TAKING CARE OF AMERICA S VETERANS

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1 TAKING CARE OF AMERICA S VETERANS Freedom and Recovery Conference BARRY R. McCAFFREY GENERAL, USA (RETIRED) 211 N. Union Street, Suite 100 Alexandria, VA of 14

2 BIOGRAPHY OF GENERAL BARRY R. MCCAFFREY, USA (RET.) Barry McCaffrey served in the United States Army for 32 years and retired as a four-star General. At retirement, he was the most highly decorated serving General, having been awarded three Purple Heart medals (wounded in combat three times), two Distinguished Service Crosses (the nation s second highest award for valor) and two Silver Stars for valor. For five years after leaving the military, General McCaffrey served as the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Upon leaving government service, he served as the Bradley Distinguished Professor of International Security Studies from ; and an Adjunct Professor of International Security Studies from at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. He served as an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Sciences from teaching American Government and Comparative Politics. General McCaffrey has been elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and the Atlantic Council of the United States. He is also: a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; an Associate of the Inter-American Dialogue; Chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Education Center Advisory Board; and is a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Infantry Foundation and the National Armor & Calvary Heritage Foundation. He has served on the Board of Directors of several corporations in the engineering design, technology, and services sectors. He is on the Board of Directors of CRC Health Group the nation s largest behavioral health care company. General McCaffrey attended Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.; and graduated from West Point with a Bachelor of Science degree. He earned a master's degree in American Government from American University and attended the Harvard University National Security Program as well as the Business School Executive Education Program. In 2007 he was inducted into the US Army Ranger Hall of Fame at the US Army Infantry Center, Ft. Benning, GA. In May 2010, he was honored as a Distinguished Graduate by the West Point Association of Graduates at the United States Military Academy. General McCaffrey is married to Jill Ann McCaffrey. They have three adult children and six grandchildren. Their son, Colonel Sean McCaffrey, is currently serving in Afghanistan. Currently, General McCaffrey is President of his own consulting firm based in Alexandria, Virginia. He also serves as a national security and terrorism analyst for NBC News. 2 of 14

3 I am honored to be the opening speaker at this important conference focusing on our Veterans Special Recognition to: Rob Waggoner, CEO of Foundations Recovery Network Andy Eckert, CEO of CRC Health Group CEO Diane Vchulek, 12 Oaks Treatment Center Program Director and creator of the Aspire program Christopher Bailey, a 12 OAKS Alumnus To all the dedicated providers of behavioral health services specifically TriCare facilities such as: Wilmington Treatment Center in NC Twelve Oaks Treatment Center in FL Starlite Recovery Center in TX Life Center of Galax in VA 211 N. Union Street, Suite 100 Alexandria, VA of 14

4 It is crucial that we integrate military families into treatment. More than two million service members have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan in the last ten years. Our nation s service men and women are experiencing unprecedented rates of mental, emotional and substance use disorders, including historically high suicide rates. Military families are vulnerable to the stresses of deployment; research indicates that the cumulative impact of multiple deployments is associated with more emotional difficulties among military children and more mental health diagnoses among spouses. In January 2011, the Department of Defense committed to a multi-year strategic initiative. Treatment providers must respond to this urgent need by developing effective interventions to meet the increasing demand for services among our military personnel and their families. 211 N. Union Street, Suite 100 Alexandria, VA of 14

5 The tragedies of Fort Hood, Kandahar, and elsewhere make headlines as outliers, but YOU make PROGRESS in helping the vast numbers of our military, families, and veterans. 211 N. Union Street, Suite 100 Alexandria, VA of 14

6 OUR US MILITARY FORCES Department of Defense 1.4 million active duty. 1.1 million National Guard and Reserves. 718,000 civilian personnel. 5,000+ global locations. Budget 2011 $549.1 billion. 23 million veterans (7.5% of U.S. population). 1.6 million U.S. troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan. 53,263 killed and wounded. THE MOST PROFESSIONAL AND COMBAT HARDENED BATTLE FORCE IN THE NATION S HISTORY. 6 of 14

7 PTSD AND OUR VETERANS Affects 11-20% of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. 10% of Gulf War Desert Storm veterans. 30% of Vietnam Veterans. Factors include combat, the politics of the war, where its fought, and the type of enemy you face. 7-8% of the U.S. population will have PTSD at some point in their lives. Women (10%) more likely than men (5%) to develop PTSD at some point in their lives. 7 of 14

8 PTSD SYMPTOMS Upsetting memories. Increased jumpiness hyper-arousal. Trouble sleeping. Scared, confused, angry. Feeling of helplessness. May also include alcohol or drug problems. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or anti-depression medication (SSRI) may provide relief. 8 of 14

9 TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY Brain injury trauma caused by accident, blast, or fall. TBI basically a concussion. Damage may cause bleeding between the brain and the skull. Bruises may form on brain matter. Length of time person knocked out one way to measure severity. Less than 30 minutes minor or mild. Even patients with moderate or severe TBI can make remarkable recoveries. Symptoms headache, vision problems, memory problems, trouble putting thoughts into words, depression, personality changes. 22% of all OEF/OIF wounds are brain injuries (12% for Vietnam wounds). Symptoms for combat wounded may last months after TBI. IED s and landmines are the signature weapon of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. (3,000+ per month Iraq 2006) (1,600+ per month Afghanistan June 2011). 9 of 14

10 SUICIDE AND VETERANS U.S. general population suffers 30,000 to 32,000 suicides per year. 20% are veterans (18 deaths per day). Suicide rate - U.S. males per 100,000. U.S. females Suicide rate male veterans (VA users) per 100,000. (Females 13.59). Highest risk among those veterans wounded multiple times and hospitalized. Not linked necessarily to overseas deployments. 2,293 U.S. military suicides past decade. (295 in 2010). Traditionally military service members have been less likely to die by suicide than civilians data Army and Marine suicide rates more than double general population. Rates higher for those with multiple deployments, younger, Caucasian, enlisted, previous psychiatric diagnosis, alcohol or drug use (30%), legal problems, history of self-injury or mutilation. 10 of 14

11 VETERANS THE NATURE OF ADDICTION History of adolescent drug behavior. Addictive Neuro-chemical changes in brain function. Co-morbidity (mental health). The influence of environment (parents, peers). The influence of genetics. U.S. military illegal drug use rates low but increasing. Alcohol abuse a major problem 27% returning Iraq/Afghanistan troops. Prescription drug misuse up 11%. 11 of 14

12 HOMELESS VETERANS One-fifth of the homeless population veterans. 56% African American or Hispanic. 107,00 veterans homeless on any given night. 76% experience alcohol, drug, or mental health problems. 33% served in a war zone. 47% served Vietnam era. 12 of 14

13 INCARCERATED VETERANS 140,000 veterans held in state and federal prisons. Male veterans half as likely as other men to be held in prison. (630 vs. 1,390 per 100,000). Veterans less likely than non-veteran prisoners to have used drugs. Over half of veterans (57%) were serving time for violent offenses compared to 47% of non-veterans. Nearly one in four veterans in state prison were sex offenders to one in 10 non-veterans. More than a third of veterans in state prison had maximum sentence of at least 20 years, life, or death. 13 of 14

14 CONCLUSIONS MILITARY VETERANS The most current combat forces characterized by enormous courage, dedication, competence. ALL VOLUNTEERS. The U.S. Armed Forces the most respected institution in American society (79%). U.S. combat forces smallest force any modern U.S. conflict. Multiple deployments. No end in sight. We must care for our veterans. They have stepped forward to defend us. 14 of 14

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