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Friends of NIDA, Congressional Briefing: Substance Abuse and the Military Community



Josie Anderson, Reporting:

Friends of NIDA sponsored a congressional briefing focusing on joint National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense Substance Abuse Research Initiatives.

DOD Force Health Protection and Readiness, Deputy Director, Michael Kilpatrick explained, with more than two million service members over the last decade deploying, many are returning home to a different battlefield.

[Natural Sound of Dr. Michael Kilpatrick]

Anderson, Reporting:

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIDA is committed to supporting research that addresses these problems among military personnel, veterans and their families.

Dr. Wilson Compton:

We have seen the needs of our returning military persons are tremendous.

There is such overlap among mental health problems and substance use disorders.

NIDA supporting a full range of research on everything from basic science studies that can help us understand the causes of these conditions and do a better job of developing new treatments, to testing interventions in field settings, testing prevention interventions that might work with family members to reduce the onset of behavioral health problems, and finally to do a better job in treating addictions in real-world settings as efficiently and affectively as possible.

Dr. Kathleen Carroll:

Veterans often have multiple co-morbidities and that is often difficult to treat, for example, a patient with substance use and PTSD and depression, and even traumatic brain injury.

If we can get effective ways of delivering these components by computer, it's possible we can get the primary clinicians, the primary care doc or nurse, or health care provider to assess the complexity of the problems that the patient has and then give them access to treatments that address each of those problems.

Anderson, Reporting:

NIDA research is looking at the consequences of war and ways evidence based substance abuse prevention and treatment interventions may be applied across the military lifecycle.

Dr. Wilson Compton:

A very important aspect of our work is that all of it is done in collaboration and in conjunction with Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, other NIH Institutes and multiple Health and Human Services partners.

It is only by working together we can address both the research and more important the service needs of these vulnerable populations.

Dr. Abigail Gewirtz:

Doing research with military families is critical.

Military families deserve the best that we have to give them in science and in practice...

Our study is a program called ADAPT; After Deployment Adaptive Parenting Tools.

It is the evaluation of a parent-training program modified for military families.

The idea is to buffer parenting against stress of deployment and separation.

Anderson, Reporting:

NIDA'S goal is to use the most advanced research and technologies available to inform policy and improve healthcare practices for our military and their families.

Dr. Kathleen Carroll:

It's essential that we give those who served our country the best health care possible, and we know that ongoing substance use can undercut the efficacy of all kinds of treatment from medical conditions, as well as other kinds of mental health conditions.

So often giving good medical care means giving effective science-based treatment for drug abuse as well.

Anderson, Reporting:

For NIDA TV, I am Josie Anderson.


This page was last updated April 2013