Veterans Day – Remembering All Who Served
On Veteran’s Day, we honor the sacrifice millions of veterans have made physically and mentally. Too often, the wounds of war are not left on the battlefield. In 2010, 1.2 million veterans utilized the VA’S mental health services. Veterans are 2-4 times more likely to develop a substance abuse problem compared to any other demographic.
If a solider drinks before the war, their consumption levels are almost guaranteed to increase following discharge. While drug use is prohibited, excessive alcohol intake is the social norm. Drinking is a way to connect with others, pass the time, and numb any somber thoughts. Returning from war, 64% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were prescribed one or more opioids by a physician. These opioids are often prescribed at a much higher potency and frequency in comparison to civilians. Benzodiazepines become a makeshift solution to a veteran’s underlying post-traumatic stress disorder. Mixing alcohol with illicit substances is one of the worst things someone can do to their body. Self-medicating with drugs and alcohol only leads to heightened distress later on. What does help are various forms of psychotherapy.
Methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and healthy coping mechanisms are what assist veterans comfortably transition back to civilian life. These therapies show veterans how to identify and modify damaging behaviors, realize the benefits of change, and determine why certain memories have such an influence on their life. Our experienced team of addiction professionals coach veterans working towards sobriety how to regain control of their lives, face their fears with our support and guidance, and live the life they want.
Seabrook strongly believes in the power of exercise, cognizant breathing, relationship repairing, and the impact of support groups in recovery. Something veterans oftentimes have a hard time being away from is the brotherhood formed by serving together. Addiction treatment offers a new type of fellowship. A long-term sober community full of people with similar histories, and complementary goals.
Signs a loved one may be suffering from substance abuse related to post traumatic stress disorder include decreased hygiene, mood swings, paranoia, insomnia, isolation, and mysterious spending or actions. Pride may make it difficult for a veteran to ask for help. Other reasons a veteran may be hesitant to consider substance abuse or mental health treatment include fear of judgement, ashamed of stigma, worry about confidentiality, and lengthy waiting lists for treatment.
Untreated substance abuse and co-occurring disorders are deadly. Substance abuse disorder and mental health crises are the number one reason veterans are admitted to hospitals each year. Between 2006 and 2009, 45% of noncombat related military deaths were attributed to substance abuse. Unemployment, homelessness, and suicide are common consequences of unaddressed mental health and substance abuse disorders in veterans. Additionally, unregulated emotions lead to violent outbursts landing veterans attempting to mask pain in jail, creating a dangerous cycle.
Reentering civilian life is oftentimes the most difficult part of discharge for veterans. While they are excited to see their families, circumstances may have changed. Time and distance inevitably changes relationships. Veterans may feel detached or misunderstood by family and friends. In order to avoid triggers, veterans may become secluded and melancholy. It can be painful for families to see a loved one suffering. Continue to encourage loved ones to seek treatment for addiction and mental health concerns. If you find yourself overwhelmed, do not be afraid to seek help for yourself. It is hard to provide the best care and support when you are not well yourself.
Seabrook has many different treatment options to meet veterans where they are comfortable. We offer early and late hours to accommodate each person’s individual schedule. Depending on a person’s particular desired engagement, we have distinctive treatment options. From the typical 28-day residential program, detoxification, family counseling, and intensive outpatient programs, we meet our patients wherever they are. Our goal is to bring them where they want to be.
Seabrook provides a safe, confidential, and healthy environment for everyone who is admitted into one of our various substance abuse treatment programs. We believe in tackling the root of addiction. If the issue is addressed, there is no need to continue looking for an escape through drugs and alcohol. Seabrook offers the PTSD focused treatment plan veterans often need. The psychological and physical damage of war is nothing to dismiss. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, medicine assisted treatment, and many other evidence based practices, we will help you recover.
Neither alcohol nor drugs will ever cure post-traumatic stress disorder. Military life is extremely mentally and physically exhausting. Instead of turning to adverse temporary fixes, heal your whole self; mind, body, and spirit. For over 40 years, Seabrook has been proud to serve those who have served our country. We have continually restored veteran’s confidence, qualities of life, and familial relationships. This is something we are extremely proud of.
When you are ready to pursue healing and hope, we are proud to help you take the next step in your drug and alcohol addiction recovery journey. Count on our therapists, addiction specialists and admissions team to be there each step of the way. To learn more about our programs, call us today: 800-761-7575.