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Addict Behav. 2010 Sep;35(9):840-3. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2010.03.023. Epub 2010 Apr 14.

PTSD symptom clusters in relationship to alcohol misuse among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans seeking post-deployment VA health care.

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Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC), VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA 98108, United States.


Demographic factors, characteristics of military service, PTSD, and depression were examined as predictors of alcohol misuse in Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans (N=287) presenting for post-deployment Veteran Affairs (VA) health care. Results indicated that alcohol misuse was more common among younger male Veterans who served in the Army or Marine Corps. Accounting for demographic factors and characteristics of service, Veterans who screened positive for PTSD or depression were two times more likely to report alcohol misuse relative to Veterans who did not screen positive for these disorders. The examination of specific PTSD symptom clusters suggested that emotional numbing symptoms were most strongly associated with alcohol misuse. The implications for interventions for alcohol misuse in returning Veterans are discussed.

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