Veterans and Addiction Treatment

Veterans and Addiction Treatment

Statistics show increasingly high rates of substance use disorders, binge drinking and addiction among active duty military and veterans. There are several unique circumstances that affect the close link between addiction, addiction treatment and veterans. For starters, veterans are exposed to massive amounts of stress, pressure and trauma. The number of prescriptions written for military members and veterans to treat physical and mental health issues has skyrocketed. Veterans are high risk for depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and suicide. This increases the risk for self-medication, long-term drug use, illicit drug use and binge drinking as veterans aim to alleviate the many symptoms of mental health disorders and brain damage. Furthermore, many soldiers and veterans feel an immense amount of pressure to uphold society’s expectations; i.e. soldiers are strong, healthy and honorable. Because there is such a stigma attached to mental health disorders, soldiers and veterans often have a tough time disclosing symptoms because they think it makes them look weak. Furthermore, it can be difficult for veterans to discuss the issues that are influencing their addictive behaviors. Mental health disorders can affect a soldier or veteran’s future employment, which is another reason many of these men and women decide to hide their symptoms and instead self-medicate with drugs or alcohol on their own.

There are always challenges of getting anyone into addiction treatment, but veterans can be especially hesitant because they do not want to tarnish their identity or reputation. Furthermore, many veteran addicts do not believe they need addiction treatment because they are legitimately treating chronic pain and other issues such as symptoms of depression, PTSD, anxiety disorders, traumatic brain injury and suicidal thoughts. Using prescription drugs or alcohol may seem justifiable to these individuals because of the immense physical and mental pain they are experiencing.

When it comes to finding addiction treatment for veterans, it is important to know that while addiction is a universal disease that affects people from all walks of life, everyone is affected by addiction differently. In the case of treating veterans, it is imperative to provide individualized treatment programs like Dual Diagnosis that can address the unique issues veterans face such as co-occurring substance use disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder. Different forms of treatment such as peer support groups, medications, individual therapy and aftercare can be used to address the many, complex issues that go along with addiction.

Quality Addiction Treatment and Recovery Services for Veterans and Families

To find quality treatment and recovery services for veterans or families of veterans, you can call our toll-free helpline; we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We understand the importance of connecting individuals with the programs and services that meet their unique needs, and are happy to assist you and your loved ones through this process. We are happy to answer your questions, address your concerns and provide you with all the information you need on addiction, treatment and recovery services for vets. If you decide you are ready for treatment, we can help find and connect you with the treatment options that are right for your individual needs. To speak with a recovery professional about recovery for veterans, call our helpline today; we’re ready to help, however we can.