October 2018
In honor of the service and sacrifice of our veterans, service members, and their families, this month’s Spotlight focuses on Veterans Day and ways to support veterans in our communities.
November 17

Thanksgiving – November 22
Application Deadline November 9 th

Holly Sairsingh, Phyllis Solomon, Amy Helstrom, and Dan Treglia
The authors surveyed 128 female veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. They found no link between combat exposure and depressive symptoms , and social support did not affect this relationship. However, their analyses revealed that lower levels of depression were related to higher levels of social support and financial comfort.
Diana Bennett, David Morris, Minden Sexton, Erin Bonar, and Stephen Chermack
In a sample of 697 veterans with a history of trauma exposure who were seeking VA specialty mental health care, post-traumatic stress symptoms were associated with violent legal charges among veterans, but not with non-violent charges. The relationship exceeded those related to age, sex, race, heavy alcohol use, and cocaine use. Intrusive symptoms were particularly associated with violent crimes.
Phillip Fucella, Natalie Purcell, Kristine Burkman, Jessica Keyser, and Shira Maguen
The treatment program Impact of Killing (IOK) helps veterans process the moral and post-traumatic stress of having killed in combat. The authors interviewed 28 veterans who completed the course and learned that this was the first time any of the veterans had processed their moral injuries. They found that IOK helped veterans accept their emotions around killing, think about their beliefs concerning killing, and move towards acceptance and self-forgiveness.
Eric Elbogen, Ryan Wagner, Mira Brancu, Nathan Kimbrel, Jennifer Naylor, Cindy Swinkels, and John Fairbank
In an evaluation completed by the VA, 1,172 veterans were surveyed, 2.7 percent of which had received an ‘other than honorable’ (OTH) discharge. In comparison to those discharged under honorable conditions, veterans with OTH discharge statuses were more likely to have lower levels of social support, be younger, have sleep problems, have a family history of drug abuse and depression, have higher scores on drug misuse measures, have a history of incarceration, and meet the major depressive disorder diagnostic criteria. Further analysis revealed that OTH status was associated with drug misuse and incarceration as well.
Qinghua He, Xiaolu Huang, Ofir Turel, Marya Schulte, David Huang, April Thames, Antoine Bechara, and Yih-Ing Hser
The preliminary study focused on 39 male veterans who had been addicted to cocaine but had maintained a period of sobriety ranging between 1 and 30 years. In the wake of abstinence, brain recovery primarily occurred in the neural systems associated with reward, craving, and inhibitory control. Decision-making neural systems improved to a lesser extent. Findings indicate that male veterans who previously used cocaine experience a higher risk of lapses in judgment and decision-making in the long term as compared to non-users, which may put them at a higher risk of relapse.
Elizabeth Evans, Dawn Upchurch, Tracy Simpson, Alison Hamilton, and Katherine Hoggatt
Using data from the 2012-2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC-III), the study analyzed data from more than 3,000 veterans and 33,000 civilians. Male and female veterans had similar proportions of alcohol and drug use disorders, and childhood adversity heightened the risk of alcohol use disorders for male veterans. E xperiencing childhood adversity increased the proportion of civilian women with an alcohol use disorder to match that of the proportion of veteran women with alcohol use disorder.
Practitioner Publications
The American Institute of Stress
The Combat Stress magazine recently released its fall 2018 issue, which contains articles on veteran suicide and moral injury. The magazine aims to help veterans and their families cope and manage the stress of the military life in their own ways. Previous issues of Combat Stress are also available through the link above.

Department of Veterans Affairs
This poster is free to the public and is a creative way of advertising the upcoming Veterans Day (November 11). The work of art won the VA’s annual competition. Past winning art can be seen here .
Multimedia Resources
(Webinars, Podcasts, Online Resources)
National Drug Court Resource Center
Join the National Drug Court Resource Center and host, Anna Koozmin, as she interviews treatment court teams in Great Falls, Montana, a town at the center of the opioid crisis. Learn about the opioid epidemic through the lens of a veterans and a drug treatment team in the three-part series.

TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing
In this free webinar, grief and resilience expert Allison Gilbert will teach viewers ways of remembering and celebrating their loved ones who have passed on. Her strategies come from her book, Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive . This webinar may be a valuable tool for those suffering from grief or working with those who are.
TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing
This free webinar is aimed at helping family and friends process the overdose death of a loved one. It proposes answers to some of the tough questions that come with deaths related to substance abuse. Furthermore, it dives into survivors’ grief and loss of losing someone twice: once to substance abuse and chronic illness and then again to overdose.
This podcast focuses on telling the previously untold stories of veterans, both on and off the field of combat. Sometimes uproariously funny and sometimes moving, these podcasts cover history, modern issues, and military life through the eyes of veterans.
Make the Connection is a website that offers resources to veterans, their families, and clinicians. In addition to web and print-based resources on mental health, finances, homelessness, spirituality, and employment, Make the Connection offers 740 short videos with advice for veterans and their families in almost any situation in life.
Similar to Facebook, this site specializes in helping veterans reconnect with service buddies, all the way from the Vietnam era to the present. With more than 2.5 million members, the site is also a resource for military records, upcoming events, photos, stories, etc.
Effective 10/9/2018. This act increases compensation rates for veterans with service-connected disabilities. It also serves to increase the dependency rates and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans.
Effective 9/17/2018. This act requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to hire at least 50 additional veterans justice outreach (VJO) specialists to provide treatment court services to justice-involved veterans and to ensure veterans have greater access to veterans treatment courts.
In the News
Events Calendar
Make Plans! Upcoming Events Notice
December 13: Orlando, FL: Orlando Veterans Job Fair

November Events

November 2–3: Austin, TX: All African American Community Flight
November 3: Kemah, TX: 2018 DAV 5K National Series
November 3: Tulsa, OK: 2018 DAV 5K National Series
November 4: Newport News, VA: 2018 DAV 5K National Series
November 9-12: Moab, UT: Rock Climbing and Mountain Biking
November 10: Circleville, OH: Dan Fout Memorial Hunt
November 10: Gardiner, NY: Fall VetFest Rock Climbing
November 10: Atlanta, GA: 2018 DAV 5K National Series
November 10: Boston, MA: 2018 DAV 5K National Series
November 10: Cincinnati, OH: 2018 DAV 5K National Series
November 13: Newport Beach, CA: Fletcher Jones Motor Patriots Promise 2018
November 13-17: San Antonio, TX: The Power Breath Meditation Workshop
November 26-30: Washington, D.C.: The Power Breath Meditation Workshop
November 29-December 2: Las Vegas, NV: Nevada Bowling Tournament (Paralyzed Veterans of America)

November 2, 2018 - Butler, PA
November 2, 2018 - Columbia, SC
November 2, 2018 - Gallup, NM
November 2, 2018 - Jeffersonville, IN
November 2, 2018 - Kennewick, WA
November 2, 2018 - Kokomo, IN
November 2, 2018 - Raleigh, NC
November 2, 2018 - San Antonio, TX
November 2, 2018 - Tillamook, OR
November 3, 2018 - Fort Collins, CO
November 3, 2018 - Idaho Falls, ID
November 3, 2018 - Palmetto, FL
November 3, 2018 - Princeton, WV
November 7, 2018 - Fargo, ND
November 7, 2018 - Warsaw, IN
November 8, 2018 - Denver, CO
November 8, 2018 - Lake City, FL
November 8, 2018 - Rapid City, SD
November 9, 2018 - Biloxi, MS
November 9, 2018 - Corpus Christi, TX
November 9 - 10, 2018 - Santa Fe, NM
November 9 - 10, 2018 - St. Helens, OR
November 9, 2018 - St. Louis, MO
November 9, 2018 - Torrance, CA
November 10, 2018 - Martinsburg, WV
November 10, 2018 - Racine, WI
November 11, 2018 - Hanford, CA
November 12, 2018 - Covina, CA
November 13, 2018 - Albany, GA
November 13, 2018 - Richmond, VA
November 14, 2018 - Fort Worth, TX
November 14, 2018 - Salem, VA
November 14, 2018 - Springfield, MO
November 15, 2018 - Grand Forks, ND
November 16, 2018 - Chicago, IL
November 16, 2018 - Decatur, IL
November 16, 2018 - Laredo, TX
November 16, 2018 - Olympia, WA
November 16, 2018 - Omaha, NE
November 16, 2018 - Roswell, NM
November 17, 2018 - Hampton, VA
November 20 - 22, 2018 - Yuma, AZ

Contribute to the Next Issue
To submit content for the next issue of this newsletter, please email ndcrc@american.edu 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  ndcrc@american.edu  with any inquiries.
National Drug Court Resource Center | Justice Programs Office