There are more than 21 million veterans living in the United States. More than 1.3 million of them served in multiple wars, a handful served in more than two. The suicide rate among veterans reached an all-time high in 2012. An increasing number of them are struggling with mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, homelessness, and myriad other issues. Addiction is among one of the more pressing issues veterans face today.
War takes a toll on the mind, body, and soul. Veterans who experienced the violent and destructive nature of combat often struggle with the stress it places on their lives. Many veterans served multiple tours in recent years, experienced separation from spouses, family, children, loved ones and civilian life. Drugs or alcohol are often used as a way to mitigate the stress, trauma, and alienation of dealing with reality once they return from war. Substance abuse may begin while on active duty but usually continues long after veterans return.
Veterans are more likely to abuse alcohol than any other substance. There are treatments which utilize medication and those that do not. Therapy is often an effective tool along with medication (where needed, as directed by a licensed and trained psychiatrist) as well as connecting with other veterans who have similar experiences to share stories and build relationships.
Treatments which do not use medications can include:
- Understanding motivation for change and assisting veteran through therapy
- Improve skills for coping with civilian life and dealing with relapse triggers
- Counseling couples on recovery and tools on how to improve relationships
- Looking at how PTSD, depression, or other mental health issues relate to substance abuse
There are tools for recovery from substances such heroin, oxycodone and other pain killers. Methadone is effective for chronic opioid addiction in a clinical setting. There are residential, outpatient and various other types of programs available to receive support for addictions. The Veterans Administration (VA) offers many programs for veterans who struggle with addiction.
The following is a short list of some available services:
- Short outpatient counseling
- Intensive outpatient treatment or residential (live-in) care
- Medical management of detoxification and services to get stable
- Continuity of care and relapse prevention
- Marital and family counseling
- Self-help groups
These and many more services are available to veterans who have issues with substance abuse. Treatment is found to be more successful when services are offered not only to veterans but their loved ones as well. This holistic approach is necessary to ensure a long and successful recovery.
The Last Resort is proud to honor and support our veterans with comprehensive addiction therapy and recovery treatment. Contact us for information at 877-892-7997