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PTSD and Addiction

a person living with ptsd and addiction sits and holds their hands in despair

For the brave people who serve our country in the military, returning to daily life can be complex and challenging. Not only are employment, familial relationships, housing, and more often challenging, but the rate of mental health conditions among veterans is statistically higher. Among those who have experienced combat, post-traumatic stress disorder is extremely high. This, unfortunately, contributes to higher addiction rates as well. PTSD and addiction are two of the primary conditions addressed in a veterans rehab program.

If you or a loved one is a veteran coping with substance dependence or PTSD, contact Evoke Wellness. Our Florida, Massachusetts, and Ohio treatment centers are here to help, and our staff is available at 866.429.2960 or online.

The Link Between Veterans and Substance Abuse

Many members of the military experience traumatic events while completing their service—even during training. Unfortunately, these highly stressful experiences often lead to PTSD that impacts life well beyond discharge. Post-service adjustment issues, a higher-than-average incidence of housing insecurity, and mental health issues prompt many veterans to turn to addictive substances to cope.

More than Just Alcohol

While binge drinking and alcohol use disorder are the most frequent substance abuse issues in the veteran population, abuse rates are high across many addictive substances. Nicotine, for instance, is also frequently abused by veterans, especially those diagnosed with PTSD. This is particularly problematic because many smoking and smokeless nicotine sources pose such severe physical health risks. These include increased risk for heart disease, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, and a host of other disorders. Negative health outcomes may, in turn, fuel additional substance abuse as a coping mechanism, creating a vicious circle.

A Painful Cycle

Opioid use disorder is similarly common among the veteran population. Sadly, this often originates in legitimate prescriptions for painkillers like oxycodone or hydrocodone given in response to acute, service-related injuries. Because of the compounded issues of severe physical pain and unresolved mental health issues, many veterans are at high risk of opioid abuse. Furthermore, after developing a dependence on a prescription opioid, vets may turn to illegal narcotics like heroin when prescriptions run out.

Professional rehab services that specialize in veterans treatment can address these issues in a targeted, compassionate way. Helping vets understand the root cause of their substance use while processing past trauma sets them on a healthier path forward.

What Services Can You Expect in a Veterans Rehab Program?

Veterans reap many benefits in substance abuse treatment programs geared specifically toward them. Many features are the same as those found in any high-quality rehab center. Nonetheless, in a veterans program, special attention will always be paid to patients’ unique life experiences and treatment needs. A few examples of services often found in veterans rehab programs include:

  • Medical detox in which vets go through withdrawal under a doctor’s care, potentially utilizing medication-assisted treatment using methadone or buprenorphine for those addicted to opioids
  • Therapeutic interventions specifically geared toward PTSD and addiction, such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Therapy geared specifically toward managing depression, another very prevalent mental health concern among veterans
  • Family counseling to help build a strong support network and a healthy home life
  • 12-step programs or other effective group interventions that offer accountability and peer support in the recovery journey
  • Offerings geared toward veterans with specific concerns, e.g., groups for women veterans or veterans experiencing homelessness
  • Various levels of care ranging from inpatient to intensive outpatient and aftercare

Evoke Wellness offers veterans programs at many of our treatment centers. By focusing on individualized care, we can provide personalized treatment that takes into account a veteran’s unique experiences and needs.

Call Evoke Wellness Now for Veterans Rehab near You

At Evoke Wellness, we will always strive to make our veteran patients feel welcome and give them the respect they so richly deserve for their service. While there is no easy way to address issues like PTSD and addiction, it is our resolve to help get this process going in a healthy direction and to offer quality assistance every step of the way. Call 866.429.2960 or reach out to Evoke Wellness online to learn more about our Ohio, Florida, Texas, Illinois, and Massachusetts centers.