Management of Substance Abuse after Trauma
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyer. Substance abuse, especially alcohol intoxication, is the underlying cause of almost half of all traumatic injuries in the US. One survey showed that 75 percent of intoxicated patients have a prior history of clinically-significant alcohol related life events and 26 percent admit to significant pre-injury alcohol problems. This means that alcohol abuse disorder is reported to be the most prevalent disease among trauma survivors. Injured problem drinkers are subsequently more likely to be reinjured, re-hospitalized, and to die compared to normal people. Despite the high incidence of substance abuse, it is rarely screened for in rehabilitation units.
Rates of alcohol problems are particularly high among those with traumatic injuries, including traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.
Links between alcohol problems and traumatic brain injury/spinal cord injury will be described in terms of the prevalence of these problems together and the effects on outcome. There are persistent stereotypes and myths about substance abuse that may interfere with the implementation of effective screening and intervention programs. Continue reading