duty service members, Reserve and National Guard members, and military dependents), the committee’s membership needed to be well versed in the specific characteristics and needs of each of these groups. Once assembled, the committee undertook several strategies to gather the necessary information for this report.
First, the committee carried out a thorough review of all DoD, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps policies and programs related to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of SUDs to gain an understanding of how SUDs are addressed in the military. To examine services available outside the direct care system for military members and their dependents, the committee also examined the TRICARE benefit for SUD care and the accessibility and availability of such care. DoD’s Comprehensive Plan was particularly helpful for these tasks.
To supplement the information thus gathered, the committee held four public information-gathering meetings during the first year of the study. Invited speakers included representatives of the sponsoring agency and other relevant government agencies, as well as experts and researchers in the fields of SUD prevention, diagnosis, and treatment; military families; and pain management. Appendix A provides a list of the speakers who addressed the committee at these public meetings and the topics of their presentations. The committee also made site visits to SUD programs at Camp Pendleton, Fort Belvoir, San Diego Naval Hospital, Keesler Air Force Base, and Fort Hood to speak directly with individuals who provide SUD care to service members in the settings in which this care is provided. Appendix A provides more information on the committee’s site visits.
The literature the committee consulted to determine the standards by which it would assess the military policies and programs reviewed and the evidence base upon which it would issue its recommendations consisted primarily of peer-reviewed journal publications. Most of this literature addressed SUD issues among the general public, although some was military-specific. Finally, in addition to researching the etiology, epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and relapse of SUDs, the committee reviewed literature on SUDs and comorbid disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. The committee focused its attention on alcohol and other drug use and excluded tobacco use from the purview of its investigation. The IOM (2009) report Combating Tobacco in Military and Veteran Populations examines this issue in great detail and offers a variety of recommendations for tobacco use prevention and cessation.
This report consists of nine chapters. Following this introduction, Chapter 2 provides more detailed background information on the issue