PTSD and Mental Health Problems in Returning Veterans
Service members may carry the psychological and physical wounds of their military experience with them into subsequent civilian life. In one study, one in four veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan reported symptoms of a mental or cognitive disorder; one in six reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These disorders are strongly associated with substance abuse and dependence, as are other problems experienced by returning military personnel, including sleep disturbances, traumatic brain injury, and violence in relationships.
Young adult veterans are particularly likely to have substance use or other mental health problems. According to a report of veterans in 2004-2006, a quarter of 18- to 25-year-old veterans met criteria for a past-year substance use disorder, which is more than double the rate of veterans aged 26-54 and five times the rate of veterans 55 or older.
Combat exposure appears to be a primary mediator of the impact of war deployment on substance abuse rates. In one study, one in four veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan reported symptoms of a mental or cognitive disorder; one in six reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These disorders are strongly associated with substance abuse and dependence, as are other problems experienced by returning military personnel, including sleep disturbances, traumatic brain injury, and violence in relationships.Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
Women’s Treatment for Trauma, PTSD and Substance Use Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is common among people with substance use disorders, and patients suffering from both of these conditions have a more difficult time meeting their treatment goals. Estimates suggest that as many as 80% of women seeking treatment for drug abuse report lifetime histories of sexual and/or physical assault. These facts highlight the importance of finding effective treatments for this high-risk population. Early studies showed that Seeking Safety, a treatment designed specifically for patients with PTSD and substance use disorders, held great potential for this population. This study compared the effectiveness of Seeking Safety added to substance abuse treatment-as-usual (TAU) with Women’s Health Education added to TAU. The researchers looked at the effect of these treatment options on both substance use and the severity of PTSD symptoms, adverse events, or dropout from treatment or study participation. The results reflect considerable opportunity to improve clinical outcomes in community-based treatments for these co-occurring conditions.
CTN Protocol ID: CTN-0015
DSMB ID: DSMB-0015
Enrollment Status: Completed
ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT00078156
Primary Outcomes Article: Hien, D., et al. (2009). Multisite randomized trial of behavioral interventions for women with co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology 77(4):607-19.
Destin Recovery Provides Services To Our Military
Eglin Air Force Base
Eglin Air Force Base spans three counties in Northwest Florida; Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton supporting test and training activities for numerous development programs, operational military units, military schools, and various federal agencies. Assigned to the 96th Test Wing and Air Force Materiel Command, Eglin AFB is a joint-service installation supporting Air Force, Army and Navy units and hosts more than 62 major organizations including the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 6th Ranger Training Battalion, the Navy Explosive Ordnance School, the 20th Space Control Squadron, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Initial Training Center. Eglin is the largest military base in the Department of Defense and hosts the Joint Gulf of Mexico Range Complex.
Hurlburt Field is the headquarters of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the Air Force component of U.S. Special Operations Command and the 1st Special Operations Wing, AFSOC’s oldest and largest unit, the 505th Command and Control Wing, and the 24th Special Operations Wing. AFSOC’s mission is to provide Air Force special operations forces for worldwide deployment in the conduct of the War on Terrorism in order to disrupt, defeat, and destroy terrorist networks that threaten the United States, its citizens, and interests worldwide. Hurlburt is also home to the 39th Information Operations Squadron Network Warfare Training, and the Joint Special Operations University.
Responsibilities are to provide aerospace surface interface, agile combat support, combat aviation advisory operations, information warfare, personnel recovery and rescue operations, precision aerospace fires, psychological operations, specialized aerospace mobility and specialized refueling to unified commands. Hurlburt Field is located in the southern portion of the Eglin reservation in Okaloosa County occupying 6,634 acres.
Duke Field is home for the 919th Special Operations Wing (SOW), the only special operations unit in the Air Force Reserve. The 919th SOW reports to the Air Force Reserve Command’s Tenth Air Force in peacetime, and becomes part of AFSOC at Hurlburt Field if mobilized for conflict. Active duty units of the Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center (AFSOAWC) are currently based at Duke Field. Duke Field is located within the northern section of Eglin’s reservation and employs approximately 1,200 reservists and 300 full-time civil service personnel.
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Our treatment specialists provide:
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