Many veterans go through a difficult time trying to adjust to returning to civilian life. Some come home after losing loved ones or getting hurt themselves badly. Some may turn to alcohol or drugs to cope. At Serenity House Detox Houston, we can help you or someone you love to get the detox care you need, so you can join an addiction support group to start your journey to sobriety. Please contact Serenity House Detox Houston today at 866.516.8356 for more information about the treatment options available.
Substance Abuse and Veterans
Veterans go to war and fight on behalf of the United States. They work hard in the field, and they often face dangerous hazards and life-threatening situations. They may lose people they love in the field and come home to an abrupt change in circumstances once they’re no longer on active duty.
To deal with pain from injuries, anxiety, and trauma from fighting, and grief from losing people they love, some veterans turn to using substances, like alcohol or opioids, to help them cope. Unfortunately, these are addictive substances, and they may end up treating symptoms rather than the underlying mental health or physical concerns.
Why Do Veterans Often Deal with Addiction?
One of the major reasons why veterans and addiction go hand-in-hand is because of the high risk of trauma on the job. Veterans who served in the military may develop post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. They then try to manage their symptoms by smoking, using drugs, or drinking heavily.
People who use drugs and alcohol to cope with trauma are more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions that could impact their lives significantly.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder’s Role in Addiction
Post-traumatic stress disorder is most likely to occur when a person witnesses or experiences a severe trauma. The trauma causes emotional and mental impacts that may affect the person’s psyche.
PTSD and addiction are regularly seen in the veteran community. It’s known that those who deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq are at a higher risk of developing this disorder due to the mental strain and physical demand of combat in those areas. The Veterans Administration (VA) does offer some support for this condition, but this may not be enough.
What Are the Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
If you have a loved one who is experiencing the following symptoms following retirement from the military, they may have PTSD. Some common symptoms include:
- Severe anxiety
- Night terrors
- Unwanted memories (flashbacks)
- Intrusive thoughts
- Anger or hyperarousal
People who have PTSD may do everything they can to avoid remembering an event or talking about it. They may also be restless, feel as if they’re reliving the trauma every day, or become irritable and difficult to talk to.
If your loved one has these symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk to them about potential treatment options, especially if they have started using drugs or alcohol to cope.
Treatment for Substance Abuse Addiction and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The good news is that there are treatment options for those dealing with PTSD after a military career. Some common treatments include:
- Detox programs to rid the body of any offending substances like drugs or alcohol
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Group treatment with other veterans and veteran support
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Individual therapy
There are a variety of treatment options to pursue depending on the specific symptoms and conditions that your loved one is facing.
Contact Serenity House Detox Houston to Get Support
At Serenity House Detox Houston, our goal is to help you and your loved ones get on the right track to a life free of substance abuse. Veterans services address dual diagnosis issues like PTSD and trauma. At Serenity House Detox, we help by giving you the tools to detox so that you can move on to a program that offers rehabilitative treatments clean of drugs and alcohol. Call us today at 866.516.8356 to learn more about our program.