Prevalence of substance use disorders among veterans and comparable nonveterans from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates over 200 substance abuse treatment programs. Historically, planning for these services has not been informed by population-level prevalence data. Accordingly, the authors analyzed the National Survey on Drug Use and Health data from 2000 to 2003 to estimate substance use and substance use disorder prevalence among all veterans. The authors present the data in comparison to comparable nonveterans. Data show notable rates of substance use among veterans; 22.6% and 4.4% of veterans reported binge drinking and any illicit drug use in the past month, respectively. In addition, prevalence varied by geographic location. Monitoring substance use prevalence is needed to ensure the VA and other substance use providers can plan appropriate substance use disorder services for current and future enrollees, including veterans of the current military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserve