With approximately 22 million veterans in the United States, the issue of substance abuse treatment for members has long been a topic of intense examination.
Due to the widespread stigma attached to substance abuse, seeking help in the open has been problematic for many soldiers. This has been addressed by the VA with several options for soldiers to find confidential assistance with their substance abuse, but even with more confidentiality, many veterans who live in more remote locations still may have difficulty finding VA provided treatment and proper care in their area.
Thankfully, most military members are not limited to seeking help at a VA treatment center, and typically are able to use medical benefits to get help from a private rehab facility or service accepting insurance.
With the high prevalence of substance abuse and PTSD co-occurring disorders among military members, several options for courses of treatment should be made available to address the specific needs of each individual.
Since self-medicating with alcohol is the most common form of substance abuse in the military, virtually every recommendation by the VA is for members to seek help for both PTSD and alcohol abuse. In some cases, these two diagnoses must be addressed separately, but ideally, veterans should seek a rehab center or program which offers dual-diagnosis treatment. In these programs, veterans and active military members can address their PTSD and substance abuse concurrently, tailored to work in conjunction with each other.
Veterans and active military members are among America’s strongest, and most celebrated population, yet many of their challenges and experiences expose their vulnerabilities, creating the need for tremendous support and help.
Whether through the VA, or a private rehab center, it is vital for any vet who is struggling with PTSD, substance abuse or both, to seek treatment right away. Not only is this the best way to adapt to civilian life after war, but also being able to maintain a healthy and productive life for the future.