The Master of Public Health program in the School of Health Professions and Human Services is hosting a Veterans Day lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 11, on the growing problem of prescription drug abuse among veterans. The event will be held in the Hofstra University Club, North Campus, from 5 to 6:30 pm.
“The pain that many of our veterans endure once they experience combat isn’t only physical, but also mental and emotional, all of which can increase their risk of negative health consequences,” said event organizer Berlinda Olivier, an Iraq War veteran and a student in the Master of Public Health program. “Physicians often prescribe narcotic painkillers for veterans returning from deployment to help mediate their pain, but that can end up creating a new problem of addiction and prescription drug abuse.”
More than 25 veterans from drug and alcohol rehabilitation center Phoenix House are expected to be in attendance at the talk, entitled “Support Veterans Through Their Pain: A Look at How We Can Win the War Against Prescription Drug Abuse.” It will be delivered by Atiba Marson-Quinones, an Iraq War veteran and community intervention associate with National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., a New York City nonprofit that conducts substance abuse and bio-behavioral research. He will discuss the latest research and interventions that are in use to address this issue.
A dinner reception will be followed with an art-therapy session led by Hofstra’s Creative Art Therapy program. RSVP is required.
“Beyond creating a positive venue for our veterans to share their experiences, this event will bridge the gap between public awareness and the need to connect our veterans with the resources that they need,” added Olivier, who will graduate in May 2016.