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Why Veterans Struggle With Addiction

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Why Veterans Struggle With Addiction

Addiction is common and is experienced among various demographics of people. Veterans struggle with addiction for many reasons. Returning home from combat can be extremely jarring, and it may feel impossible to readjust to everyday life as a civilian. 

Unfortunately, some veterans may find themselves faced with a need to escape the flashbacks and fog of war. When this happens and addiction is developed, it creates another war that must be faced. However, this war does not have to leave you with the same aftermath and trauma that lead to this specific battlefield. Treatment and recovery can help pave the way to a better life after serving in the military and struggling with addiction. 

A Glance at Addiction Beyond the Surface

Substance use disorders (SUDs) can take place when a person overindulges or tries a highly addictive drug that they instantly become dependent on. Often addiction can be stumbled into by teens or college students getting hooked on drugs after attending a party. Patients can become addicted to their prescribed medications, and there are other random introductions to drugs and alcohol that can lead to addiction. 

However, addiction is a disease of the mind. Essentially everything that you do as a human being can only be achieved by the body’s control center: the brain. So, yes, introduction to alcohol and drugs is just that, but addiction often follows when someone is in a constant state of unaddressed anxiety or depression.

The things you see and experience replay in your mind, and they can also live there. Trauma and certain life experiences can follow and haunt you for years. When an overload of those thoughts and feelings is present, and drugs or alcohol are present as well, the desire for the sense of pleasure or euphoria attached to them can feel irresistible. That irresistibility usually leads to indulgence, and that quickly becomes a constant need to escape the reality that is seemingly unbearable.

The Veterans Struggle: Addiction

Veterans often struggle with addiction once they return home from serving and even sometimes during their service. They commonly struggle with addiction because it seems to be the only way to cope with the trauma and mental or physical pain that they experience and were exposed to. Often, those traumas are not immediately addressed, and new traumas are catapulted onto ones from their life before the military, as well as their initial experiences in service. 

Veterans struggle with addiction as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), injuries, the death of fellow servicemen, and other military-related causes. Statistics show that more than two in ten who return from service with PTSD also struggle with addiction. This combination can serve as a co-occurring disorder or even cause other ones, such as anxiety or depression.

The struggle with addiction among veterans is ongoing as the war of the mind continues for many of them. While certain veteran support programs exist, not all are covered with insurance for all of their physical and mental health needs. Due to this, some find other ways to cope or self-medicate. Veterans are also met with shame or judgment when they show signs of PTSD or other mental health disorders. It can be hard to encounter individuals who cannot relate or don’t understand. That can make readjusting to life after service that much harder. 

When your family or friends cannot begin to understand your daily nightmare of getting out of bed, it can feel completely isolating. It can feel as if you are living on an island. You may even feel like a zombie or like a shell of yourself, trying to find a way to make it through the maze of today to tomorrow. Alcohol and substance use can, in turn, feel like the necessary fuel to get through each day. However, just getting through the day is not good enough. That is no way to live, and you do not have to live a life of addiction.

Hope for the Veterans’ Struggle With Addiction and How Lantana Recovery Can Help

Here at Lantana Recovery, we care about each and every individual that we touch. Our facility provides inpatient and outpatient treatment for those struggling with SUD and mental health disorders. We also offer family support to further educate and uplift your loved ones through this journey.

This is not a one-stop shop, as we understand that no recovery journey or treatment is the same. We provide each client with a multilayered structure and holistic approach to treatment. This way, we treat the person and not just the addiction. At Lantana Recovery, we understand that addiction is just a symptom of something deeper, and we strive to treat whatever that is. 

If you are a veteran struggling with addiction, we can help you. We want to help you smooth out the ridges or your readjusting to civilization. Your time in service will always be a part of your life. However, it does not have to be what haunts the rest of your life. 

Many individuals struggle with addiction. Regardless of where it stems from, it can complicate anyone’s life. Veterans often struggle with addiction due to what they encounter after joining the military. Alcohol and substances can seem like a temporary escape when you are in a constant state of distress. However, here at Lantana Recovery, we know that in those temporary moments of escape, dependency can set in and take over your life. We provide treatment specific to each individual and specify treatment to fit their needs. For more information on how to seek treatment and recover from addiction, call Lantana Recovery today at (866) 997-2870. We are here to help you. 

Addiction Recovery Publishing

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.