A Review of Associations Between Traumatic Brain Injury & Addiction and Therapeutic Interventions for Addiction in the Brain Injured Population

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The research linking drug and alcohol use with increased risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been well established. There is some evidence suggesting that the inverse relationship exists; that sustaining a TBI increases the likelihood for developing a drug or alcohol abuse problem. However much less is known about the impact of TBI on substance use disorders (SUD) and many barriers exist in determining these links. Research also suggests that for individuals with previously existing drug or alcohol problems, sustaining a TBI increases the likelihood of relapse. SUD greatly impact recovery after injury and because this association between TBI and SUD is not well understood there is a need to address how to treat addiction in this population. This work reviews the body of literature about the links between TBI and addiction and strategies for improving SUD treatment in individuals with cognitive impairments. Using the existing body of literature we identified strategies for how SUD treatment can be modified to address the specific needs of individuals with a TBI.

Traumatic Brain Injury, Substance Use Disorder, Substance Use Disorder Treatment