Alcohol 1/2 of Veteran Treatment Admissions   Leave Comment
Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality
Data Spotlight
Treatment Episode Data Set November 8, 2012
Half of Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions
among Veterans Aged 21 to 39 Involve Alcohol as the
Primary Substance of Abuse
Men and women in the U.S. military often face challenging experiences during their service, including combat exposure, multiple deployments, physical injury, and psychological trauma.1 Some turn to substance use as a way to cope with these experiences.2 Unhealthy substance use behaviors can persist after active duty military service and can lead to the need for substance abuse treatment among veterans.
The Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) is a database of substance abuse treatment admissions, primarily at publicly funded treatment facilities. TEDS excludes admissions to Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities; therefore, the veteran admissions in TEDS represent veterans who chose to seek substance abuse treatment in a non-VA facility. According to TEDS data for 2010, there were 17,641 admissions of veterans aged 21 to 39, an age group that includes veterans with relatively recent service. Veteran admissions were more likely than nonveteran admissions to report alcohol as their primary substance of abuse (50.7 vs. 34.4 percent) and were less likely to report heroin as the primary substance of abuse (9.0 vs. 16.8 percent; Figure). The prominence of alcohol treatment admissions among veterans with relatively recent service suggests that alcohol in particular is an important target for policy and programs related to substance use and abuse among military personnel and veterans. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides resources and information for service providers working with military personnel and veterans at http://www.samhsa.gov/ militaryfamilies/.
1 National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2011). Substance abuse among the military, veterans, and their families— April 2011 (Topics in Brief). Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/ default/files/veterans.pdf
2 Committee on Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management of Substance Use Disorders in the U.S. Armed Forces. (2012). Substance use disorders in the U.S. armed forces. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved from http://books.nap.edu/openbook. php?record_id=13441&page=24
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), 2010, based on data re- ceived through October 10, 2011. TEDS is a compilation of data on the demographic characteristics and substance abuse problems of those admit- ted for substance abuse treatment in the United States, primarily at facilities that receive public funding. TEDS is one component of the Behavioral Health Services Information System (BHSIS), an integrated data system maintained by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, SAMHSA. For more information on TEDS, see http://www.samhsa.gov/data/DASIS.aspx#TEDS.
Primary Substance of Abuse in Treatment Admissions Aged 21 to 39, by Veteran Status: 2010

Alcohol 50.7% Heroin 16.8%
Other Opiates 9.0%
Marijuana 17.6%
Meth- amphetamine 12.2%
Cocaine/ Crack 12.0%
Drug addicted disabled veterans   Leave Comment
If you are a veteran or have a veteran as a friend who suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome or traumatic brain syndrome, I know you will be interested in this information. There is a lot more of it available on line.

Big pharmaceutical companies that make billions of dollars selling drugs to veterans and other with Traumatic Brain Injuries are doing all they can to prevent successful medical care with hyperbaric oxygen. TBI veterans often lose their jobs, families and become addicted to drugs and commit suicide. The veterans hospitals and pharmaceutical companies have refused to recognize the success of hyperbaric oxygen treatment and refuse payment for treatment as there is so much profit selling drugs. If treated properly, it appears that many injured military could continue to serve or if discharged could lead a healthy productive civilian life. There would be much greater recovery and less addicted veterans if HBO was given to our wounded military after their TBIs. This would be another big step in winning the war against drug addiction! Go to NBIRR on the web for more information.
This knowledge must be made public!
Drug Free Treatment for Addicted Veterans   Leave Comment
The evidence is now conclusive: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for TBI/PTSD and Post concussive syndrome is both safe and effective. It should be made available immediately to brain injured service members. In a just-released peer-reviewed study of 56 TBI subjects,[1] Israeli scientists reinforce previous studies and evidence-based medicine about the utility of HBOT to treat and help heal brain injuries. This study and others from the NBIRR Coalition, coupled with the Army trials properly understood, demonstrate in over 200 cases that HBOT is an effective treatment for TBI. The Israelis conclude: "The results clearly demonstrate that HBOT can induce neuroplasticity and significant brain function improvement in mild TBI patients with prolonged Post-Concussion-Syndrome at late chronic stage, years after brain injury."

The study addresses claims that HBOT is no better than a placebo, and focuses attention on the need to TREAT NOW. The power of the findings, coupled with corroborating metabolic improvements in 56 subjects demonstrated by SPECT scans, helps focus attention where it belongs. The meticulous science and statistical analysis represented by this study prove once again the safety and efficacy of HBOT when used to treat subjects with brain injuries, the invisible wounds of war.

But the study goes further and exposes the illogical and contorted arguments about placebo effects. Arguments about HBOT being no better than a placebo effect draw " wrong conclusions....room air at 1.3Atm cannot serve as a proper sham-control since it is not an ‘‘ineffectual treatment’’ (as is required from placebo)." And any study of HBOT for TBI that use 2.4 Ata "leads to too high oxygen levels which can cause inhibitory effect or even focal toxicity."

In this meticulous, four-year Israeli study, "The HBOT treatments of both groups led to statistically significant improvements in the mean scores of all four indices [Information Processing Speed, Attention, Memory, and Executive Functions]....Combined with previous studies of the HBOT effects on TBI and Cerebral Vascular Accident patients, the results presented here show that treatment with hyperbaric oxygen can significantly repair the chronically impaired brain functions and dramatically improve the quality of life of these patients.... since the improvements are significant with no significant side effects, it seems reasonable to let patients benefit from HBOT now rather than wait until future studies are completed."

Regarding the imperative for immediate treatment for brain injury, we can look to the recent words of the VA Secretary GEN Shinseki when commenting on his ground-breaking decision on Agent Orange in the context of invisible brain injury wounds. He himself fought successfully for non-traditional but available treatment to save his foot from amputation: "Forty years from today, a future Secretary of VA should not be adjudicating presumptive disabilities associated with our current conflicts. Change is difficult for any good organization, but we are transforming this Department to advocate for Veterans. We will not let our Veterans languish without hope for service-connected disabilities resulting from their service.... [demanding unconventional treatment to my foot] gave me choices no one else was willing to give me, and it has made all the difference in how I have been able to live my life."

With the Suicide Epidemic among service members far in excess of 22 victims a day -- over 8,000 a year -- and over 76,000 veterans chaptered out of the service with "bad-paper" discharges that deprive them of medical benefits, the use of a safe and effective treatment for the wounded is a minimal risk. The use of HBOT is dramatically less risky than the withholding of HBOT and its effects on wounded soldiers, particularly when coupled with the continued dispensing of unproven drugs at a cost of billions of dollars that come with warnings about the risks of suicide stamped in bold letters on the bottles. We owe the wounded better.

Congressman Pete Sessions has introduced, and the House passed in four successive sessions, HR 1960, The TBI Treatment Act. It points the way to an immediate action that can start to bring relief to both Soldiers and Veterans.
Veterans Information   Leave Comment
Anyone that has information that can help our Veterans, please reply to this message.