Treating substance use and traumatic stress among adolescents

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It is estimated that 80% of adolescents have experienced at least one traumatic event and one in seven suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For 50% of these adolescents, the course of their illness is further complicated by a co-occurring substance use disorder (SUD), which frequently develops as a consequence of repeated “self-medication” of PTSD symptoms. Once established, both disorders serve to maintain and exacerbate the other, leading to a chronic course of illness and significant treatment complications. There is a critical need to intervene early in the trajectory of these conditions in order to prevent the chronic psychological, psychosocial, and physical health problems associated with this comorbidity. The aim of this randomised controlled trial is to examine the efficacy of two integrated psychological therapies for adolescents aged 12-18 years who are experiencing traumatic stress and using alcohol or other drugs.

Recruitment for the trial is now open. For more information, or to refer a young person, please contact Dr Natalie Peach or visit the COPE-A website.

A webinar presented by Associate Professor Mills and Dr Natalie Peach is available online now: Post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use. Promising new treatments for adults and adolescents.

Read our media release

Project Status
Ongoing Projects
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Director of Treatment Research
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Funding Body
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
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Director of Treatment Research
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Associate Member
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Research Fellow
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Chief Investigator
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Senior Research Fellow
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Research Officer
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Clinical Psychologist
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Research Psychologist
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Postdoctoral Research Fellow
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Other Investigators
Dr Vanessa Cobham, Dr Sarah Bendall, A/Prof Sean Perrin

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