The goal of this project is to have Canadian service dog organizations working with veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) address recovery from problematic substance use, by using evidence-informed practice, with specific attention to substance use and distance peer support in their training programs. Our multidisciplinary team identifies problematic substance use as veterans’ disconnection from other humans, as well as animals and the environment. Combining these areas is an innovative and inclusive approach to recovery. In a stepped process over 3 years, we will work alongside over a dozen service dog programs working with veterans medically diagnosed with PTSD, to understand if and how substance use and peer support is incorporated into the programs. We will develop (theory focused) and apply (practice focused) an evidence-informed substance use recovery toolkit with 30 veterans in the AUDEAMUS service dog program. We will then share the findings with the service dog organizations and mentor implementation of the toolkit. Proactive Information Services Inc., an external contractor to the project, will evaluate the outcomes.
Our team is working with over 30 researchers, patients, and system representatives in a patient-oriented approach to our project.
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