The co-occurrence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder (SUD) is of increasing concern to treatment professionals. Estimates of PTSD prevalence rates among persons presenting for substance abuse treatment range from 35 to 50% (Boden et al., 2012). This is clinically significant because persons who present with co-occurring PTSD and SUD exhibit high symptom severity in both disorders and worse treatment outcomes, including higher relapse rates, than those with only one of the conditions (van Dam, Vedel, Ehring, & Emmelkamp, 2012).
Furthermore, men experience lifetime rates of trauma which are significantly higher than that experienced by women (60.7% as compared to 51.2%) (Najavits, Schmitz, Gotthardt, & Weiss, 2005). Studies have shown that men with PTSD are at greater risk to develop SUD with lifetime rates of alcohol use disorder estimated at 51.9% and other substance use disorders at 34.5% (Najavits et al., 2005). Given these numbers, evaluating which approaches are most effective in treating men with co-occurring PTSD and SUD is of paramount importance. As such, the purpose of this article shall be to address the following effectiveness-based question through survey of the research literature: For men who present with co-occurring PTSD and SUD, what interventions are most effective in improving treatment outcomes by reducing symptoms of both disorders.