Mild Brain Injuries Linked to Increased Risk for Addiction

The Join Together Staff recently highlighted a study that suggests mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be linked to an increased risk of addiction.

These researchers found mild TBA and an increased risk of alcohol dependency were linked up to 180 days after the injury happened. According to, an increased risk for nondependent abuse of drugs or alcohol and nicotine dependence occurs within a month after the initial injury.

This study comprised of 5,064 active-duty airmen who suffered a mild TBI that resulted in temporary confusion or disorientation, memory loss, and/or a brief loss of consciousness. In comparison was a group of 44,733 airmen who suffered injuries of other types.

A raised risk of alcohol dependency in airmen with a mild TBA was found in this study. However, the risk for alcohol dependency decreased over time.

To read more about this study, view it in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

“Screening for addiction-related disorders should be considered as part of routine care for mild TBI and might best capture the first 30 days post-mild TBI, with repeat alcohol screening thereafter for at least 6 months following the injury,” the researchers wrote.

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