Script-Driven Trauma- and Drug-Related Cue Reactivity: Examining Correlates of Script Content among Inner-City Adults with Posttraumatic Stress and Substance Use Disorders



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Introduction. The co-occurrence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is highly prevalent, complex, and difficult-to-treat (Roberts et al, 2015). Script driven cue reactivity has been shown to be a promising paradigm for understanding PTSD/SUD associations (Tull et al,2016; Saladin et al, 2003). Script driven cue reactivity is the physiological reactivity and/or self-reported substance craving that results from exposure to visual or scripted cues (Hopper et al, 2007; Sokhadze et al., 2007; Witterman et al, 2015). Greater cue reactivity to both substance-related and trauma-related cues has been associated with increased substance use and higher PTSD symptom severity (Chicoat et al 1998; Read et al, 2004; Tull et al, 2011). No studies to date have examined associations between trauma and substance script cue content and PTSD or SUD severity in PTSD/SUD populations. Hypothesis. Greater use of emotion, trauma, or substance words in the scripts will be related to greater craving and greater PTSD and substance use severity. Discussion. Main hypotheses were not supported by the results. e.g., PTSD symptom severity and diagnoses were negatively associated with substance words in the substance scripts and trauma scripts. As expected, we did find that substance words in substance scripts were positively associated with the amount of money spent on alcohol and substance words in trauma scripts were positively associated with alcohol use and alcohol problems.