Veteran Drug Addiction Treatment: Substance Abuse Programs
Do you know a veteran of the US armed services who struggles with drug or alcohol abuse? American addiction centers offer treatment programs for veterans with substance use disorders.
According to a 2019 survey on veterans suffering addiction, one in four (343k) have an addiction to illicit drugs. Veterans seeking treatment programs need all the options possible.
Fortunately, rehab centers across the US have treatment options designed for ex-members of the armed services. What do they offer in veteran substance abuse programs?
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Veteran Substance Abuse Treatment Programs
For veterans who struggle with substance abuse, drug and alcohol treatment centers offer the following programs:
- Detox – Begins the moment the patient stops using drugs or alcohol. Requires 24/7 supervision, especially during days two and three when craving peak and users typically relapse.
- Residential treatment programs – Consists of 30 to 90 days at a drug and alcohol treatment facility. Includes therapy, group support, wellness activities, health and education.
- Intensive outpatient treatment – Covers the same ground as inpatient treatment, but the patient spends nights and comes in during the day for group meetings, therapy, etc.
- Aftercare – Designed for the patient who needs help landing on his/her feet after treatment.
Substance abuse treatment programs combine abstinence and health with mental health exercises designed to wean people off drug and alcohol dependence.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Many veterans struggle with drug abuse and alcoholism due to traumatic events during their time in the military. People who’ve been to war and witnessed atrocities abroad often suffer post-traumatic stress disorder for years, even decades.
A common cause of drug and alcohol addiction among veterans is military sexual trauma. In recent years, incidents of sexual assault in the military have been on the rise. In a 2018 study of active duty service members, 13,000 women and 7,500 men reported sexual violence.
Veterans who’ve killed people in the line of duty often suffer mental health problems. To cope with the guilt, they might become addicted to hard booze or downers.
Many American addiction centers offer rehab programs with special counseling for veterans with mental disorders.
Chronic Pain: Prescription Drug Abuse
A veteran struggling with chronic pain could easily become addicted to prescription medications. When a service member returns from war with a missing limb or a healing bullet wound, the pain could last for years and require physical therapy.
People who cope with pain often engage in prescription drug abuse. Each medication has its usage directions and recommended daily dosages. If a user exceeds the daily limit, the medication loses its potency and the user needs higher doses just to get the same effects.
At rehab centers, doctors may administer opioid medications to help curb cravings for hard drugs. From there, they guide veterans through physical therapy exercises and alternative therapies designed to help patients overcome chronic pain.
Sober Living Options
Many rehab treatment providers offer additional support for veteran patients who need help readjusting to civilian life.
Once the veteran leaves a treatment facility, center staff can link the veteran with nearby sober living options.
Sober living homes are low-cost, structured environments where residents who’ve conquered addiction and mental health disorders find work and live responsibly. There is no drug or alcohol use allowed in sober homes.
For veterans who’ve recently overcome drug or alcohol addiction, sober living homes are places to lead structured lives and readjust to society.
Counseling for Family Members
Drug and alcohol abuse affects more than the individual. Friends and family members are also impacted when a loved one falls prey to substance abuse.
Family members of veterans with substance abuse disorders often don’t know how to properly handle the situation. A spouse or parent might try confronting the individual, only to aggravate the situation.
At today’s substance abuse treatment centers, counselors offer programs designed to bring patients and their loved ones together. They provide pointers on how to be sensitive to relatives who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.
In addiction treatment, recovering veterans learn how to communicate with loved ones and hear people’s concerns without getting triggered. The counselors at treatment facilities help mend communication gaps between everyone involved.
Get Drug and Alcohol Treatment Now
To help people overcome addiction, treatment services in every city offer rehab programs to all kinds of people, including those who’ve just completed military service.
Veterans seeking treatment often have unique needs due to the things they’ve encountered while serving overseas.
If someone you know is a veteran seeking addiction treatment, explore the treatment options available at rehab centers in your area. Get help now before drug addiction, alcoholism, or other mental health issues claim your loved one.
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