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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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From October 2001 through November 2007, approximately 1.6 million military service men and women were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF), with one-third having more than one tour of duty (Congressional Research Service, 2008). An estimated 18.5% of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have an active mental health condition, 14 % have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Tantielian & Jaycox, Eds, 2008), and over half have two or more mental health diagnoses (Seal, et. al, 2007). Problematic alcohol use among returning veterans is approximately 25%, significantly higher than pre-deployment levels (Hoge, et. al, 2004). Diagnoses of alcohol use disorders increased from 1.1% to 7.1%, and drug use disorders increased
from 0.2% to 3.0% among veterans from 2002 to 2008 (Seal, et. al, 2009). Despite the high rate of mental health symptoms and problematic substance use among veterans, fewer than half seek care for these concerns (Hoge, et. al, 2004).