New book offers tools for veterans struggling with substance use and chronic pain

Hazelden Publishing's "End Your Covert Mission" helps veterans explore and find a path to recovery
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Hazelden Publishing's "End Your Covert Mission" helps veterans explore and find a path to recovery

Center City, Minn. (Nov. 3, 2022) — The unique experiences of America's 19 million military veterans contribute to a constellation of challenges, with more than 30% reporting mental health concerns such as PTSD, 28% reporting moderate to high levels of daily pain, and more than 10% reporting substance use disorders, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs—which is why Hazelden Publishing has released End Your Covert Mission: A Veteran's Guide to Fighting Pain and Addictionthe first book to examine these intersections.

Written by members of the veteran community who are specialists in trauma, veteran culture, substance use disorder, pain management, and rehabilitation, End Your Covert Mission is a resource for veterans who experience a wide variety of pain, including physical, social, and psychological effects of their service. Authors and spouses Dustin Brockberg, PhD, LP, and Kerry Brockberg, PhD, LP, combine clinicians' perspectives with veteran voices while offering specific recovery steps and exercises.

"As a veteran myself and a professional therapist who has experienced and helped other veterans move through many of the challenges related to our service, I wanted to share hope and no-nonsense tips and guidance in a way that could reach more people," said Dustin Brockberg, psychologist at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, adjunct faculty member at the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies, and Operation Iraqi Freedom Army veteran. "There are real humans behind the numbers of those struggling, and I hope the resources we've collected will help many forge a path forward to healing."

"Much of the literature for veterans is focused on post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and while that's a significant issue, it's only part of the picture we see when working with veterans," said Kerry Brockberg, rehabilitation psychologist at the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute. "By broadening our focus to include pain and substance use, and sharing personal stories from real veterans, I think our book will be relatable to many people who can benefit from the concrete strategies and steps we offer for becoming healthier and happier."

End Your Covert Mission is available nationally and internationally wherever books are sold, including directly from Hazelden Publishing at

Earlier this year, Hazelden Publishing, part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, released a related book entitled Leave No One Behind, an anthology of daily meditations on hope and healing written by and for military service members and veterans who are in recovery from addiction and mental health conditions.

About the authors

Dustin Brockberg, PhD, is a licensed psychologist working in the field of integrated substance use disorder treatment and mental health care. He served in the United States Army from 2004 to 2008 and was deployed to Iraq. His clinical interests include veteran-related issues, grief, loss, affect phobia (the fear of feelings and expressing them), and trauma.

Kerry Brockberg, PhD, is a licensed psychologist working in the field of rehabilitation. Her current practice focuses on people with chronic pain, brain injuries, and other chronic illnesses and disabilities. She specializes in the development of tangible, psychological approaches connecting the mind and body to improve overall functioning and quality of life.

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in its services and throughout the organization, which also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.