How Trauma Impacts Substance Use Treatment Responsivity: An Examination of Prevalence, Diversity, Chronicity, and Impact

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Justine Parker Sarah Manchak


By Justine Parker, Psychology

Advisor: Sarah Manchak

Presentation ID: AM_A53

Abstract: People with addiction and criminal justice system involvement are at an increased risk for exposure to traumatic events. When treating offenders with addiction, where the chief treatment targets are substance use and criminality, trauma is viewed as a responsivity concern; in other words, experience with trauma and symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can hinder or complicate treatment efforts in the primary treatment target domains. Thus, practitioners need a reliable, valid, and clinically feasible (i.e., quick) way to identify trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms that could otherwise impact treatment efforts. Although many tools have been developed to assess for trauma and PTSD in contexts where PTSD is a primary treatment target, less is understood about what kind of information concerning trauma history is necessary to ascertain whether past trauma will complicate treatment efforts in other domains. The present study examines the utility of both (1) a validated PTSD screener and (2) a trauma inventory developed for the present study, which assesses diversity, frequency, and severity of impact on current life/functioning using a sample of individuals participating in court-ordered substance use treatment. Specifically, this study has two aims; (1) to quantify the nature and prevalence of traumatic experiences and the severity of PTSD symptoms, and (2) to determine how well these variables are associated with proximal clinical outcomes of treatment motivation and treatment engagement.

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AM Poster Session -- Great Hall -- A: Social Justice & Social Well-Being