According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 2 of 10 veterans with PTSD also struggle with a substance use disorder. Many veterans experience trauma that, if left untreated, can be extremely damaging to their lives. Unfortunately, many veterans may turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve their trauma symptoms. In this article, you’ll learn more about how supporting veterans in overcoming substance use is possible.
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How to Support Veterans On Their Road to Recovery
From experiencing death and destruction on the battlefield to watching friends get injured or die in combat, veterans are exposed to a wide range of traumatic experiences. This trauma, left untreated, can unfortunately lead many veterans to abuse drugs or alcohol to try and temporarily relieve these painful trauma symptoms. Keep reading to learn how supporting veterans in overcoming substance use is possible.
Encourage Them to Seek Professional Help
First, if you have a friend or family member who’s a veteran struggling with drug addiction, it’s important you encourage them to seek professional treatment to effectively overcome their addiction. Plus, if a veteran is struggling with a dual diagnosis, like PTSD and addiction, it’s also important for you to encourage them to seek professional help for both conditions simultaneously so they can successfully achieve long-term sobriety.
Be a Consistent Support System
Next, once you’ve encouraged a veteran to seek treatment, it’s critical you are a consistent support system for them as they progress through their recovery journey. Recovering from addiction can be difficult and filled with many ups and downs. Having you to lean on in times of need will ensure they have someone who can help keep them accountable while motivating them to stay strong through their recovery.
Educate Yourself About Addiction and Addiction Recovery
It’s also important to educate yourself on what addiction is and why veterans drug abuse rates are so high. Addiction is a debilitating disease that alters the brain; therefore, it’s essential to understand that you cannot overcome addiction overnight. Educating yourself will help you better know how best to support your loved one struggling with addiction, and set realistic expectations as they progress on their road to recovery.
Foster a Safe Space for Open Conversation
The last thing you want a recovering addict to feel is judged for their addiction. It’s critical you foster a safe, non-judgmental space for open conversation. This way your loved one who is struggling or recovering from addiction can come to you for support without feeling afraid or ashamed that you may judge them for what they’re going through.
Be Aware of Triggers that May Be Harmful to Them
Last but not least, it’s important to recognize certain triggers that may either trigger a veteran’s PTSD symptoms or drug addiction cravings. For example, sudden loud noises can trigger their PTSD, or drinking around a recovering alcoholic can obviously spur up old cravings for them to want to abuse alcohol. Therefore, be aware of such harmful triggers and be sure to avoid them to further support your loved one as they progress through their recovery journey.
Premier Drug and Alcohol Detox in California
Supporting veterans in overcoming substance abuse is critical. Veterans witness many traumatic events at war that can increase their likelihood of developing mental health issues and struggling with drug addiction. Veterans struggling with addiction, like any recovering addict, can greatly benefit from loved ones whom they can lean on for support during their recovery. The above 5 points showcase how you can support veterans on their road to recovery and why seeking treatment for veterans drug use is critical.
At Veritas Detox, we are a top-rated drug rehab in California that is committed to providing the best possible care to help you safely overcome your addiction. Whether you are struggling with a drug addiction or dual diagnosis, we offer a range of comprehensive treatment options so you can receive the right care to best support your recovery. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help jumpstart your recovery journey!