veterans uniform close up.

Why Veterans Need Longer Care For Addiction Treatment?

Years of active service in the force can leave brave men and women with life-long physical impairments long after retirement. In many cases, these conditions require highly potent medications. Due to the severity of work hazards, many veterans retire with musculoskeletal pains, joint pain, permanent dislocations and separations that may cause these veterans to need frequent medications to subdue the effects of the life-long injury.

To cope with these health conditions, many veterans acquire prescription medications that may have a high dependency ratio. In this case, substance abuse is widespread as the patient builds a tolerance to the drugs. It is easy to result in self-medication when one needs to feel relief from long-term pain. In many cases, self-medication on pain medications often leads to addiction. However, there are programs that can help a veteran quit addiction and get all the help they need.

Substance Abuse Prevalence among Veterans

Addiction and substance abuse is a significant problem among the veterans of wars. Many have been diagnosed with substance use disorder, which includes prescription medications, tobacco, alcohol, and powerful narcotics. These addictions are very dangerous and usually require VA drug rehabilitation to avoid substance abuse fatalities. The prevalence of addiction and substance abuse is reported to be higher in veterans within the age of 18-25 than civilians. Recent trends in veteran substance abuse frequency include:

  • Binge drinking and heavy smoking were reported to be the most prevalent forms of substance abuse in veterans
  • 29% and 38% of veteran women and men respectively indulge in illicit and prescription drugs especially at the age range of 18-25
  • Alcohol use disorder was diagnosed in at least 10.5% of male veterans
  • At least 18% of veteran males within the age range of 18-25 admitted to abusing prescription medications within the previous year
  • Drug use disorder was recorded in 4.8% of male veterans
  • Alcohol use disorder was recorder in at least 4.8% of female veterans
  • Veterans who have experienced depression and PTSD are 3-4.5 times closer to indulging in substance use disorder

PTSD and Substance Abuse Connections

Traumatic memories of heated war experiences often linger in the minds of many veterans, creating a recurrent disconnection from reality. This mental health condition is referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a condition that produces severe mental conditions such as anxieties, insomnia, hallucinations, and other debilitating symptoms. Many veterans turn to substance abuse in order to overcome these conditions. In the process of treating PTSD with medications, some veterans may find themselves developing tolerance to medications; this inevitably leads to substance abuse. Prevalence of PTSD in veterans often result in dozen prescriptions for sedatives, opioids, hypnotics, and other categories of drugs that have abuse and overdose tendencies.

The most frequently asked question among healthcare seekers is; which group addresses the needs of military veterans? Typically, the US Department of Veteran Affairs takes care of all bureaucracies concerned with veteran administration rehabilitation programs.

The fact is that an estimated 70% of veterans living with substance abuse disorder do not get any form of treatment, either due to the inability to gain access to these services of the stringent processes that go into securing veteran substance abuse treatment.

The most economical way to treat substance abuse and PTSD in veterans is to enroll for veterans administration rehab. VA substance abuse programs are treatment structures put in place by the US government to adequate health care to eligible veterans who require thorough medical management for substance abuse disorder.

In order to be eligible, there are specific requirements to meet. Some individuals may ask, “can the military find out about past drug use?” The US military does not tolerate any form of illicit drug use or trafficking, records such as these may render a person ineligible for veteran affairs drug rehab. So, what other options are available?

Where To Find Long-Term Treatment Options?

Veterans experience severe changes in their daily life after service to their country. Many struggles with deteriorating physical and mental conditions that lead to the need for prescription medication. There are numerous rehab centers with structured programs on how to help veterans fight substance abuse. The veteran rehab program includes long-term treatment tailored to the specific needs of the patient. After the completion of the treatment program at the veteran rehab center, then comes counseling therapy in order to prevent relapse.

If you or your loved one is a veteran struggling with the effects of substance abuse disorder, contact us immediately.