USA studies have reported high rates of co-morbid post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance (drugs and alcohol) dependence/misuse. Avoidance of trauma reminders and associated distress may be achieved by the use of drugs and alcohol, alternatively a substance abusing lifestyle might predispose such individuals to experience traumatic events. This may have implications for treatment and management of patients with co-morbid substance misuse and PTSD. There have been no British studies looking at the extent of traumatic life events and post-traumatic stress disorder amongst substance misusers, although high rates of reported sexual and physical abuse have been reported in two recent UK studies with drug- and alcohol-dependent patients in clinical settings.
Reynolds, M., Mezey, G., Chapman, M., Wheeler, M., & Baldacchino, A. (2005). Co-morbid post-traumatic stress disorder in a substance misusing clinical population. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 77(3), 251-258. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2004.08.017