Unique patterns of substance misuse associated with PSTD, depression, and social phobia


This study investigated the relations between post-trauma psychopathology and substance abuse in a sample of trauma-exposed college students (N = 136) assigned to four groups based on primary diagnosis: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, social phobia, or well-adjusted (participants who had low levels of distress). Groups were compared on a series of dimensions of substance use/abuse. Participants in the PTSD group evidenced greater substance use and abuse than those in the social phobia and well-adjusted groups on several dimensions and greater alcohol consumption than the depressed group. Correlation analyses suggested that most dimensions of substance abuse were related more strongly to avoidance and numbing (cluster C) symptoms than to re-experiencing and hyperarousal. The present findings suggest that trauma-related psychopathology may be associated with a more hazardous pattern of substance use than depression and social phobia. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Publication Title

Journal of Dual Diagnosis