November 2018
In the spirit of the holiday season, this spotlight highlights ways in which we can show our gratitude and support for military veterans, service members, and their families during the holidays and throughout the year.


Lisa M. Najavits, Karen Krinsley, Molly E. Waring, Matthew W. Gallagher, and Christopher Skidmore
This study followed 52 male and female veterans through a randomized controlled trial comparing the effects of Creating Change (a past-based therapy approach) and Seeking Safety (a present-based therapy approach) on symptoms of PTSD and substance-use disorders. The researchers discovered positive change occurred in both participant groups and no significant differences between the two approaches.
Laura C. Wilson
To assess the overall prevalence of military sexual trauma (MST), the meta-analysis reviewed 69 studies that employed measures for both harassment and assault among veterans and/or military personnel. Both males and females were victims of MST, but female victimization was more prevalent in terms of both harassment and physical assault. Overall, approximately 14 percent of those in the samples across studies reported physical assault (2 percent of males, 24 percent of females), while 31 percent experienced harassment (9 percent of men, 53 percent of women.
Solomon Kalkstein, James Cobb Scott, Rachel Vickers Smith, and Jourdan Cruz
This study followed 134 veterans who completed anger management groups at a Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, 76 veterans with and 58 without post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Self-checklists administered pre- and post-treatment measured anger in both groups and PTSD symptoms in the PTSD group. Improvements in anger, reactivity, and vengeance were statistically significant overall (PTSD and non-PTSD groups did not differ). No improvements in PTSD symptoms were evident in the PTSD group.
Kristine Burkman, Natalie Purcell, and Shira Maguen
Ten treatment providers from a large VA medical center were given access to the teaching materials for the Impact of Killing (IOK) moral injury treatment program. The providers reviewed the materials and were interviewed to obtain feedback on IOK’s “advantage, compatibility, complexity/simplicity, trialability, and observability.” The respondents perceived IOK to be a novel approach that is feasible and acceptable.
Brooke A. Bartlett, Lia J. Smith, Jana K. Tran, and Anka A. Vujanovic
This study aimed to discover if there were higher rates of traumatic experiences, suicidality, and alcohol consumption in firefighters with a background of military service when compared to civilian firefighters. The study focused on 910 career firefighters, 209 of which reported veteran status. Trauma, suicidality, and alcohol consumption were evident in both groups. Veterans reported significantly higher levels of sleep disturbance, depression, and PTSD symptom severity in comparison to their non-veteran counterparts. However, these effect sizes were small, meaning that differences between groups were not significant.
Michelle Colder Carras, Anna Kalbarczyk, Kurrie Wells, Jaime Banks, Rachel Kowert, Colleen Gillespie, and Carl Latkin
This exploratory study analyzed interview data on the gaming habits of 20 veterans in treatment for mental or behavioral health problems. According to the veterans, video games aided in mood and stress management, adaptive coping, eudaimonic well-being, and socializing. However, excessive play was related to life problems and feelings of gaming addiction. Overall, reasons for gaming varied, and some veterans perceived gaming as beneficial.
Practitioner Publications
National Drug Court Resource Center
This webpage serves as a guide to the opioid crisis in America. Use this page to explore overdose procedures, options for opioid use disorder treatment, the federal and state responses to this public health epidemic, and more. This resource defines key terms, presents national statistics, and lists the signs of an opioid overdose, as well as provides instructions on what to do in the event of an overdose. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and drug treatment courts are also addressed in relation to opioid use disorders.

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center – A Head fort the Future
This factsheet defines traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), discusses the common symptoms and signs of a TBI, reveals the most prevalent causes of head injuries, and discusses methods for preventing future TBIs. Information on what to do if you suspect that you or a loved one has suffered from TBI is also included.
Multimedia Resources
(Webinars, Podcasts, Online Resources)
Southeast ADA Center
This three-part recorded webinar series introduces us to the power of poetry and prose for veterans and healing. The authors discuss readjustment to civilian life, disabilities, war in literature, and the way in which creative writing has assisted in transition into civilian life. 

Department of Veterans Affairs
This webpage contains tips and resources for caregivers who are living or working with veterans requiring mental health support (e.g., PTSD, TBI), medication support, and health services. Caregivers can communicate with one another and share advice for staying emotionally healthy while coping with the stress of caregiving.

War Related Illness and Injury Study Center
This collection of 18 videos introduces viewers to the benefits of Integrative Medicine for veterans, a set of health practices that includes deep breathing, meditation, Qigong, and yoga. This toolkit provides information on each of these practices and guided demonstrations for those wishing to learn more. Captions are available for each video.
Effective 8/28/2018. This legislation authorizes the establishment of treatment courts (including veterans treatment courts) under one regulatory umbrella in the State of Missouri. The law also allows for a Treatment Court Commission which will establish best standards and practices for the state’s various treatment courts.
Effective 10/24/2018. This act provides Medicaid and Medicare with additional measures for addressing the opioid crisis, including the creation of a peer-support counseling program for female veterans.
In the News
Events Calendar
Make Plans! Upcoming Events Notice

January 3-5: Orlando, FL: NATCON 2019 (Student Veterans of America)

December Events

December 5-9: Devens, MA: The Power Breath Meditation Workshop
December 5-9: Boise, ID: The Power Breath Meditation Workshop
December 6-10: San Diego, CA: The Power Breath Meditation Workshop
December 13: Orlando, FL: Orlando Veterans Job Fair

December 6, 2018 - Niagara Falls, NY
December 7, 2018 - Newport, OR
December 13, 2018 - Horseheads, NY
December 13 - 14, 2018 - Seattle, WA
December 15, 2018 - Dallas, TX
December 23 - 25, 2018 - Yuma, AZ
Contribute to the Next Issue
To submit content for the next issue of this newsletter, please email with "Veterans’ Justice and Mental Health Newsletter” in the subject line.
Our mission is to inform policy, practice, and scholarship through the distribution of current veterans treatment court-related resources.   
The  National Drug Court Resource, Policy, and Evidence-Based Practice Center , funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and operated by the Justice Programs Office (JPO) at American University, strives to provide practitioners and professionals working in the drug court field with current resources and upcoming events.  Please email  with any inquiries.
National Drug Court Resource Center | Justice Programs Office