APA co-hosts congressional briefing on substance abuse
among veterans, service members and their families
Photos by Charles Votaw
Research on substance abuse among service
members, veterans and their families was the
focus of a March 11 congressional briefing
coordinated by APA’s Science Directorate
Government Relations Office on behalf of
the Friends of the National Institute on Drug
More than 100 congressional staff, federal
agency staff and members of the science
community attended the briefing, which sought
to educate policy-makers about NIDA-funded
initiatives and advances in the area.
• Michael E. Kilpatrick, MD, of the
Department of Defense, who outlined the
department’s development of research-based
methods to reduce substance abuse, as well as
current programs such as resilience training
used by the Army and Marine Corps.
• Wilson M. Compton, MD, of NIDA,
who presented the institute’s research on war
stressors and substance use as well as data on
prevalence of substance abuse in military and
veteran populations. Compton discussed how
PTSD, TBI and chronic pain may contribute to
vulnerability for substance use disorders.
• Abigail Gewirtz, PhD, of the University
of Minnesota’s department of family social
science and institute of child development, who
presented an evaluation of After Deployment,
Adaptive Parenting Tools, a web-enhanced
parenting program for military families.
Results at eight-month follow-up show that
people who received the intervention showed
lower levels of poor discipline, better couple
adjustment, increased mindfulness and
stronger parenting self-efficacy than those who
did not have the intervention.
• Kathleen M. Carroll, PhD, of the Yale University School of
Medicine, who presented preliminary data on the effectiveness
of Computer Based Training for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
with veterans. Carroll also presented on findings that effective
substance use interventions reduce co-occurring problems,
including an integrative mode of PTSD and substance use
disorders treatment, and discussed how to move evidence-
Briefing moderator Charles O’Keeffe takes questions from the audience.
Briefing participants Drs. Michael E. Kilpatrick, Wilson M. Compton, Charles
O’Keeffe, Abigail Gewirtz and Kathleen M. Carroll.
based therapies into VA practice.
—CHRISTINE JAMIESON, APA’S SCIENCE DIRECTORATE
To watch a video about the event from the
National Institute on Drug Abuse, go to www.