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Drug use and validity of substance use self-reports in veterans seeking help for posttraumatic stress disorder.

Calhoun PS, Sampson WS, Bosworth HB, Feldman ME, Kirby AC, Hertzberg MA, Wampler TP, Tate-Williams F, Moore SD, Beckham JC. Drug use and validity of substance use self-reports in veterans seeking help for posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology. 2000 Oct 1; 68(5):923-7.

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The present study assessed drug use and the validity of self-reports of substance use among help-seeking veterans referred to a specialty clinic for the assessment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Patients (n = 341) were asked to provide a urine sample for use in drug screening as part of an evaluation of PTSD. Self-reports of substance use were compared with same-day supervised urine samples for 317 patients who volunteered to participate in a drug screening. Results suggested that self-reports were generally quite valid. Only 8% of the cases involved patients not reporting substance use detected by urine screens. A total of 42% of the participants were identified as using drugs of abuse (excluding alcohol) through self-report and urine drug screens. Among participants using drugs, PTSD diagnosis was significantly associated with greater marijuana and depressant use as compared with stimulant (cocaine and amphetamines) use.

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