Stars and Stripes: Report shows high demand for treating vets with substance abuse and mental health problems

“Veterans are at high risk for suffering from substance abuse disorders and mental health issues at the same time, and they often struggle to find help, according to a report released Wednesday.”

“Rand Corp., a nonprofit think tank, released findings that show a high demand among the veteran population for treatment that concurrently targets substance abuse disorders and mental health problems. Veterans who served after the 9/11 terrorist attacks are at ‘particularly high risk’ for having both, the report says. The most common combination is alcohol-use disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder or depression.”

“’We’ve focused our time on treating PTSD, but we haven’t done as much as we could to realize the majority of veterans with PTSD are also dealing with substance abuse and figure out how to deal with that and their recovery,’ said Terri Taniellian, a senior behavioral scientist at Rand and a co-author of the report…”

“Rand discovered numerous barriers to veterans’ receiving treatment for both problems, including veterans’ distance from treatment facilities, a perceived stigma and the treatment providers’ lack of knowledge about military culture. Female veterans face more hurdles, such as child care responsibilities and a limited availability of gender-focused treatment.”

“One of the largest hurdles to care is that many veterans are disqualified from mental health programs because of their substance abuse. Many programs require complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol…” Read the full article here.

Source: Report shows high demand for treating vets with substance abuse and mental health problems – By Nikki Wentling, July 22, 2020. Stars and Stripes.

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