Military veteran Miguel Delgado sits on a bench at National University's Carlsbad campus before heading for his late afternoon Spanish class. In the past, he struggled with PTSD and alcohol issues after returning from two tours in Afghanistan. — Charlie Neuman

Military veteran Miguel Delgado sits on a bench at National University’s Carlsbad campus before heading for his late afternoon Spanish class. In the past, he struggled with PTSD and alcohol issues after returning from two tours in Afghanistan. — Charlie Neuman

Young fighters home from war often battle two demons: Post-traumatic stress and the lure of a drink, or a dozen, to sooth their fried nerves. Americans in their 20s are a group prone to binge drinking, anyway, no matter their job history.

But alcohol abuse interferes with treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, leaving many veterans largely ineligible for what’s believed to be the best version of therapy. Now, researchers at San Diego’s U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital are launching a five-year study to see if the strongest PTSD therapy can be used on heavy drinkers at the same time as helping them ease their grip on the bottle.

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