SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN THE MILITARY
- September 19, 2018
The life of a military veteran is not easy, in many ways. For a portion of their lives, these men and women have been exposed to some of the most hostile environments on our planet and have endured brutal training. Based on this information alone, the fact that this group of courageous people can suffer from substance abuse and addiction is not surprising in the least. Excluding illegal drugs, alcoholism and tobacco use afflict military veterans on a much stronger scale than civilians. What is particularly disturbing is the fact that strict laws including zero-tolerance policies and a confidentiality stigma can often deter these people from looking for the treatment they deserve.
Recent studies have shown that, out of 23.4 million veterans, 18.5% of returning service members have developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while a staggering 50% of these individuals fail to receive appropriate behavioral therapy. These statistics may be attributed to the grim realities of the military environment and traumatic combat experience, which can permanently scar the mind. Likewise, the use of drugs and alcohol to cope with these events only aggravates the existing problems coupled with abuse and addiction. Additionally, these situations can damage relationships with family members and friends and create additional behavioral issues down the road.
Unfortunately, due to underlying loyalty to the military code, drug addicts and substance abusers may avoid seeking help out of fear of ruining their reputations. Veterans can receive behavioral therapy and emotional support from the United States Department of Justice (DOD) but may choose otherwise due to a lack of confidence or anxiety.
The Institute of Medicine has stressed the importance of changing the military’s cultural climate and directly confronting issues with drug abuse, alcoholism, and dependency. Recently, the United States Army has placed 6-month restrictions on opioid pain medication for victims of combat injuries and has required pharmacists to supervise the distribution of multiple drugs as part of treatment. Veterans are victims of these terrible illnesses and are suffering far worse behavioral issues at times. Developing a collective sympathy for these brave men and women is critical.
Hope is always within reach. Drugs and alcohol do not have control over your life. You do. If you are a member of the military seeking help for addiction or substance abuse or if you are a loved one with a family member suffering from a similar illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery. Counselors and healthcare experts can walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and help guide you to a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While it might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to build a better future.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your addiction troubles today.