Exploring the Interplay of PTSD and Substance Abuse among Military Veterans - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-12-14
Exploring the Interplay of PTSD and Substance Abuse among Military Veterans - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Abuse Army Post traumatic stress disorder Substance abuse
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1041 words
9 min read


American Counselling Association is the largest association in the world that represents professional counselors in different practice settings. This publication has a range of articles that are both qualitative and quantitative research. The difference between qualitative and quantitative research is that researchers in quantitative analysis explain phenomena by collecting numerical data, which is analyzed using mathematical methods while researchers in qualitative often use words, languages, pictures, and observations to acquire their results. Different articles use both qualitative and quantitative research, and they both result in rich data that provides an in-depth picture of the exploration of how and why things happen the way they do.

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PTSD and Substance Abuse among Military Veterans

Various studies show that PTSD and substance abuse problems are mainly reported in people who have a history of serving in the military. Substance abuse emerges mostly from such individuals trying to cope with PTSD symptoms; hence they drink heavily, smoke a lot, and use drugs a lot (Allen et al., 2016). Most of these veterans experience a lot of stress, which results from traumatic events that they face in their line of duty. PTSD is a severe health concern, and it is expected to increase further if necessary precautions are not implemented. The argument of this research literature review supports the fact that the future of clinical PTSD and drug abuse research lies in systematic evaluations of evidence from studies that will lead to effective treatment for current patients.

Quantitative Articles in the ACA Publication

Redman (2018) in the article, “Why do cops avoid counseling: Eight myths about law enforcement officers and mental health treatment,” Smith (2018) in “Moving through trauma” and D’Angelo (2018) in “Opioid crisis and a wounded counselor’s heart” use numbers and figures to offer facts about their topics. In some of these articles, the researchers use surveys, observations, and secondary data such as magazines, textbooks, and journal articles to back up the statistical data they have collected from various individuals and secondary data like company accounts. These researchers are essential for this research because they are acquainted with programs and systems that help them access a lot of information.

These researchers are reliable because they explain how such veterans experience co-occurring medical conditions like sleep disturbance, injuries, and obesity. The researchers have also performed detailed research on how many people who seek treatment of drug abuse problems even live with post-traumatic stress disorder. Another reason these researchers are reliable is that they identify evidence-based treatments for addiction and stress while showing the effects of such treatments on the users.

Qualitative Articles in the ACA Publication

Bray (2018) in the articles “Post-trauma in counselors-in-training: Help or hindrance?, “The battle against burnout,” and “the therapy behind play therapy,” Smith (2018) in “when help isn’t helpful: over-functioning for clients,” Moffatt (2018) in the article “the hurting counselor,” and Phillips (2018) in “Standing in the shadow of addiction,” and “when bias turns into bullying” use qualitative research methods. These methods help them to acquire their results and discussion sections that help them analyze various addiction problems.

Many addiction articles have a tradition of leaning towards qualitative research. It is the most effective in capturing how drug use and addiction are represented in various times and places. These researchers in these articles fixed different phenomena using the qualitative method, which helped them generate rich data that gave them an in-depth picture of their research topics. As is evidenced in the articles, the researchers used interviews, secondary data, observations, and groups to acquire and analyze data that played a significant role in the formulation of the results and discussion.

Not all addiction journals and articles are the same as some are more open to qualitative research publications than others. Most of the original qualitative research is submitted to health and policy journals, which make offer chances of collection of first-hand information from the participants (Fraser et al., 2017). Qualitative in-depth interviews are collected from a specific sample. They are guided by open-ended questions on how individuals were initiated and got addicted, their history of treatment, abstinence from the drugs, and how they relapsed. A study on addiction also requires that the researchers adopt multiple views of social reality by making the respondents become the experts and interpret their opinions.

The articles that will be useful in researching a topic that is engaging for my final research document include "Standing in the Shadow of Addiction" (Phillips, 2018), "Moving through Trauma" (Smith, 2018), and "Why do Cops avoid Counseling" (Redman, 2018). These articles provide a wide range of information about substance abuse and addiction. Therefore, they form a better starting background for my topic's research and all important data that I will collect from both primary and secondary sources.

This existing research played a significant role in explaining how addiction and substance abuse have been a problem in society. However, this new research is necessary because it will present information about the psycho-emotional and physio-pathological outcomes of traumatic events in military veterans and how it pushes them to become drug addicts. The new research will also give a view of the future of PTSD treatment in the coming decades and what can be done to reduce future cases of military veterans who are addicts due to the events they face in war.


Redman, J. (2018). Why do cops avoid counseling? Eight myths about law enforcement officers and mental health treatment.ACA. https://ct.counseling.org/2018/01/why-do-cops-avoid-counseling-eight-myths-about-law-enforcement-officers-and-mental-health-treatment/.

Smith, J. (2018). Moving through trauma.ACA. https://ct.counseling.org/2018/11/moving-through-trauma/.

D’Angelo, A. (2018). The opioid crisis and a wounded counselor’s heart.ACA. https://ct.counseling.org/2018/05/the-opioid-crisis-and-a-wounded-counselors-heart/.

Bray, B. (2018). Past trauma in counselors-in-training: Help or hindrance?ACA. https://ct.counseling.org/2018/05/past-trauma-in-counselors-in-training-help-or-hindrance/.

Bray, B. (2018). The battle against burnout.ACA. https://ct.counseling.org/2018/03/the-battle-against-burnout/.

Bray, B. (2018). The therapy behind play therapy.ACA. https://ct.counseling.org/2018/08/the-therapy-behind-play-therapy/.

Moffatt, G. (2018). The hurting counselor.ACA. https://ct.counseling.org/2018/08/the-hurting-counselor/.

Phillips, L. (2018). Standing in the shadow of addiction.ACA. https://ct.counseling.org/2018/10/standing-in-the-shadow-of-addiction/.

Phillips, L. (2018). When bias turns into bullying.ACA. https://ct.counseling.org/2018/06/when-bias-turns-into-bullying/.

Smith, K. (2018). When help isn’t helpful: Overfunctioning for clients. ACA. https://ct.counseling.org/2018/03/when-help-isnt-helpful-overfunctioning-for-clients/.

Allen, J. P., Crawford, E. F., &Kudler, H. (2016). Nature and treatment of comorbid alcohol problems and post-traumatic stress disorder among American military personnel and veterans. Alcohol research: current reviews, 38(1), 133. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4872608/pdf/arcr-38-1-133.pdf

Fraser, S., Pienaar, K., Dilkes-Frayne, E., Moore, D., Kokanovic, R., Treloar, C., & Dunlop, A. (2017). Addiction stigma and the biopolitics of liberal modernity: A qualitative analysis. International Journal of Drug Policy, 44, 192-201. https://espace.curtin.edu.au/bitstream/handle/20.500.11937/52365/251634.pdf?sequence=2

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