Military service brings a lot of tough and traumatic experiences that can leave these servicemen and women with physical and psychological scars that last for decades. Many veterans engage in substance use, sometimes due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) effects, such as alcohol, street drugs, or other substances.
Unfortunately, substance use among veterans may turn into a full-blown substance use disorder. If you’re struggling with substance use problems, you’re not alone. There are several substance abuse programs for veterans that offer help.
Substance Abuse Among Veterans
Substance abuse is a serious issue among military veterans. More than one in 10 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder. Alcohol and tobacco are the most commonly misused substances, but the abuse of street drugs or prescription drugs is a concern among younger veterans.
Narcotic pain medications may be prescribed for veterans who have significant injuries from service. These pain medications can lead to dependency. In fact, there’s been an increase in overdose fatalities among veterans taking prescription opioids.
That’s why a substance abuse program for veterans is so important.
PTSD and Substance Abuse
One of the biggest challenges for veterans is readjusting to civilian life with the ongoing symptoms of PTSD. This debilitating condition occurs after experiencing a life-threatening event or extreme trauma.
PTSD and substance abuse often co-occur. About a quarter of all veterans with PTSD under the care of the VA have been diagnosed with substance use disorder. These veterans are likely to receive an opioid or sedative prescription if they have PTSD. They are more likely to develop an addiction and experience poor outcomes like accidents and overdoses.
Treatment Options for Substance Abuse in Veterans
One of the challenges for veterans struggling with substance abuse is that they may not ask for help. Roughly 70% of veterans with a substance abuse disorder do not receive treatment, despite 5.4% reporting needing and not receiving treatment.
There are numerous options available for veterans, including inpatient and outpatient programs, long-term care, and programs specifically designed for the needs of veterans. In most cases, medically supervised detoxification is important to address withdrawal symptoms and relieve the uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms. Then, the patient can enter into residential or partial hospitalization programs.
Veterans will also require a specialized treatment approach that addresses co-occurring disorders, such as alcohol and drug abuse, PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Once these programs are complete, there are options for ongoing counseling and therapy in sober living or aftercare programs.
Veteran Substance Abuse Program at Silver Sands Recovery
At Silver Sands Recovery, we understand the toll that substance use can take on our honored veterans. Our comprehensive substance abuse program is designed with veterans in mind to address their specific needs and challenges.
The 12 Steps are often associated with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), but they’re useful for many outside of the program. Our 12-Step Rehab is more than a few meetings. We use the 12 Steps in conjunction with other proven modalities, such as group therapy, one-on-one therapy, and family therapy.
We believe in treating the whole person at Silver Sands Recovery – mind, body, and spirit. Detox is important in the process, but it’s not enough to stop using drugs and alcohol. We must address the mental health challenges or struggles that manifest in addiction or destructive behaviors.
Each person has different circumstances that led them where they are, and veterans are unique. Many of the experiences veterans have are unlike anything a civilian will ever experience, requiring a compassionate and understanding approach. Our holistic treatment methods help clients work through past experiences and heal their minds and spirit.
Some people simultaneously struggle with addiction and mental health conditions, such as depression or PTSD. When this occurs, dual diagnosis treatment must address both issues and treat the addiction.
If you’re unsure if dual diagnosis treatment is appropriate for you, our team will work with you through the admissions process to ensure that you get the most customized treatment plan possible.
Extended addiction treatment is available in 30-, 60-, and 90-day addiction treatment programs. These allow for a more successful transition from rehab to everyday life with a sense of accountability, control, and independence.
In extended care programs, we offer ongoing therapy, nutritional guidance, wellness education, and 12-Step programs to help patients adjust to day-to-day routines and stress without falling back into a cycle of substance abuse at this vulnerable time.
Insurance Coverage for Veterans Needing Addiction Treatment
Silver Sands Recovery accepts several health insurance plans with addiction treatment coverage. This includes Triwest Insurance, which is common for veterans.
If you’re unsure what your insurance covers, our admissions coordinators can help you determine what’s available.
Substance Abuse Treatment for Veterans with Triwest
Silver Sands Recovery is here for you if you or a loved one is a veteran struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. We offer a variety of treatment programs for addiction and dual diagnosis so that you can get support for your road to recovery. Contact us today to get started in a substance abuse program for veterans.
About the author:
Lisa Waknin is the Founder and Director of Silver Sands Recovery, located in Prescott, Arizona. Lisa started Silver Sands Recovery after immersing herself in the addiction treatment world for several years to figure out what could be done differently to help her daughter and others like her to overcome addiction and stay sober. She believes in a hands-on treatment approach, which includes taking someone out of their environment, providing a 90-day program in a structured environment. During treatment, clients not only recover physically but also learn to live their life again. Lisa is a sought-after expert speaker for recovery support groups, charities, schools, communities, and companies wanting to educate themselves on the explosion of opiate and heroin abuse in our country and the best way to understand, treat, and beat it.