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Am J Addict. 2010 May-Jun;19(3):257-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1521-0391.2010.00039.x.

Improving PTSD/substance abuse treatment in the VA: a survey of providers.

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  • 1VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


We surveyed 205 Veterans Affairs (VA) staff on treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance use disorder (SUD), and the combination (PTSD/SUD). The survey was anonymous and VA-wide. PTSD/SUD was perceived as more difficult to treat than either disorder alone; gratification in the work was stronger than difficulty (for PTSD, SUD, and PTSD/SUD); and difficulty and gratification appeared separate constructs. Respondents endorsed views that represent expert treatment for the comorbidity; however, there was also endorsement of "myths." Thus, there is a need for more training, policy clarifications, service integration, and adaptations for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Limitations are described.

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