Statistics on Mental Health
Office of Applied Studies (OAS) recently
released a new short report on veterans’ mental
Data indicate that an annual average
of 7.0 percent of veterans age 18
or older (an estimated 1.8 million
people) experienced past-year serious
psychological distress (SPD).
In addition, 7.1 percent of veterans
(an estimated 1.8 million people)
met the criteria for a past-year substance
use disorder (SUD), and 1.5 percent
(an estimated 395,000 people) had
co-occurring SPD and SUD.
Distress and Substance Use Disorder
among Veterans is based on combined National Survey
on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data
from 2004, 2005, and 2006.
The report indicates that veterans
age 18 to 25 were more likely than
their older counterparts to have higher
rates of SPD, SUD, and co-occurring
SPD and SUD—with 8.4 percent
of veterans age 18 to 25 experiencing
co-occurring SPD and SUD versus just
0.7 percent of those age 55 or older.
Among veterans of the wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan who received care
from the U.S. Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA) between 2001 and 2005,
nearly one-third were diagnosed with
mental health and/or psychosocial
problems and one-fifth were diagnosed
with SUD. (Read
the cover story on veterans in this
issue of SAMHSA
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NSDUH Defines “Veteran”
In this report, NSDUH defines a veteran
as an individual who has served in
any of the U.S. Armed Forces (i.e.,
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps)
but who is not currently serving in
the military. According to survey
estimates, 25.9 million military veterans
were living in the United States during
this 3-year period.
For a free copy of Serious
Psychological Distress and Substance
Use Disorder among Veterans,
OAS Web site at http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k7/veteransDual/veteransDual.cfm.
Additional SAMHSA reports on other
topics are available at www.oas.samhsa.gov.
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