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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2000 Oct;68(5):923-7.

Drug use and validity of substance use self-reports in veterans seeking help for posttraumatic stress disorder.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, and Health Services Research, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), Durham, North Carolina 27705, USA.


The present study assessed drug use and the validity of self-reports of substance use among help-seeking veterans referred to a specialty clinic for the assessment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Patients (n = 341) were asked to provide a urine sample for use in drug screening as part of an evaluation of PTSD. Self-reports of substance use were compared with same-day supervised urine samples for 317 patients who volunteered to participate in a drug screening. Results suggested that self-reports were generally quite valid. Only 8% of the cases involved patients not reporting substance use detected by urine screens. A total of 42% of the participants were identified as using drugs of abuse (excluding alcohol) through self-report and urine drug screens. Among participants using drugs, PTSD diagnosis was significantly associated with greater marijuana and depressant use as compared with stimulant (cocaine and amphetamines) use.

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