When veterans come home from deployment, it should be a time of celebration. However, many face challenges while readjusting to life at home. One of the most significant areas of concern is the connection between veterans and substance abuse. The rates of drug and alcohol use among those who have experienced combat are much higher than average. Substance use disorders severely affect many veterans’ physical and mental health, making it even more difficult to readjust to civilian life. However, there is treatment and help available.
If you or someone you love is a military veteran battling substance use disorder, contact Fort Behavioral Health. Our co-occurring disorder treatment programs can provide those who have served in the military with the support they need to recover from PTSD and addiction. Reach out to our compassionate team today by calling 844.332.1807.
What’s the Connection Between Veterans and Substance Abuse?
Addiction is a complex disease often caused by several factors. A person’s genetics, environment, and past trauma can all contribute to developing a substance use disorder. Additional factors may support the connection between veterans and substance abuse:
Physical and Psychological Effects of Combat
Combat can be highly stressful and traumatic, leaving soldiers with ongoing physical and mental health issues. The stress of battle can lead to several mental health issues, including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Individuals l may cope with psychological symptoms by self-medication with drugs or alcohol. They may also use substances to numb physical pain or other injuries.
Transitioning Back Into Civilian Life
The military has a unique set of values vastly different from civilian life. Without the structure of military service, individuals may lack support and guidance, making it challenging to adjust upon deployment. This transition period can be especially tough on those with PTSD or mental health issues. As a result, many turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with these feelings.
Many veterans may feel ashamed or embarrassed about seeking help for mental health or substance use issues due to fear of being seen as weak by their peers or superiors. This reluctance to get professional help might prompt them to use alcohol or drugs instead of therapy or medication prescribed by experienced addiction specialists.
How a Veteran’s Treatment Program Can Help
Addiction treatment for veterans provides a combination of therapies, medications, and other supportive services designed to address the unique needs of those who have served in the military. These programs aim to help veterans overcome substance use disorders and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. They can also address co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD and addiction, to promote overall wellness.
The first step is usually detoxification, which helps to remove any remaining substances from the body. Individuals may accomplish this in an inpatient or outpatient setting, depending on their specific needs and clinician recommendations. During this phase, medical staff will monitor vital signs and administer medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms, making detox safe and comfortable.
Once detox is complete, veterans will generally begin therapy and counseling sessions. These include individual counseling like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help veterans identify triggers that may have led to their addiction and manage cravings. Group therapy sessions can allow veterans to get crucial support from others who are going through similar experiences.
Get Help in Veteran’s Addiction Treatment at Fort Behavioral Health
At Fort Behavioral Health in Fort Worth, TX, we offer comprehensive, evidence-based treatments and therapies for those who have served in the military. Our team has a wealth of experience working with veterans, and we provide individualized treatment plans based on each client’s needs. We are committed to helping our clients achieve lasting recovery. Contact us at 844.332.1807 to speak to one of our friendly admissions staff today.