Upcoming symposium on addiction and PTSD

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Addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often occur together, causing debilitating consequences for those affected. There is little consensus among clinicians about how best to treat individuals suffering from both disorders, but new research is providing hope for patients and healthcare providers alike. This will be the focus of an upcoming symposium.

ConferenceIn October, experts from HRI and Homewood Health Centre will discuss the latest science, outcomes and promising practices related to the treatment of co-occurring addiction and PTSD at the 2018 Canadian Society for Addiction Medicine Annual Meeting and Scientific Conference (CSAM).

Each year, CSAM brings together researchers, educators and clinicians from across Canada and around the world. This year, the conference explores the theme “Crisis, Controversy and Change”, shedding light on the urgent need for improvements to mental health and addiction care. Experts from various disciplines will present research and exchange ideas to advance science and treatment.

The joint symposium, coordinated by HRI Research and Evaluation Scientist, Dr. Jean Costello, will feature the following speakers and topics:

  • Dr. Vivian Sarabia, Addiction Physician at Homewood Health Centre, will discuss the leading hypotheses that attempt to explain why PTSD and addiction often occur simultaneously;
  • Sabrina Kaur Syan, a PhD student working alongside HRI Senior Scientist Dr. James MacKillop, will present results from a study that investigates PTSD symptom severity as a predictor of drop-out from inpatient addiction treatment;
  • Dr. Hollam Sutandar, Addiction Psychiatrist at Homewood Health Centre, will discuss a pilot study that examines the use of Cognitive Processing Therapy in treating patients with co-occurring PTSD and addiction; and
  • Dr. Margaret McKinnon, Homewood Research Chair in Mental Health and Trauma, will share findings from a trial investigating the use of Goal Management Training (a cognitive skills training program) in patients with PTSD, as well as patients with co-occurring PTSD and addiction.

This symposium is an excellent example of the collaboration between Homewood Health Centre clinicians and HRI researchers. Together, we are generating findings and bringing new treatment ideas into practice sooner.