SAN DIEGO, April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four-Star General Barry McCaffrey (ret), former U.S. Drug Czar and a commander in the Gulf War, will lead the keynote opening a San Diego national conference on veterans with substance abuse and mental health issues including PTSD. The event, the Foundations Recovery Network 35th national conference, is entitled, "Freedom and Recovery: Integrated Mental Health and Addiction Treatment for Veterans." The opening keynote is 8:30-10AM Monday, April 23, at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. The keynote session is open to the media, and a press availability follows at 10AM, with Q&A for media. The conference is April 23-26.
Joining McCaffrey in the opening keynote session will be Foundations President Rob Waggoner, CRC Health Group Andrew Eckert (the country's largest behavioral and substance abuse treatment provider), Diane Vchulek, Twelve Oaks Treatment Center (Navarre, FL) Program Director, counselor, and creator of the "Aspire" program; and Christopher, a service member who courageously benefited from treatment and will describe his experience (Media note—his discussion will be candid and powerful).
Gen. McCaffrey stated, "The tragedies of Fort Hood, Kandahar, and elsewhere make headlines, but you (treatment providers) make progress in helping the vast numbers of our military, families, and veterans." McCaffrey pointed out that, "While we have the most professional and combat hardened battle force in the nation's history, PTSD affects 11-20% of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. 20% of the 30,000 suicides per year in the U.S. are veterans—18 deaths per day." In addition, McCaffrey said that, "alcohol abuse is a major problem—27% of returning Iraq/Afghanistan troops -- and prescription drug misuse is up 11%."
CRC CEO Eckert asserted, "There is a disturbing trend happening in this country. As many as 30 percent of returning military from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have reported symptoms of a mental health disorder. Over 7 percent of veterans – almost 2 million adults – met criteria for a past-year substance use disorder. Treatment and recovery can positively affect our revered military, just as it can for the over 23 million Americans who need but do not receive treatment according to HHS."
Contact: Bob Weiner/Richard Mann 301-283-0821 or 202-306-1200 [email protected]
SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates and CRC Health Group