Orr Lecture in Addiction Psychiatry 4/12 | Sudie Back, PhD

"Harmonized Healing: The Treatment of Co-Occurring Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Use Disorders"

About the Speaker:

Sudie E. Back, PhD
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Thurmond Wellness Endowed Chair
Director, DART Research Training Program
Addiction Sciences Division
Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
Ralph H. Johnson VA Healthcare System

Dr. Sudie Back is a licensed clinical psychologist, Professor in the Addiction Sciences Division, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and a Staff Psychologist at the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital in Charleston, SC. She received her PhD from the University of Georgia and completed her clinical internship at Yale University School of Medicine, followed by a NIDA T32 postdoctoral fellowship at MUSC. Over the past 20 years, her research has focused primarily on the treatment of co-occurring posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUD), including psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy trials and the application of human laboratory paradigms. Most notably, she is lead author of an evidenced-based, trauma-focused psychotherapy, Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure (COPE), that was published in 2015 and is endorsed by the VA as a gold standard of behavioral healthcare. Dr. Back has had continuous research funding since 2000 and is currently PI of two NIH-funded R01 projects. These include investigation of COPE plus oxytocin to augment treatment outcomes and the development of a novel trauma-focused, integrated treatment for co-occurring PTSD and SUD that utilizes Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Additionally, she is PI of a VA-funded Merit Award aimed at creating COPE Web, an online program to train clinicians in COPE. In addition to research endeavors, Dr. Back is actively engaged in research training and mentorship. She is Director of one of the longest standing addictions research training programs in the country (NIDA R25; MPIs: Back and Brady), now in Year 18, which has trained over 260 students including undergraduate, graduate and medical students and psychiatry residents. Dr. Back has enjoyed mentoring trainees at various levels and currently serves as Primary Mentor for four NIH-sponsored K23 awards targeting the intersection of trauma, PTSD and SUD. Her scholarly contributions include more than 180 publications and 3 books. She has been fortunate to receive several awards and honors, including a Fulbright Scholar Award to collaborate with scientists in Sydney, Australia, an endowed chair at MUSC, and she is a member of the Board of Directors of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD).



Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUD) frequently co-occur and are associated with deleterious health outcomes. This presentation will provide an overview of comorbid PTSD/SUD, the latest research on treatments for PTSD/SUD, and an introduction to the COPE intervention, an integrated trauma-focused psychotherapy for PTSD/SUD.



The activity is designed to help the learner: 

1. Describe the prevalence and correlates of co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders (SUD) 
2.  Summarize the research to date on treatments for PTSD/SUD.
3.  Explain the difference between trauma-focused and non-trauma focused therapies.
4.  Identify the key components of the COPE intervention.

CME/CE credit for Psychiatry Grand Rounds is only available during the live feed time and for a brief time immediately following. The code for this week's session is displayed at the opening and closing of the meeting


For CME/CE information about this session, please visit:



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This talk is sponsored by the
Orr Lecture Fund
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 
This educational activity received no commercial support.