PTSD, Panic Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder as a Triple Threat for Violence Among Male Jail Detainees
Despite ranking among the most prevalent mental health conditions and their likely contributions to violent offending, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder (PD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) have not been examined closely among adult males detained in rural jails. The purpose of this paper is to assess the prevalence of co-occurring PTSD, PD and AUD within this population and identify their associations with violent offenses.
The sample consists of 349 males recently booked into local jails. The Comprehensive Addictions and Psychological Evaluation – 5 was administered to assess mental health conditions. Bivariate statistics and multivariate logistic regression were used to examine associations between PTSD, PD, AUD and violent offenses.
A disproportionate number of participants met criteria for PTSD, PD and AUD. Co-occurrence was prevalent among detainees booked for violent offenses with 25% reporting symptoms of all three disorders. PD emerged as the strongest single condition associated with violence, while the combination of PTSD, PD and AUD significantly increased the likelihood of violent offenses.
A better understanding of the relationship between mental health conditions and violent offenses is essential for efficacious assessment and treatment. Appropriately informed mental health care for jail detainees can increase public safety and guide practices for addressing these conditions within criminal justice populations.
Research in context
This study found that the combination of the three mental health conditions, PTSD, Panic Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder significantly increased the likelihood of violent offenses. The research informs violence prevention initiatives and interventions for detainees when re-entering society.
Determining how these conditions interact to exacerbate the propensity for violence can help inform the development of proper prevention and intervention programs in local detention centers as detainees prepare to re-enter the community,” said Alexa Barrett, clinical psychology master’s student at Western Carolina University, as per Medical Xpress.Alexa Barrett, clinical psychology master’s student, Western Carolina University