Experiences of Veterans with PTSD and SUD in an Outpatient Setting

Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Poster Session


Social Work


Caroline Shanti PhD


veterans, PTSD, SUD, treatment, veterans services, United States


In 2014, there were approximately 7.9 million adults in the United States with co-occurring Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Substance Use Disorders (SUD) (SAMHSA, 2014). Of the veterans who served in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan alone, 30% of those in SUD treatment also meet the criteria for PTSD (Seal et al, 2008, pp. 476). Furthermore, statistics show that about 20 Veterans in the United States complete suicide daily (Spiva, 2019, p. 8). The Department of Veterans Affairs is urgently seeking successful approaches to addressing the high incidence of suicides among all veterans along with the low retention rates of veterans in co-occurring treatment programs. This qualitative project included 6 one on one interviews with combat veterans in Maine that experience co-occurring PTSD and SUD, utilizes thematic analysis to identify primary themes. We hope that these findings will be used to inform practitioners and improve services for Veterans.

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