Drug and alcohol use disorders tend to be traceable back to a moment or moments of extreme stress and danger. As members of the United States Armed Forces must willingly enter armed combat as part of their duty, it is not uncommon for men and women who have military service backgrounds to develop substance addictions.
The issue is compounded by the fact that many veterans are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can be difficult for people to feel in control of themselves and their situation when living with PTSD, which manifests as frightening flashbacks of traumatic events, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Such feelings on their own can be enough to push someone to drug and alcohol dependency. When PTSD and a substance use disorder coincide, the issues can feed one another and create a dangerous cycle.
How Widespread is Veteran Substance Use Disorder?
By some estimates, one-in-five military service veterans have experienced substance use disorder, either currently or in the past. This is an inordinately high addiction rate compared to essentially other type of occupation.
Many veterans thankfully have access to healthcare insurance and options, allowing them to seek treatment for both PTSD and substance use disorder. Unfortunately, the quickest “solution” medical providers try is prescribing medications like Xanax for stress or Vicodin for lingering pains. Opiates and other prescription drugs can be extremely addictive. The end result may be a veteran stopping dependency on alcohol and illegal substances, only to be addicted to a new prescription medicine. This is not an improvement, especially given the ongoing opioid epidemic that is claiming dozens of lives each day across America.
How Can Veteran Drug & Alcohol Addiction Be Treated?
The first step in remedying substance use disorder is realizing it is real — and that your situation is unique to you. No two people are identical, no matter how similar their circumstances and reasons for starting drug or alcohol use may be. To overcome addiction, you need to find treatments and therapies personalized to your needs.
At Turning Point, Inc. in New Jersey, our drug and alcohol rehabilitation center is known for providing treatment programs fit for each person individually. You are seen as a friend in need with specific needs, not just a patient file. Each year, more than 3,500 people come to us for help and find genuine moral support backed by professional approaches to substance use disorder treatments.