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Curr Addict Rep. 2015 Mar;2(1):58-67.

Associations among Trauma, Posttraumatic Stress, and Hazardous Drinking in College Students: Considerations for Intervention.

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Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 15260, USA.
Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences Service, Providence VAMC and Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.


Students with trauma and posttraumatic stress are disproportionately at risk for heavy drinking and for alcohol-related consequences. Brief motivational interventions (BMIs) have been shown to reduce hazardous drinking in college students, and could serve as a first-line approach to reduce heavy drinking in students with trauma and posttraumatic stress (PTS). Yet the standard BMI format may not adequately address the factors that lead to hazardous drinking in these students. Here, we review the literature on PTS and hazardous drinking in college students, and highlight cognitive (self-efficacy, alcohol expectancies) and behavioral (coping strategies, emotion regulation skills, protective behaviors) factors that may link trauma and PTS to drinking risk. Incorporating these factors into standard BMIs in a collaborative way that enhances their personal relevance may enhance intervention efficacy and acceptability for these at-risk students.


Alcohol; Brief motivational intervention; College students; Posttraumatic stress disorder; Treatment

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