The Problem of Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuse is growing at alarming rates in the United States, and the problem extends to those who fight overseas. A 2007 study showed that roughly fifteen percent of the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan had prescriptions for painkillers and sleep aids to help them deal with the combined stresses of combat and boredom. However, these pills are frequently passed around or traded for illicit use. That same year, military drug busts more than doubled compared to 2006, and half of all failed urinalysis tests indicated the presence of prescription drugs. Overall, military members need treatment for pharmaceutical addictions just as badly as civilians – or perhaps even more.Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Addiction
Roughly one in eight soldiers suffers from post traumatic stress disorder – a common condition among people who experience extreme psychological trauma. Although counseling services are often available, most military members either fail to take advantage of them or find that they cannot get the treatment they need. In either case, it is easy for PTSD sufferers to develop alcoholism or drug addiction as they cope with flashbacks, anxiety, and insomnia. The traumatized soldiers who came home from the Vietnam War became addicted to heroin in droves, and today’s fighting forces abuse cocaine, amphetamines, and alcohol in alarming numbers.
Fortunately, the counselors at most rehab clinics can help addicted soldiers identify post traumatic stress disorder, as well as any other mental conditions they may have. Discovering co-occurring mental problems is one of the most important aspects of addiction treatment. Understanding and treating PTSD may be the only way for some soldiers to get clean and live happier lives in the civilian world.
Helping Families Stay Together
Addiction almost always takes heavy tolls on drug users’ loved ones, and veterans may suffer even greater family troubles than civilian addicts. They often spend months or years away from their spouses, children, and parents. If they develop destructive drug habits at home, they end up with even less quality time and more problems.
To address these issues, most rehab centers offer family counseling. Patients attend therapies alongside their family members to discuss the ways they’ve been hurt by addictive behaviors. Counselors then help these groups develop strategies for fostering better homes lives for everyone. When soldiers come back with trauma and addictions, they need their homes to be safe, happy places that are free of temptations and undue stress.
Treatment Options for Veterans
Drug rehab services can be difficult for veterans to obtain, but several states are developing programs that can help. In these systems, veterans’ hospitals work with city courts to help soldiers charged with non-violent drug crimes. Their prison sentences are often replaced with rehabilitation programs offered at the VAs themselves. In other cases, veterans’ insurance may cover private rehab clinics where they can receive similar care.
If you’re an active duty or discharged military member struggling with addiction, you need to seek treatment now. Call the number above for an immediate free consultation, and learn about the drug treatment programs available to you. Starting your new life is as simple as a phone call.