high percentage of people struggling with alcohol or substance abuse have an unaddressed traumatic experience. Unresolved past events contribute to ongoing addiction and can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the course of substance abuse treatment, responsible professionals will gradually work with patients to address trauma over the course of recovery.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Screenings
A recent report conducted by the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services shows that in 2009 only 62 percent of all substance abuse treatment facilities provided brief mental health screenings that could be used to identify clients in need of trauma services or suffering from PTSD.
Less than half (42 percent) provided full diagnostic mental health assessments. These statistics persist despite the proof that a Dual Diagnosis approach to addiction offers better long-term success rates.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Abuse
Research shows that the experience of traumatic events and PTSD often co-occur with a substance abuse disorder and are present among many substance abuse treatment clients. This trauma can include the following:
- Natural disaster experience
- Violence in combat situations
- Violence in noncombat situations
- Physical assault
- Domestic Violence
Substance abuse treatment facilities should offer mental health screenings that can identify PTSD and other mental health issues and should connect patients with staff or resources that can address such co-occurring problems.