Iraq War Clinician Guide, Second Edition

Substance Abuse in the Deployment Environment

About the Course:

The Iraq War Clinician Guide was developed by members of the National Center for PTSD and the Department of Defense. It was developed specifically for clinicians and addresses the unique needs of veterans of the Iraq war. Chapter 12 proposes a simple process to screen individuals for substance abuse. The authors suggest that care providers employ the screen in the three phases of pre-deployment, in the combat zone, and upon evacuation. The data gained at each juncture will help the clinician’s decision-making process in clarifying the contribution of substance use to a muddled clinical picture, taking appropriate treatment steps, forestalling some unnecessary evacuations, and prompting the best match between the individual’s needs and the military mission.


National Center for PTSD and the Department of Veterans Affairs

Publication Date:

June, 2004


R. Gregory Lande, DO FACN, Barbara A. Marin, Ph.D., and Josef I. Ruzek Ph.D.

About the Author:

R. Gregory Lande, DO FACN, and Barbara A. Marin, Ph.D., are associated with Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Josef I. Ruzek, Ph.D., is associated with the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially addiction counselors, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about substance abuse in the deployment environment. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Discuss the importance of screening for substance abuse in the pre-deployment environment, the combat zone, and post-deployment.

  2. Explain the screening tools most likely to be of use in determining a soldier’s level of substance use.

  3. Identify the factors to be considered when making treatment decisions for soldiers with substance abuse issues.

Exam Questions

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