Veterans encounter challenges and stressors that would be unimaginable for the average civilian. In the line of duty, they may undergo extremely stressful situations that leave them traumatized, such as sexual assault and serving in combat. As a result, military veterans are more likely to experience mental and behavioral health disorders like depression, PTSD and addiction. With Veterans Day around the corner, learn more about substance abuse treatment at New Found Life.
How Does Addiction Develop?
While serving our country can be a source of pride, it’s also one of the highest-pressure jobs anyone can have. Being deployed far away from loved ones and having to make life-or-death decisions in the line of duty can be traumatic. Drugs and alcohol may seem like a release valve because they temporarily numb the pain and anxiety and induce feelings of calm or euphoria.
However, frequent drinking and drug use increases your likelihood of becoming physically and psychologically dependent. This process happens when your body and brain begin to expect the substance and feel “off” without it. As your tolerance builds, you’ll need to drink more or take increasingly higher doses to experience the desired effects. Eventually, when you try to stop using, you’ll experience a range of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that drive you back to your substance of use, continuing the cycle.
Why Do Veterans Need Addiction and Mental Health Treatment?
Depression and PTSD can be debilitating conditions that affect every aspect of your life and can strain relationships with close friends and family members. Some people self-medicate symptoms like mood swings, insomnia and suicidal thoughts with alcohol and drugs. As a result, substance abuse is widespread among former service members, with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reporting that more than two of 10 veterans with PTSD also have a co-occurring substance use disorder.
Active-duty and retired military service members may also rely on alcohol or drugs to cope with other threats to their physical and mental well-being, including:
- Grief and loss
- Chronic pain
- Traumatic brain injuries
Experience Addiction Recovery in Long Beach
Since addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions are so closely connected and fuel each other, it’s essential to seek simultaneous treatment for both components. If you’re a veteran or active-duty service member seeking recovery, New Found Life’s mental health professionals and addiction treatment specialists can provide:
- Individual therapy to identify and address the root causes of your addiction
- Trauma therapy for PTSD
- Group counseling to give you tools to cope with stress and triggers
- Family counseling to help repair damaged relationships
- 12-step immersion and connections to community recovery groups like Alcoholics Anonymous
At New Found Life, we offer a comprehensive continuum of care that begins with medically supervised detoxification and continues through residential treatment and transitional living. To learn more about how our unique treatment philosophy can help transform your future, contact an admissions specialist today.