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CDP Presents Treating PTSD and Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders using Prolonged Exposure

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Sudie Back
Course Levels:
90 minutes
Media Type:
Access for event date only.



Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUD) are frequently co-occurring diagnostic conditions. Compared to the presentation of either disorder alone, the comorbidity of PTSD/SUD is associated with greater morbidity, mortality, and health care expenditures. Research on effective treatments for this comorbidity is sparse, and as a result, individuals with co-occurring PTSD/SUD suffer a more complicated course of treatment and worse treatment outcomes. To attend to this major gap in clinical care, my colleagues and I developed an integrated, trauma-focused intervention, titled Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure (COPE; Back et al., 2014). COPE is a 12-session, manualized intervention that incorporates empirically validated cognitive-behavioral techniques for reducing substance use with Prolonged Exposure therapy for PTSD. The main goals of the COPE intervention are to provide psychoeducation regarding the interrelationship between PTSD and SUD, reduce PTSD symptom severity, and reduce substance use. Research among Veterans and civilians consistently demonstrates COPE’s safety, feasibility, and efficacy in reducing PTSD and SUD simultaneously. COPE is endorsed by the Veterans Administration as a gold standard of behavioral healthcare where the COPE Therapist Guide and Patient Workbook manuals are publicly available and published as part of the Treatments that Work® series with Oxford University Press. This webinar will focus on the relationship between PTSD/SUD, the use of Prolonged Exposure and COPE in patients with PTSD/SUD, and supporting evidence and clinical considerations for the COPE intervention. 

Target Audience: For behavioral health providers who treat military personnel, veterans, and their families. 

Instructional Level: Introductory

Learning Objectives:

Attendees will be able to:

  • Appraise the relationship between PTSD and SUD symptoms 

  • Evaluate the benefits of providing Prolonged Exposure in PTSD/SUD patients 

  • Assess  the appropriate clinical application of COPE in PTSD/SUD patients 


American Psychological Association (APA)

The Center for Deployment Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Center for Deployment Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.



ADA Needs

We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call the Center for Deployment Psychology at 301-400-4160 or email

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