Combining treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse resulted in improved PTSD symptoms without worsening symptoms of substance abuse, according to a study released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The findings, explain the Australian researchers, are contrary to conventional wisdom on how to treat PTSD and substance abuse, which commonly co-exist in patients. The common belief, they explain, has been that using the so-called "gold standard" of PTSD treatment might exacerbate substance abuse by resurfacing negative memories.
Therefore, people with substance abuse and PTSD have commonly been excluded from prolonged exposure therapy-based PTSD treatments and clinical trials using exposure therapy.
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