The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) is launching its Military Families in Training (M-FIT) Program, which provides stress reduction skills, substance abuse prevention education, solution-focused counseling, family support, and treatment referrals to military families.
Addiction rates among active duty soldiers, returning veterans and the spouses of service men and women are several times higher than rates seen in the general population. Many of the 175,000 returning soldiers who call Long Island "home" bear the scars of war in the form of untreated mental health issues and active addiction. Major depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are prevalent in this population. For each of the 175,000 returning soldiers, there are additional 3-6 immediate family members who, without family centered services, will likely be thrown in the multi-generational cycle of addiction.
M-FIT is a dynamic, evidence-based approach to addressing these alarming statistics and providing military families with the support they need to live healthy lives. The six-week psycho-educational workshop series targets the root causes of stress and substance abuse in order to end the cycle of addiction. Participants will learn how to deal with stress of deployment, combat and the re-transition back home. The series will seek to enhance family empathy and communication, clarify family boundaries, roles and responsibilities, and strengthen family resiliency among returning service members and their loved ones.
The program is open to returning service men and women, their partners, spouses and parents, as well as their children ages 5 to 15. The six-week series will begin in Southampton, Riverhead, Huntington and Mineola in April of 2013, and is expected to serve 128 of Long Island's military families.
LICADD Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds says support for M-FIT comes at the perfect time; "with a documented upswing in addiction rates amongst military members and their families, it is essential that we address the needs of this community and the grant from LI Community Foundation will help make that goal possible."
Are you or someone you love, a returning veteran adjusting to life at home? M-FIT can provide you with military family-focused services that can ease the stress and tension you may be feeling during the transition. For more information about M-FIT, or any of LICADD's prevention education, substance abuse counseling and/or treatment referral services, please call 516.747.2606 or visit www.licadd.org.
Jeffrey L. Reynolds, Ph.D, CEAP, SAP, Executive Director
The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD)
114 Old Country Road, Suite 114
Mineola, NY 11501