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Posttraumatic stress disorder among substance dependents and its relationship with sociodemographicand clinical characteristics

Sevil Kural, E. Cüneyt Evren, Suat Can, Duran Çakmak.

Objective: Aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of posttraumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) in substance dependents and its
relationship with sociodemographic characteristics, depression,
severity of anxiety, personality disorders and childhood abuse history.

Method: The study was conducted between April 2002 and March
2003 in Bakirkoy State Hospital for Mental Health and Neurological
Disorders, AMATEM (Alcohol and Drug Research, Treatment and
Training Center) in Istanbul. One hundred thirty two inpatients that met
DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for substance (alcohol or drug)
dependence were included in the study. Semi-structured
socio-demographic form, depression and PTSD modules of
Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I), SCID-II, Childhood
Abuse and Neglect Questionnaire Form, Beck Depression Inventory
(BDI) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) were administered.

Results: The lifetime prevalence of PTSD in this group of substance
dependents was 31%. The duration of total education and the
frequency of patients with higher education, status, were lower
whereas frequencies of lifetime prevalence of major depression,
personality disorder, personality traits, childhood physical and sexual
abuse history and suicide attempt history were higher among
patients with lifetime PTSD than patients without lifetime PTSD. The
mean scores of depression and anxiety inventories were also
significantly higher in this group of patients.

Conclusion: Consistent with previous studies, high prevalence of
lifetime rates of PTSD found in this study suggests the importance of
taking PTSD into consideration while planning treatment for
substance dependency. The results of this study also support the
previous findings of close association between comorbidity of lifetime
PTSD in substance dependents might be related with childhood
abuse history, personality disorders and personality traits. The
comorbidity of lifetime PTSD independently seems to elevate the risk
of lifetime major depression and suicide attempt in this population.

Key words: alcohol dependence, drug dependence, posttraumatic stress disorder, personality disorder, depression, anxiety

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