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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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All work conducted by Seasons Bali is carried out in the strictest of confidence and conforms to all current privacy legislation. None of the information on this site is intended as medical advice