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Senate Panel Wants Program to Assist Military with Substance Use Needs

September 25, 2019

The Senate Appropriations Committee report on the fiscal 2020 Department of Defense spending bill that it narrowly approved this month includes language calling for a pilot program to assist servicemembers struggling with substance use and related issues.

Heritage Health Solutions, a Texas-based provider of integrated health care and pharmacy benefit management services, lauded the committee's direction on the subject, stating that servicemembers and their families need additional tools to handle issues related to their service. The Department of Veterans Affairs is among the integrated health organization's clients.

Heritage Health Solutions last week issued a news release that quotes the committee report on the Department of Defense appropriations bill. The report states, “The Committee understands that wounded, ill and injured servicemembers and their families face complicated and complex challenges, which at times can lead to attempts at self-medication and other substance use disorders.”

The report goes on to state that the Appropriations Committee supports programs that use harm reduction techniques and that offer confidential educational information to reduce substance use and related problems. As such, “the Committee encourages the Department to establish a health support and education pilot program at Army bases with transition units to provide servicemembers and their families with a comprehensive, Internet-based educational program and tools related to substance use in order to assist and safeguard their warrior care and transition,” the committee report states.

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