Institute for Behavioral Health

SUPIC: The Substance Use and Psychological Injury Combat Study

Brandeis University investigators (Drs. Mary Jo Larson and Rachel Sayko Adams) constructed the Substance Use and Psychological Injury Combat Study (SUPIC) database in multi-year studies funded by the National Institutes of Health, with sponsorship from the Defense Health Agency. The SUPIC database integrates data from the Department of Defenses’ (DoD) Military Health System (MHS) and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to improve understanding of both short and long-term morbidity and mortality for post-9/11 military members and Veterans.

The SUPIC project remains highly innovative and has not been replicated in size, scope, or topic. It currently compiles longitudinal data on over 865,000 Army soldiers who returned from a deployment in fiscal years 2008-2014, and is being expanded to include military members from all branches. MHS data is inclusive of direct and purchased health care utilization records, pharmacy fills, and researchers have appended postdeployment surveys, deployment history, and military discharge information. Uniquely, the SUPIC team has successfully been able to follow SUPIC military members as they leave the military to observe which soldiers utilize care in the VHA, and to examine how their health care history during military service is associated with health outcomes once in the VHA.

This unique database has supported numerous publications and grants that increase understanding of the needs and resources required to care for military members postdeployment, and provides critical information to enhance prevention and intervention efforts.


Recent Publications

Rachel Sayko Adams, Principal Investigator, was recently interviewed by U.S. News and World Report on the spike in suicides by U.S. Veterans in the decades since the September 11th attacks:

Lisa Brenner, Multiple Principal Investigator, on the SUPIC Suicide Risk grant, was recently interviewed in Time Magazine on a recent SUPIC publication on the link between traumatic brain injury and suicide:

Featured Research

2023 PLOS One Paper

Trends in suicide rates by race and ethnicity among members of the United States Army.

2022 BMC Health Services Research paper

The relationship between capacity and utilization of nonpharmacologic therapies in the US Military Health System.

Other Journal Articles

Rachel S. Adams, PhD'13, Scientist

2022 Injury Epidemiology Paper

Time-dependent suicide rates among Army soldiers returning from an Afghanistan/Iraq deployment, by military rank and component.

2021 Health Services Research paper

Do nonpharmacological services offset opioids in pain treatment for soldiers?

SUPIC studies have been funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (2R01AT008404), the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Mental Health and Office of the Director at NIH, and Uniformed Services University Health Services Research Program (see SUPIC studies page for more details on funding). The opinions and assertions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the DoD, Uniformed Services University, the Veterans Health Administration, or the National Institutes of Health. Major Ryan C. Costantino, PharmD and HSR PhD, Enterprise Intelligence & Data Solutions (EIDS) Program Management Office (PMO), Defense Health Management Systems (DHMS) Program Executive Office (PEO), of the Uniformed Services University is the Department of Defense data sponsor.