Richard T. Riehle
posted on March 09, 2021 13:43
Women veterans face a unique set of challenges associated with their military service that elevate their risk for developing substance use disorders (SUD). Post-traumatic stress disorder, often due to military sexual trauma, is one such issue. Women who identify as LGBT also have an increased risk of developing SUDs. Substance use is associated with family instability, homelessness, decreased worker productivity, and declining health. SUDs also increase risk for suicidal behavior in veterans, especially in women.
Additionally, the health impact of substance use and withdrawal is different for women than those of men as are their reasons for both using substances and stopping or reducing their substance use. Understanding these differences is important to effective care.
H.R. 344, the Women Veterans TRUST Act (Women Veterans Transitional Residence Utilizing Support and Treatment Act), would require the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct a nationwide study of the need for women-specific programs to treat and rehabilitate women veterans with drug and alcohol dependency.
Following the analysis, the VA Secretary would be required select at least three VA networks to carry out a pilot program to treat and rehabilitate women veterans with drug and alcohol dependency.
DAV Resolution No. 093 supports improvement of VA substance-use disorder programs for veterans with co-morbid mental health and substance-use disorder conditions and DAV Resolution No. 020 supports improvement of VA programs and services for women veterans to ensure equal access to quality treatment and specialized services. Based on these resolutions we strongly support this bill.
Please contact your Representative to request they cosponsor and support passage of H.R. 344—the Women Veterans TRUST Act. You can use the email provided or write your own letter. Thank you for your support of the DAV Commander’s Action Network.