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NIDA

Military

Brief Description

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Active duty and retired members of the armed forces are not immune to the substance use problems that affect the rest of society. The stresses of deployment during wartime and the unique culture of the military account for some differences between substance use in military members and civilians. Zero-tolerance policies and stigma pose difficulties in identifying and treating substance use problems in military personnel, as does lack of confidentiality that deters many who need treatment from seeking it.

Those with multiple deployments, combat exposure, and related injuries are at greatest risk of developing substance use problems. They are more apt to engage in new-onset heavy weekly drinking and binge drinking, to suffer alcohol- and drug-related problems, and start smoking or relapse to smoking. Like civilians, they risk addiction to opioid pain medicines prescribed after an injury. NIDA continues to examine the trends in substance use in specific populations, including military personnel, and search for better methods for preventing and treating substance use disorders that are specific to these populations.

Service members, veterans, and their families who need help dealing with substance abuse issues may find the following resources helpful:

Current Research

NIDA is currently funding 18 studies in this area for FY 2016. Open the accordion below for links that will take you to the project descriptions in the NIH RePORT database. You can also find recent publications of NIDA-funded research in the PubMed database. In addition, there are many clinical trials currently open to military personnel and veterans. For more information, see our Clinical Trials page.

NIDA Grantee Spotlight: Military Veterans and Smoking

Related Publications

Related Resources

Friends of NIDA 2013 Congressional Briefing
 

March 11, 2013: Washington, D.C. - Military Personnel, Veterans, and Their Families: How Substance Abuse Research is Effecting Positive Change, hosted by the Friends of NIDA in conjunction with the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus and the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse.

 

Slide Presentations:

Press/Media Releases

Other Resources

Past information on many drugs of abuse is available on our Archives site.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies in human volunteers conducted to answer specific health questions. Learn about the NIH-sponsored clinical trials available to you.

Other Clinical Trials information sources:

This page was last updated April 2016

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