Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is common among people with substance use disorders, and patients suffering from both of these conditions have a more difficult time meeting their treatment goals. Estimates suggest that as many as 80% of women seeking treatment for drug abuse report lifetime histories of sexual and/or physical assault. These facts highlight the importance of finding effective treatments for this high-risk population. Early studies showed that Seeking Safety, a treatment designed specifically for patients with PTSD and substance use disorders, held great potential for this population. This study compared the effectiveness of Seeking Safety added to substance abuse treatment-as-usual (TAU) with Women's Health Education added to TAU. The researchers looked at the effect of these treatment options on both substance use and the severity of PTSD symptoms, adverse events, or dropout from treatment or study participation. The results reflect considerable opportunity to improve clinical outcomes in community-based treatments for these co-occurring conditions.
Hien, D., et al. (2009). Multisite randomized trial of behavioral interventions for women with co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology 77(4):607-19.