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Studies on combat-related substance use and abuse to be funded by NIH and VA
Date:8/26/2010

contribute to individual health and family relationship crises. There has been little research on how to prevent and treat unique characteristics of these wartime-related issues.

Several projects will look at treatment seeking patterns why and when veterans ask for help, and why many don't. Scientists will explore treatment strategies, including cognitive behavioral therapy and Web-based approaches as well as the most effective therapies for soldiers who have co-occurring disorders, such as depression and substance abuse. Researchers will also determine if early intervention, within two months of returning from war, can improve outcomes.

The research will examine the high rate of smoking among returning military personnel. "Smoking prevalence in the military, especially among men aged 18 to 25 years, is nearly double that of the civilian population," said Cathy Backinger, Ph.D., chief of NCI's Tobacco Control Research Branch. "NCI research funded under this initiative, looking at reducing smoking by military personnel, will go a long way toward helping service members avoid developing lung cancer and the many other diseases caused by smoking."

In addition, some of the newly funded research projects will examine how veterans attempt to reintegrate into their work and family lives after experiencing war conditions.

"These research projects will give us important information about the ways that combat stress and substance abuse affect returning military personnel and their families," said NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. "This knowledge will be used to improve our prevention and treatment approaches, which we hope will reduce the burden of combat-related trauma. Working cooperatively with the VA and other partners will help in finding solutions for this shared concern."

"The Department of Veterans Affairs has a commitment to meet the full range of our Veterans' physical and mental health care needs, and that include
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Contact: NIDA Press Office
media@nida.nih.gov
301-443-6245
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
Source:Eurekalert

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