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Redeployment Puts Veterans At Risk

29 August 2016 Written by 

Military Culture Impacts Substance Abuse Treatment In Veterans

From Addiction Professional By Tom Valentino, Senior Editor: To effectively treat substance use disorders in the veteran population, clinicians first need to understand the ways in which military culture differs from civilian life, according to Joseph Reis and Craig McLean of Logistics Health Inc. The pair shared insights from their combined 50+ years in behavioral health Friday at the National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD) in Denver.

Reis, director of health services at Logistics Health, noted the increased strain placed on active personnel and veterans of recent military operations. Nearly one-third of the 2.43 million U.S. troops to serve in Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn have been deployed multiple times.

“This is a huge deal. When I got deployed, you knew you were going once,” said Reis, whose 20 years in the military included a tour of duty in Operation Desert Storm. “Now, you have to keep reusing same troops. Oftentimes, they are re-deployed after just six months.”

Citing several studies, Reis and McLean shared some of the effects of those tours on veterans: Nearly 20% of those who served in the aforementioned operations later screened positive for PTSD, and of more than 200,000 active duty and reservists surveyed in a separate study, 13.1% suffered from depression, the second-most common health problem faced after tinnitus.

Read more: Military culture impacts treatment of SUDs in veterans

Read 209 times Last modified on Tuesday, 30 August 2016 17:36
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