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Keywords

alcohol use disorder, co-occurring disorders, PTSD, veteran

 

Authors

  1. Fogger, Susanne A. DNP, CRNP, PMHNP-BC, CARN-AP, FAANP
  2. Hart, Joshua J. MSN, CRNP, PMHNP-BC, DNPc

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this editorial is to explore and highlight the importance of identifying both the alcohol use disorder (AUD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the veteran population.

 

Review: Determining if the patient has military experience can assist in both an accurate and complete assessment. Being aware of the patient's military service time can help better understand some of the presenting physical and mental complaints that may incorrectly be attributed to substances. Although not all veterans had trauma exposure while in the military, asking about PTSD may help identify additional issues needing attention. Having a PTSD diagnosis increases the likelihood that there is an underlying substance use disorder. Veterans with PTSD have a 65% likely comorbidity with alcohol use (Smith, Goldstein, & Grant, 2016).

 

Conclusion: Recognition of PTSD as a co-occurring disorder with AUD can begin the dialogue to address treatment of both disorders to optimize recovery.