Addiction Treatment

PTSD and Substance Abuse can be a dangerous combination for Veterans

Written By:

Becky Babb

PTSD and Substance Abuse can be a dangerous combination for Veterans

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can affect everyone. However, more vulnerable than most to PTSD are veterans. High levels of psychological stress in veterans can often pave way for alcohol dependency and other addictions. Problematically, this combination can lead to an exacerbated distress, acted out upon in different ways. A 2014 study published in the journal Mental Health and Substance Abuse found that veterans who exhibit symptoms of both PTSD and substance abuse are far more susceptible to aggression.Researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina analyzed 97 US military veterans and found that dualy-afflicted veterans most susceptible to aggressive behavior are those who are relatively young; have high rates of combat exposure, high rates of sexual assault exposure; who suffer from depression and/or have contemplated suicide; and those who drink heavily or smoke cannabis frequently. Stresses of everyday civilian life can be a difficult adjustment after life in the military. While many veterans suffer both PTSD and substance abuse, not every veteran does. About 20 percent of US military veterans with PTSD exhibit symptoms that qualify them for a substance use disorder diagnosis, and a third of veterans seeking treatment for substance addiction have diagnosable case of PTSD. The bulk of afflicted veterans, who suffer from only one disorder or the other, have much better luck with social relationships and maintaining a productive daily routine. For the others, the two illnesses exist independent of, but also exacerbate, each other.An essential part of treating these addictions and disorders is tackling the psychological factors behind the PTSD. By doing deep trauma work, veterans can find peace, clarity and keep themselves away from lashing out at others. Many programs exist that are specifically designed for veterans suffering from PTSD and substance abuse. Additionally, many VA hospitals offer both psychological and substance abuse programs. The Last Resort is open to veterans who are in need of help. Our programs will help build the foundation for a peaceful life. We are available to answer any questions about our programs. For further information, feel free to give us a call: (512)-360-3600

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