A new VA study finds that combat experience is associated with a higher risk of alcohol use to cope with PTSD symptoms. But the connection is weaker when accounting for the severity of the PTSD.
The findings appeared online in the Journal of Dual Diagnosis in March 2021.
In an observational study of more than 11,000 men with at least one traumatic experience, the researchers found that those with combat experience were much more likely than those without to report drinking alcohol to cope with PTSD. The diversity of traumatic experiences, the severity of PTSD, and diagnoses of alcohol abuse or dependence were significantly tied to drinking to cope with PTSD.