Slurred speech, poor balance and coordination are common symptoms of head trauma — behaviors that can come across as though someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That can be confusing for law enforcement. A new state training course helps them tell the difference. And in the wake of recent police shootings, officers in the course say they see it as one more tool to help them de-escalate situations.

With more than 1.7 million veterans in Texas, the Health and Human Services Commission worked with the Texas Veterans Commission to develop the training to include information on the effects of combat-related trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.


This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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Alana Rocha and Justin Dehn, The Texas Tribune

Alana Rocha joined the Tribune staff as the multimedia reporter after working eight years in television and radio news. Justin Dehn is a multimedia producer at the Tribune whose focus is video and television...