The difficulty in finding the exact relationship between substance use disorders (SUDs) and other psychological disorders may be owed to complexity found in an individual’s trauma history.
Traumatic stressors during adolescence have been shown to correlate with substance use later in life, and adolescence has been shown to have great risk for first onset of substance abuse (Cody, 2015, Giaconia et al., 2000). Our study postulates that the relationship between substance use and traumatic stress serves as a basis for the comorbid diagnosis of SUDs and psychological disorders.
Our study examines the relationship between SUDs, other psychological disorders and traumatic stressors experienced by an individual in adolescence. We conclude that a triadic model, taking traumatic stressors into account, would more accurately describe the comorbidity of SUDs and other psychological disorders.
This sample was collected through ADM Crisis Center. ADM Crisis Center is a facility for adults seeking medical detoxification from substance dependency. Participants were consented and administered a packet of questionnaires to complete regarding past stressors and traumas experienced, ranging from interpersonal abuse to sexual abuse.
Given the relationship shown between the SUDs and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and comorbidity found to exist between SUDs and other psychological disorders (Grant & Harford, 1995), we expect to find that a relationship exists bridging these variables. The potential findings could identify trauma-focused factors to improve treatment prognosis for individuals who present comorbid in their diagnosis (Brooner, 1997-01).
Analyses of data are ongoing and will be presented at research symposium.
Trauma experienced during childhood has been associated with substance use later in life (Cody, 2015, Giaconia et al., 2000). Our study examines childhood trauma as a moderator for the comorbity of substance use disorders (SUDs) and other psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. This sample was collected at a medical detoxification center for individuals seeking treatment for substance dependency. Participants completed questionnaires measuring childhood trauma history and current psychological symptoms and substance use. Potential findings could identify trauma-focused factors which could improve treatment prognosis of individuals with SUDs (Brooner, 1997-01). Analyses of data are ongoing and will be presented at the research symposium.