October 23, 2017  Last Update: December 21, 2016, 11:10 pm

PTSD and Alcohol Linked, and Re-Linked

PTSD causes drinking; drinking causes PTSD. College students are stuck in the middle.

PTSD causes drinking; drinking causes PTSD. College students are stuck in the middle.

When people go to college, they drink. This can lead to  bad things, like sexual assault and violence. These, in turn, can lead to other bad things —  like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A new study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Vol. 22/4) shows another interesting link in this tragic chain connecting PTSD back to the start of it all: alcohol.

The study from New York University at Buffalo, followed 486 students from the time they started college through the next three years. It found that students who drank a lot, especially women, were more likely to be victims of trauma that could lead to PTSD. Once they had PTSD, they drank even more to bury their feelings.
Heavy drinking is common on college campuses and related to risk for sexual assault, interpersonal violence and serious injury, any of which may trigger PTSD.
- - Jennifer Read, associate professor of psychology, University at Buffalo
The psychologists say the study will help them understand and treat the links between PTSD and problem drinking. An estimated nine percent of college students with symptoms of PTSD are involved in this cycle of alcohol-PTSD-alcohol.
In previous research, some scientists proposed ecstasy as a cure for PTSD. Go figure.
Doh! New study says I drink because I have PTSD, and I have PTSD, because...I drink.
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