April 9, 2010
RELATIONSHIP OF SUBSTANCE USE TO CO-OCCURING TRAUMA HISTORY AND SYMPTOMS AMONG FEMALE PRECRIPTION DRUG MISUSERS
MARC U*STAR Scholar
University of South Florida, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute
Nonmedical use of pharmaceutical drugs is a growing concern in the United States. While males are overrepresented among those misusing alcohol and other illicit drugs, females are at particularly high risk for prescription drug misuse. Although numerous studies have examined the relationship between trauma exposure and substance use, few studies have examined this relationship within a gender- and substance-specific population. The present study examined the relationship between lifetime trauma, trauma symptoms, and substance use among female prescription drug misusers enrolled in a court supervised substance abuse treatment program. Participants were sixteen women enrolled in the Pinellas County Adult Drug Court We can treatment program. Baseline data were gathered immediately upon program enrollment using the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN), and three months later follow-up information was gathered that included the GAIN, Lifetime Stressor Checklist-Revised (LSC-R), and Trauma Symptoms Checklist (TSC-40). Results indicated that, overall, participants reduced their use of alcohol and drugs during their first three months of participation in the WeCan program. Statistically significant correlations indicated that lifetime exposure to trauma was positively associated with trauma symptoms and that trauma symptoms were in turn positively correlated with substance use. Implications for trauma-informed substance abuse treatment practices and future research are discussed.