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Addressing Substance Abuse and Comorbidities among Military Personnel, Veterans, and Their Families: A Research Agenda

For Release January 2, 2009

There is growing concern that military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are experiencing a range of difficulties, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will convene a two-day meeting January 6-7, 2009 to address the issue of substance abuse and associated mental health problems among military personnel and their families, and will produce recommendations for new research directions and priorities.

The goals of the meeting are:

  • Gain an understanding of the intervention needs of military personnel, veterans, and their families regarding substance abuse and associated difficulties;
  • Discuss current prevention and treatment approaches being used with these populations and their evidence base;
  • Review existing efficacious drug abuse prevention and treatments interventions that may be appropriate for adapting and testing for use with military and veteran populations and their families;
  • Understand how to successfully conduct research in military and veteran settings; and
  • Formulate a research agenda for conducting addictions prevention.

The meeting will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Bethesda, Maryland. A full agenda and speaker list is available at:

Sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the meeting is organized in collaboration with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command, the Department of Defense Health Affairs, the Army Center for Substance Abuse Programs, the Department of Veteran Affairs, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA's new DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or fax or email requests to 240-645-0227 or

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) - The Nation's Medical Research Agency - includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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