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Acute Traumatic Stress &
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Index
Listen to Experts:
Acute Trauma
Suicide Prevention
What is Acute Traumatic Stress?
Acute Traumatic Stress Management
Working in Disaster Settings
Care for the Caregiver
What is PTSD?
General Facts
Symptoms
Substance Abuse & PTSD
Other Problems & PTSD
People at Risk
Estimated Risk
Duration of PTSD
Diagnosis/Treatment Resources
Effective Treatments
Seeking Safety: A Specialized Program
The Cost of Trauma
Resources
Field Notebook
References

Substance Abuse and PTSD

Although the link between PTSD and substance use disorders may seem obvious, there is more than one model of thought regarding why a relationship exists. Some theorize that people with PTSD attempt to rid themselves of their painful re-experiences, loneliness and panic attacks by abusing alcohol or other drugs as a form of self-medication.1

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Manhattan, New York residents reported an increased use of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana.25

  • 3.3% of respondents reported starting tobacco use for the first time the week following the 9/11 attack. 25
  • 19.3% of respondents reported starting alcohol consumption for the first time the week following the 9/11 attack. 25
  • 2.5% of respondents reported starting marijuana usage for the first time the week following the 9/11 attack. 25
  • 41.2% of respondents reported an increase in tobacco usage following the 9/11 attack. 25
  • 41.7% of respondents reported an increase in alcohol consumption following the 9/11 attack. 25

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