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SAMHSA News - January/February, Volume 16, Number 1

Administrator's Message: Enhancing Services for Returning Veterans

photo of Terry L. Cline, Ph.D., SAMHSA Administrator - click to view his biography

Terry L. Cline, Ph.D.

Across the Nation, veterans are returning home from their tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. For many of these courageous men and women, readjustment to civilian life will take time.

Research shows that substance abuse and mental health problems are far more frequent among returning veterans than in the general population. A recent report from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that veterans age 18 to 25 are more likely than older veterans to have higher rates of serious psychological distress, substance use disorder, or co-occurring psychological distress and substance use disorder in the past year.

SAMHSA is collaborating with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Defense (DoD), the National Guard, and veterans service organizations to enhance the safety net of resources and services for returning veterans.

For example, SAMHSA recently worked with VA to modify our toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. A new prompt offers the option of pressing #1 and connecting directly to a special VA suicide crisis line staffed by mental health professionals.

Community-based counseling and treatment programs need to know how to prepare family and friends for the return of their loved ones. SAMHSA can help by building community awareness and sensitivity to the challenges returning veterans and their families face regarding substance abuse and mental health issues.

SAMHSA recently created a special Web page of information for veterans at www.samhsa.gov/vets. The Agency’s Treatment Locator Web site is another valuable resource for access to thousands of providers in locations around the country.

In May 2006, SAMHSA hosted a national conference on returning veterans (see SAMHSA News online), and in spring 2007, the Agency convened a special forum to address mental health and substance abuse treatment needs of returning veterans and their families. In a few months, SAMHSA will sponsor a second national conference on returning veterans.

We look forward to our continued collaboration with VA, DoD, the National Guard, and veterans service organizations to ensure that returning veterans with or at risk for mental or substance use disorders have the opportunity for recovery and a fulfilling life in the community. End of Article

Terry L. Cline, Ph.D.
Administrator, SAMHSA

See Part 1: Veterans & Their Families: A SAMHSA Priority

See Part 2: Veterans & Their Families: A SAMHSA Priority

See Resources for Veterans

See Statistics: Short Report

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Inside This Issue
Veterans & Their Families: A SAMHSA Priority
Part 1
Part 2
Resources for Veterans
Statistics: Short Report
Administrator's Message

Grant Funding Opportunities

Science and Service Awards: Call for Entries

Recovery Month 2008 Online

FASD Resources
For Juvenile Justice Professionals
For Teachers

Teen Substance Abuse
Combating Teen Prescription Drug Abuse
Decline in Illicit Drug Use by 8th Graders
Millions of Youth Misusing Cough, Cold Medicines

Integrating Hepatitis Services

Medicaid & Mental Health Services: State by State

New Data on Treatment Facilities: N-SSATS

SAMHSA National Advisory Council: New Members

Staff in the News
Delany Named New OAS Director
President's Volunteer Service Awards

Criminal Justice & Treatment Brochure: Spanish


SAMHSA News - January/February 2008, Volume 16, Number 1