TitleSeeking Safety treatment for male veterans with a substance use disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder symptomatology.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBoden, MT, Kimerling, R, Jacobs-Lentz, J, Bowman, D, Weaver, C, Carney, D, Walser, R, Trafton, JA
Date Published2012 Mar
KeywordsAdaptation, Psychological, Ambulatory Care, Cognitive Therapy, Diagnosis, Dual (Psychiatry), Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Substance-Related Disorders, Treatment Outcome, Veterans

AIMS: To determine whether substituting Seeking Safety (SS), a manualized therapy for comorbid substance use disorders (SUD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for part of treatment-as-usual (TAU) improves substance use outcomes.

DESIGN: Randomized controlled effectiveness trial.

SETTINGS: Out-patient Veterans Administration Health Care System SUD clinic.

PARTICIPANTS: Ninety-eight male military Veterans with a SUD and co-occurring PTSD symptomatology.

MEASUREMENTS: Drug and alcohol use and PTSD severity, measured on the first day of treatment, and 3 (i.e. the planned end of SS sessions) and 6 months following the baseline assessment. Treatment attendance and patient satisfaction were measured following treatment (3-month follow-up). Active coping was measured at treatment intake and following treatment.

FINDINGS: SS compared to TAU was associated with better drug use outcomes (P < 0.05), but alcohol use and PTSD severity decreased equally under both treatments (P's < 0.01). SS versus TAU was associated with increased treatment attendance, client satisfaction and active coping (all P's < 0.01). However, neither these factors nor decreases in PTSD severity mediated the effect of treatment on drug use.

CONCLUSIONS: The manualized treatment approach for substance use disorder, Seeking Safety, is well received and associated with better drug use outcomes than 'treatment as usual' in male veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the mechanism of its effect is unclear.

Alternate JournalAddiction
PubMed ID21923756