Strategies for Pain Management and the Prevention of Opiate Misuse Webinar – Jan 10

SAMHSA’s Service Members, Veterans, and their Families Technical Assistance Center Presents:

Strategies for Pain Management and the Prevention of Opiate Misuse Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families

Date: January 10, 2018

Time: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Throughout the country, communities are striving to address the effect of serious pain in service members, veterans, and their families (SMVF) by offering prevention, treatment, and recovery alternatives, while simultaneously confronting the public health demands of the opioid crisis.  As communities work to achieve these goals, the role that pain management and opioid use play in the lives of SMVF must be factored into their efforts.

Pain management is an important consideration for many SMVF.  The National Institutes of Health cited a recent study that found that “veterans were about 40 percent more likely to experience severe pain than nonveterans[1].”  Because opiate misuse is linked to factors including chronic pain and non-medical use of prescription opioids, community-planning efforts must take into account the unique needs of SMVF.  Special consideration must be given to the inter-relationships of opioid misuse and conditions SMVF may experience, such as depression, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and suicidal ideation.  Coordinated planning and implementation of military-culturally competent, alternative strategies that will address chronic pain and prevent SMVF opioid misuse and addiction are needed.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) SMVF Technical Assistance (TA) Center will conduct a webinar in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and RAND, focusing on essential information surrounding the relationship between pain management and opiate misuse and addiction among SMVF.  Presenters will also review other compounding factors that SMVF may experience.  Strategies will be presented detailing how to support communities in their work to reduce the effects of severe pain, which can contribute to SMVF abuse of opioids.  Research on SMVF alternatives for pain management will be included.

Learning Objectives

  • Provide an overview of the research that explores the connection between SMVF opioid misuse, pain management, and use of alternative therapies for those with chronic pain
  • Review risk factors—including chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and suicidal ideation—that may be experienced by SMVF and can correlate to an increased incidence of opioid misuse and addiction
  • Identify alternative approaches to pain management
  • Describe the steps that SAMHSA and VA are taking to address these interrelated issues
  • Provide suggestions, resources, and best practice approaches that communities can use to develop concrete action plans to reduce and prevent SMVF opiate misuse and addiction


Elinore F. McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D. | Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Adam J. Gordon, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., D.F.A.S.A.M. | Chief, Addiction Medicine Primary Care, Salt Lake City VA Health Care System

Patricia M. Herman, N.D., Ph.D. | Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist; Faculty Member, Pardee RAND Graduate School


Donna Aligata, R.N.C. | Project Director, SAMHSA’s Service Members, Veterans, and their Families Technical Assistance Center, Policy Research Associates, Inc.

Target Audience

Representatives serving SMVF from state, territory, and tribal behavioral health systems; health care providers; suicide prevention coordinators; mental health and addiction peers; and military family coalitions and advocates.

Please note:

  • Participants will only be able to hear the webinar through their computer via headphones or speakers
  • Participants are asked to test their system before the broadcast
  • The webinar archive will be made available to registrants after the webinar
  • Continuing education units are not available for this webinar

If you have any questions about your registration, please contact Lisa Guerin at (518) 439-7415, ext. 5242, or by email at

[1]National Institutes of Health.  (2016.) Veterans endure higher pain severity than nonveterans [Press release].  Retrieved from

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