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Substance Use Treatment for Veterans

It takes a special person to answer the call to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. Unfortunately, this career often thrusts members of the military into difficult situations they may have trouble coping with. This has created an increasing need for substance use treatment for veterans. There’s a crisis occurring with the men and women of our military, and it’s vital that we address it.

Transformations at Mending Fences offers a wide array of treatment options for anyone living with substance abuse disorder. Since we realize veterans experience unique stressors, though, we have an entire program dedicated to their recovery. There are many types of substance use treatment for veterans, but the most important step is finding what works for you.

Contact us today and we can help you find the best path toward recovery.

Medical Detoxification

One of the most important treatments for battling substance abuse in veterans is medical detoxification. Before effective therapy can help someone overcome addiction, they need to rid their body of the toxic substances they’ve used. During this process, it’s likely that their body will experience withdrawal. A professional detox facility can help veterans get through this.

If you’re seeking substance use treatment for veterans, you may have considered undertaking this feat on your own. Unfortunately, this can be dangerous. Alcohol is the most abused substance among vets and service members, and withdrawal from it can prove deadly. This is also true for benzodiazepines. Even substances that rarely cause fatal withdrawal symptoms can prove so unpleasant that a person relapses.

Grief and Loss Healing

Substance use treatment for veterans sometimes becomes necessary due to the need for pain management during and after service. In many cases, though, addiction develops as a method for coping with grief and loss. The risk of stress-related substance abuse is higher among combat vets, but even individuals who spent their careers on base go through loss.

Isolation, family separation, military sexual trauma (MST), long deployments, living under a constant threat of violence, and even losing friends in battle can cause mental health issues. These affect people in different ways, but they all have the potential to cause grief and a feeling of loss. Therapies that focus on these emotions are essential in substance use treatment for veterans.

Trauma Management and Resolution

Trauma in veterans can develop because of a variety of reasons. A single precipitating event — such as a car bombing — can have lifelong effects on the psyche. Experiences that last over long periods of time — such as hostage situations or continued sexual abuse — can also cause trauma disorders. Regardless of the underlying cause, trauma management and resolution is vital.

If trauma therapy isn’t part of substance use treatment for veterans, the likelihood of relapse is very high. This is because a symptom (e.g., addiction) is being treated as if it were a cause (e.g., trauma). Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective approaches for dealing with trauma, and it can also help treat other issues that lead to addiction in veterans.

Take a moment to review the Veterans Recovery Program offered by Transformations at Mending Fences. Then reach out to us today to learn how we can help you overcome substance abuse.

Pharmacological Interventions

Medication-assisted therapy is a powerful tool in helping veterans get through detox and withdrawal. Some prescriptions also reduce the desire to drink or do drugs. These aren’t the only times, though, when medications can prove useful. Prescriptions that treat depression, anxiety, and other disorders help achieve significant results in substance use treatment for veterans.

While drug abuse doesn’t always directly link to an underlying mental health disorder, this is how it works for many veterans. In fact, vets from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom diagnosed with substance abuse disorders also received diagnoses of mental disorders 82%–93% of the time.

Cognitive behavioral and other therapies can go a long way in beating addiction. In some cases, however, pharmacological intervention is necessary.

Other Treatment Options

The examples of substance use treatment for veterans discussed so far are some of the most effective with those who have served our country. There are various other therapeutic offerings, however, that can prove just as successful in beating addiction. Transformations at Mending Fences offers each of these approaches to ensure we can create the right treatment plan for everyone:

  • Stress and anger management.
  • Individual, group, and family therapy.
  • Art therapy.
  • Emotional regulation.
  • Animal-assisted therapy.
  • Faith-based programs.
  • Adventure therapy.

In addition to these offerings, the Help For Our Heroes Program at Transformations provides substance use treatment for veterans that focuses on their unique experiences. A master’s level therapist who is also a military veteran and former first responder leads the program. If you need help to overcome addiction, this is the place you’ll find it.

This Is a Battle You CAN Win

The low reported rates of illicit drug use in the military may seem promising, but current and former military members who deal with addiction know these statistics are often misleading. Zero tolerance policies are only effective with the drugs the military tests for. They also have no effect on unhealthy alcohol consumption in the armed forces or substance abuse among veterans.

We offer substance use treatment for veterans that caters to their specific needs. You’ll find everything you need and more to overcome drug and alcohol abuse within our program. Addiction may be a daunting enemy, but with help, you can defeat it.

Contact us today to learn more about how we help veterans take their lives back.