Trauma, which can result in PTSD, and substance abuse disorders often co-occur. Sometimes SUD exposes people to additional traumas. Sequential treatment which involves dealing with one disorder at a time has been ineffective in resolving the comorbidity of these disorders. More recently, an integrated approach that involves working with both disorders at the same time is showing positive results. Several integrated models have been developed and some of these models are outlined in this paper. Programs that include psychoeducation and structure for both clients and providers are likely to be most effective. Working closely with clients to establish treatment goals and expectations, and deciding what approach works best, play a major role in determining the success of any program. Future research is necessary to expand the many evidence-based and promising options for integrated PTSD and SUD treatments, in order to determine effectiveness of programs with more diverse and ethnic minority communities. More specifically, research is needed to examine the duration, scope, timing, and combination of components for optimal integration of PTSD and SUD treatment. Finally, medical providers can play an integral role in ensuring that patients, who suffer from both PTSD and SUD, are referred to receive additional services and appropriate resources.
Priscilla Dass-Brailsford and Cimone M. Safilian
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