A follow-up study: the effects of traumatic life events and PTSD risk on addiction recovery process
The relationship between trauma and addiction which demonstrates a significant number of people with addiction have encountered traumatic events.
People who both suffer from addiction and trauma lose their functionality and they tend to have psychiatric and medical problems more than people who only suffer from addiction. Also, they seek treatment more than others. Another important finding is that people who have PTSD also have severe craving problems more than others. Therefore it is predicted that PTSD has negative effects on the recovery process and it triggers off the relapse.
In this study; we aimed to investigate the relationship between trauma and addiction and analyzed the recovery process of people who have both addiction and PTSD risk.
The study consists of 322 people who applied for outpatient treatment at the Green Crescent Counseling Center (YEDAM). We used Addiction Profile Index (BAPİ) to measure the severity and characteristics of addiction, Kocaeli Short Screening Scale for Psychological Trauma to define PTSD risk group and Addiction Outcome Index (BASİ) to measure the participants’ recovery process in different dimensions such as severity and duration of substance use, craving, motivation to change, psychological and physical status and family relations in every follow-up session. BASI is 5 point Likert scale, has 8 questions which people having higher scores means they have more problems with signified areas.
Findings and Discussion
21,7% of the participants have met the criteria of PTSD risk group. People who have had at least three traumatic symptoms according to the Kocaeli-SHORT are identified in the PTSD Risk Group.
In this study, we examined the 12 follow-up sessions’ BASI scores and we compared the scores between individuals who have PTSD risk and those who have not.
According to that, PTSD risk group have significantly higher scores on BASI than others when their first and second follow-up sessions (In the first follow-up session; the score of PTSD risk group is 2,19±0,69, the score of non-PTSD risk group is 1,87±0,79. In the second follow-up session; the score of the PTSD risk group is 1,93±0,77, the score of non-PTSD risk group is 1,51±0,68). However, as the sessions continue, their BASI scores begin to decrease which means different problematic areas have begun to recover. Another important finding is that by the 10th follow-up session, the PTSD risk group have lower BASI scores than others which means they adapted recovery process better than others (In 10th session, score of the PTSD risk group is 0,84±0,35, score of non-PTSD risk group is 1,41±0,76).
According to the results; addiction and trauma comorbidity can cause severe substance use and severe psychological problems in the beginning of the treatment. However, as PTSD risk group continue the treatment, they get better both at severity of substance use and psychological status more than others.
For further researches, it is suggested that to analyze effects of traumatic life events and PTSD risk on the recovery process in different dimensions such as their effects on psychological outcome or family relations and also drop-out rates.