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Working with court-involved military families: The effects of PTSD and substance abuse

Meyer, B.L. – 2012

A presentation on child maltreatment in military families caused by substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Presents data on child abuse and neglect in military families. Notes the connection between PTSD, substance use disorders, and child maltreatment in military families and veterans. Also notes increased risk of child maltreatment for male and female military who have experienced trauma or abuse in the past, and in military families where domestic violence is also present. Discusses stresses and other problems faced by military families. Presents an overview of PTSD, including its prevalence and relationship to substance use disorders, particularly alcohol abuse. Includes data on the rate of co-occurrence of PTSD and substance abuse, and explains why individuals with PTSD often use drugs and alcohol. Discusses the importance of integrated substance abuse and PTSD treatment, and lists recommended treatment approaches. Provides advice for family dependency court professionals on working with veterans and military families. Discusses the use of VA programs and facilities, as well as veterans treatment courts. Advocates for the development of military/veterans family dependency courts. Includes resources for further information.