Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Alcoholism related to trauma, shows new Polish study

Every fourth alcoholic is a victim of violence, motor vehicle accident, of some other catastrophe, according to the reports of a several-years-long study of alcoholics in Poland.

Dr. Malgorzata Dragan of the University of Warsaw Psychology faculty, who issued the report, says that 80 percent of alcoholics have undergone some traumatic event in their lives. Sixty percent claim that they have undergone more than one traumatic incident.

The results show that every fourth alcoholic suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in other word, psychological or physical manifestations that recall the trauma they underwent. Dragan claims that her study shows that people turn to alcohol to numb their pain.

“Alcohol fulfills these criteria. After one drunk, problems haven’t disappeared. One starts to drink again and a vicious cycle begins, which is extrememly difficult to break out of. It can become an addiction,” she states.

According to the results of the study, the most commonly occurring trauma amongst women is related to sexual abuse. Thirty percent of alcoholic females were sexually molested in their lives.

Dagan’s study is the first of it’s kind in Poland – a study analyzing trauma and addiction. Full results will be published on 30 October in her book Traumatic Experiences and Addiction to Alcohol.