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The link between trauma and substance abuse

Date Published:
19 Jul 2012
Contact person:
Marion Downey
02 9385 1080

NDARC’s Dr Katherine Mills this week discussed a new treatment approach for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a substance use disorder on ABC Radio's Life Matters program. Chatting to host Wendy Harmer, Dr Mills explained the new method aims to treat PTSD and substance abuse issues concurrently, rather than independently, as has previously occurred. The new treatment approach is significant given that over 80 per cent of those who abuse licit and/or illicit substances are likely to have experienced trauma. Listen to the program.

Dr Mills will be speaking further on the matter of trauma at the NDARC Annual Symposium on August 28 at a session entitled 'Trauma, Self Medication and Addiction'. Dr Glenys Dore, lead author of the paper discussed on Life Matters, will chair the session. Other presenters on the topic will include Professor Shane Darke and Dr Emma Barrett.

The NDARC resource Trauma + substance use  is a booklet available for people who use alcohol, tobacco or other drugs who have gone through a traumatic experience. The resource was co-authored by Dr Mills and can be downloaded for free by clicking the link above.