Treatment Of Veterans With Suds And Co Occurring Psychiatric Disorders Essay

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The VA runs the largest substance use disorder treatment program in the world. Treatment of veterans with SUDs and co-occurring psychiatric disorders is one of the following three paradigms; parallel, sequential, and integrated. Most VA programs are parallel, where the patient receives treatment for SUD in one program and treatment for PTSD in another. Many SUD-PTSD veterans may be unable to navigate the separate systems or make sense of the disparate messages about PTSD treatment and recovery. One challenge to dissemination and implementation of EBTs is that of dual disorders, particularly SUD and PTSD. These patients use costly inpatient services, tend to have frequent relapses, and are less likely to adhere to or complete treatment.
Cook, Walser, Kane, and Woody (2006) did a study that had a goal of getting clinicians to accept Seeking Safety and evaluate its efficacy when treating veterans, in hopes of bridging the gap of parallel services at the VA to treat comorbid SUD-PTSD. This study reinforced the old ways of "cannot teach an old dog new tricks" because of how difficult it is to influence clinician behavior in routine medical care. A more passive approach was taken via a daylong interactive staff training in Seeking Safety, where clinicians were informally surveyed on their willingness to co-lead groups with the study. Four therapists volunteered. And thus, four Seeking Safety groups were formed with 25 veteran volunteers whom had comorbid SUD-PTSD. Of those, 18

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