following treatment for the substance use disorder, along with participation in a twelve-step program during the first year of treatment, were more likely to experience long-term (five-year) remission from the substance use disorder…(Inside The Alcoholic Brain)

Many pieces of research have reflected the general views of practicing recovery professionals (myself included) in that; significant co-morbidity rates between PTSD and addictions exist. In 2001 it was estimated that – the rate of substance abuse among persons with PTSD was as high as 60-80%.

The case above, values the ’12 Steps’ process (as I do) but it fails to highlight the availability of others methods such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) and ‘Mindfulness’ (which I also value). All of which are probably just as relevant in effective treatment regimes. I suspect that the prominence of ’12 Steps’ in the research is simply born out of the fact; it is probably the most prevalent/popular technique currently utilised in addiction therapy in the USA.

Whether or not excessive alcohol consumption can be a cause (or result of PTSD), or vice versa, I’m still open to persuasion. I remain convinced there is indeed a definite correlation between PTSD and Alcohol Abuse however the ‘Chicken and Egg’ conundrum is still of great interest to me.

With all the above in mind; surely parallel treatment of both conditions must be a key to resolving these disorders, when they exist together?