veteran substance abuse

Veteran Substance Abuse: 8 Sobering Facts You Need to Know

Veteran substance abuse is more common than you might expect. We explain 8 need to know facts about veterans and addiction here.


Life isn’t always easy for veterans. Though our government provides certain resources to former members of our armed forces, the stresses of being in a combat zone can leave lasting damage long after the battle is actually gone. 

One of the biggest problems facing veterans today is veteran substance abuse. One in fifteen veterans face substance abuse problems — a higher number than the national average for civilians. 

This article will walk you through some facts about veteran substance abuse and teach you a bit about the connection between PTSD and substance abuse, so you can get yourself — or the veteran in your life — the help you/they deserve. 

1. In the Past 11 Years More Than 65,000 Veterans Have Committed Suicide

Unfortunately, the training veterans receive, combined with the mental health disorders they often wind up with, often brews the perfect storm for suicide.

Veterans are left with little social skill for dealing with mental health disorders, an attitude where they believe they should simply power through the problem, and access to/training with firearms. This firearm fact isn’t insignificant, considering most veteran suicides are committed with firearms

Suicide, contrary to popular belief, is not often caused by a long spiral, but by a brief suicidal episode. Though someone might suffer from depression for a long time, instances where they want to kill themselves, and will actually act on it, are short. 

Veterans, unfortunately, often have access to firearms in this short amount of time, and so are able to quickly carry out their impulses. If you or a loved one is a veteran who has suffered from bought of suicidal ideation, we highly recommend isolating them from their firearms. 

2. Alcohol Abuse Is the Most Common Substance Abuse Among Veterans 

Veterans are far more likely to abuse alcohol than other illicit drugs. This is likely because their addiction might very well start while they’re still serving in the military. 

Whereas other drugs are confiscated, and may even get one kicked out of the military, alcohol is socially accepted. Members of the military are often rewarded with alcohol, and going out to drink with members of your company has long been a rite of passage in the world of the U.S. military. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol abuse, you can know that you/they are not alone. 

3. Harder Drugs Are Common as Well

However, while alcohol is the most commonly abused substance by members of the military, harder drugs are abused well. 

Many veterans suffer from physical injuries and take strong medicine to deal with the pain. Often, there’ son one there to guide a veteran on how much medicine they should take for chronic pain, and they might wind up addicted. A veteran might also suffer from a case where their wound heals, but their dependence on the drug does not go away. 

It’s not hard to access other sorts of drugs while serving in the military. Often, local drug markets become aware of the soldiers’ desire for drugs and bring some to sell to the soldiers. 

4. 1 in 5 Veterans With PTSD Suffers From Substance Abuse 

While 1 in 15 veterans suffer from substance abuse disorders, a significantly higher number who also suffer from PTSD wind up with substance abuse issues. 

Not every veteran has the same experience, which can make more general numbers misleading. If you have seen action, you’re more likely to develop emotional and mental health problems as a result, and so are more likely to develop a substance abuse disorder. 

5. 11 Percent of the Homeless Population in the U.S. Are Veterans

The United States certainly suffers from homelessness problems, and veterans account for much of that problem. Substance abuse disorders and PTSD make it hard for veterans to find jobs, and so they can wind up kicked out of their housing and without anywhere to stay. 

6. Domestic Violence Rates Are Higher Among Veterans

These veterans may well wind up homeless because of instances of domestic violence. Due to mental health problems, PTSD, and substance abuse disorders, the spouses of veterans are more likely to suffer from domestic violence.  

This can lead to these veterans getting separated from their family and friends, which can lead to homelessness. 

7. Over 1.5 Million Veterans Feel the Needs of Veterans Aren’t Being Met

If you’re a veteran as well as a patriot, you might hesitate to speak out against your country. However, you should know that 15 Million veterans feel that the needs of veterans around the country aren’t being met by the government

It’s not paranoid or conspiratorial for you to think that the government has not done enough to help you out, it’s a consensus among many veterans. 

Since the government has shown that it cannot reliably step in to meet veterans’ needs, veterans need to find different sources to help them heal. 

8. There Are Substance Abuse Programs Specifically for Veterans 

While the government has not always provided the benefits necessary to help veterans function, there are addiction recovery programs, such as the one at Seasons Bali, that specifically work to help out veterans

A veteran in this program will receive psychiatric assessments, counseling sessions, guidance on planning a career, support from peers, and general help adapting to a slower pace of life. 

Veterans attending one of these programs will get the help they need to reintegrate into society, as well as tools to make sure that they get all of the nutrition they need. 

Understand Veteran Substance Abuse

As you can see, veteran substance abuse is a complete issue with many aspects. Veteran substance abuse is closely linked to veteran mental health disorders and homelessness. We can’t solve one problem until we learn to solve the rest. 

If you or a loved one is a veteran suffering from drug abuse issues, consider finding a drug addiction program designed for veterans. 

For more information, contact us at Seasons Bali today. 

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veteran substance abuse

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About 35 million people around the world suffer from drug use disorders. Unfortunately, only one in every seven people receives treatment. Whether you need drug or alcohol rehabilitation, it’s important to seek help right away. Otherwise, the number of addiction-related deaths around the world will only continue to increase. You don’t have to stay in America to receive the help you need. Sometimes, a change in atmosphere can even benefit your sobriety. You don’t have to remain near potential triggers that led to your addiction in the first place. Instead, you can explore drug rehab centers abroad. Not sure how to choose the best drug rehab in Thailand or Bali? We can help. Here are nine factors to consider during your search. With these tips, you can make sure to choose rehab clinics abroad that meet your needs and goals. Start on your road to sobriety with these simple tips today.

1. Consider the Location

As you explore different drug rehab centers overseas, it helps to start by choosing a location. Then, you can narrow down your selection and work through the rest of these tips. Are you searching for a drug rehab Bali center? Would you prefer to find the best drug rehab in Thailand instead? Research different regions overseas before making your choice. Thailand is in Southeast Asia. It’s surrounded by tropical forests and rice fields. Blue mountains and waterfalls surround the area as well. Bali is an Indonesian island. It’s surrounded by jungles and surf-friendly waters, making it perfect for a revitalizing getaway. Determine where in Thailand or Bali each drug rehab center is located. First, you’ll want to make sure it’s in a safe area. Make sure the center is far away from potential triggers as well. If you don’t feel safe, you might struggle to focus on your rehabilitation. Consider the type of atmosphere you want to surround yourself with, too. For example, you might want to explore rehab clinics abroad near the water. Perhaps you feel more comfortable surrounded by greenery instead. Learn more about each drug rehab center by heading online. Pull up a map to determine where they’re located. Look for photos of the facility, too.

2. Look for Credentials

Before choosing a center that offers drug or alcohol rehab abroad, check their credentials. Make sure the center is licensed and accredited. If they’re not licensed, they might take shortcuts when offering treatment. An accredited facility, on the other hand, will strive to offer the highest levels of care. Make sure the facility meets proper safety and treatment guidelines, too. Choose a rehab in Thailand or Bali that puts the patients first.

3. Establish Your Goals

You can narrow down your options when exploring rehab clinics abroad by focusing on your distinct goals. What do you want to accomplish throughout your rehabilitation process? Write your goals down. You’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals by writing them down on a daily basis. For example, maybe you want to detox from the substance you’re using. Maybe you want to maintain your sobriety for six months before returning home. Perhaps you want to make amends with the people you hurt due to your addiction. Some rehab clinics abroad will require you to detox before you can start their rehab program. Make sure to double-check before choosing a facility. It’s important that you not try to detox alone. Instead, try to find a rehabilitation center that also offers detox services. Do you have anxiety or depression? Find a facility that offers dual diagnosis treatment instead. Establishing your goals while you’re searching for a drug or alcohol rehab abroad can help narrow down your options.

4. Research the Team

Before choosing between drug rehab centers, look into the facility’s team. You might want to choose a team with a range of expertise. For example, look for:
  • Wellness specialists
  • Nutritionists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Nurses
  • Medical doctors
  • Chemical dependency counselors
  • Spiritual care counselors
A strong team of trained, certified professionals will help you accomplish your treatment goals.

5. Consider Detoxing

Remember, you don’t want to detox alone. Otherwise, you might experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol include:
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nightmares
You could experience delirium tremens (DTs), too. Symptoms include seizures, hallucinations, and extreme confusion. Don’t try to handle these symptoms alone.

6. Review Their Services

Take a look at the services each facility offers. Make sure they offer evidence-based programs. For example, you might consider:
  • Medication-assisted therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Detox programs
  • Twelve-step facilitation
Make sure the treatment options and services they provide will help you accomplish your goals.

7. Read Reviews

Learn more about the rehab clinics abroad by looking for reviews online. Reading reviews will help you learn more from people who were once in your shoes. Did the rehab center help the patient accomplish their goals? Did the patient experience any problems while receiving treatment? Try to find a facility with a strong reputation you can count on.

8. Schedule a Tour

If you can, schedule a tour with one of the facilities on your list. Ask any lingering questions you have about the facility. Take a look at the other patients there. Do they appear happy? Try to ask the patients about their time at the facility. For example, have they experienced any issues with the staff? Is treatment helping them remain sober? Consider the staff as well. Is there a good ratio between the number of patients and staff members? Talk to a member of the staff, too. Discuss your goals. Then, ask what treatment options they’d recommend.

9. Review Your Notes

Take a moment to review your notes. Which rehab clinics abroad will help you accomplish your goals? Which ones meet your needs and expectations? Don’t rush to make your decision.

Drug Rehab Centers Overseas: 9 Factors to Consider During Your Search

Choosing between drug rehab centers overseas doesn’t have to feel stressful. Instead, keep these tips in mind during your search. With these tips, you’ll have an easier time narrowing down your options. You can fly to Thailand or Bali and start receiving the treatment you need. Eager to get started? We’re here to help. Contact us today to begin your journey.