Record-Breaking Number of Hill Staff Attend Briefing on Returning Veterans

A crowd of over 200 Capitol Hill and federal agency staff members showed up to hear the congressional briefing, “Military Personnel, Veterans and Their Families: How Research is Effecting Positive Change” due to a growing concern over the number of service men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from range of difficulties.

A July 14 congressional briefing entitled “Military Personnel, Veterans and Their Families: How Research is Effecting Positive Change” drew a crowd of over 200 Capitol Hill and federal agency staff amidst growing concern for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

APA organized this educational event on behalf of the Friends of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) due to the number of veterans who are experiencing a range of difficulties, including traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse. New information about the problems many people experience as a consequence of war has been uncovered by NIDA, as has knowledge on using existing evidence based prevention interventions and treatments for addiction and co-occurring conditions.

Dr. Timothy Condon, PhD, Deputy Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), began the briefing with an overview of NIDA’s current and planned research portfolio in this area. He also spoke of the ongoing partnerships with the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and other NIH Institutes. Dr. Condon’s talk was followed by APA member Kathleen Carroll, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, who presented recent developments in science based therapies for addiction that can be applied to military personnel and their families, as well as areas of importance for future research. Dr. Condon also alluded to a forthcoming research collaboration between NIH and VA on Substance Abuse Research among Military Personnel, Veterans and their Families. The press release detailing this partnership was released on July 30.

This event garnered the much appreciated cosponsorship of 22 scientific and professional associations, as well as the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus.