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Alcoholism in Veterans: The Facts and Treatment of AUD and PTSD

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Alcoholism in Veterans national drug use survey

Veteran problems with alcohol abuse are widespread. Drinking among veterans may be influenced by various factors, including battlefield exposure, sexual assault, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can worsen when veterans drink to deal with their symptoms. Veterans struggling with alcoholism and mental health concerns can benefit from treatment that tackles both conditions.

It gets difficult for Veterans to adjust to normal routine life as they have served the nation with bravery to protect their homeland. Being a veteran, you have always followed the norms of the military and remained supportive of the country in challenging times. If you are dealing with alcoholism, The Recovery Team can help you to get back to life as it was meant to be.

Having to drink more to get the same impact as before and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you quickly reduce or stop drinking are all signs of alcohol abuse. Also, alcoholism involves binge drinking, defined as the consumption of at least four drinks in two hours by a male or five drinks in two hours by a female.

Veterans Affairs, Alcoholism, and Statistics

It is necessary to define alcohol abuse to understand how the Department of Veterans Affairs evaluates claims of alcoholism. Addiction to alcoholic beverages that leads to disability or death is something that the Veterans Administration (VA) denotes as “alcohol abuse.”

In addition to aggravating the symptoms that veterans try to reduce with alcohol, it can also worsen existing conditions. To cope with their PTSD symptoms, veterans may turn to alcohol or drug abuse, but this often exacerbates their symptoms and creates new issues that make life even more difficult. As per the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, veterans are likely to consume alcohol at 56.6 percent compared to 50.8 percent of the non-veteran population.

Alcoholism and a Veteran’s Mental Stress

As previously said, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may turn to alcohol for temporary relief, though they often do more harm than good. 

Here are some of the detrimental impacts of self-medicating with alcohol on those who have recently returned from active military service. Veterans go through tough and strenuous situations that make them more inclined to alcoholism than others. 

Using alcohol can trigger mental stress. Heavy drinking has shown an increase in health complications. Moreover, it also contributes to legal problems, relationship problems, and more. Alcohol abuse is linked to interpersonal violence and even death. As a coping mechanism, they need prompt help compared to others. 

The rates of binge drinking among veterans are higher than in the general population. Being a veteran, you have lived a life of glory, and now alcoholism is affecting you. If you feel fed up with this, get yourself enrolled in convenient, comfortable, personalized residential treatment.

Difficulties in Life, Relationships, and More

The strain of distance from your loved ones while serving in the military may put even the best relationships to the test. The traumatic events leave a bad impact on their health. Transitioning to civilian life and the relationships accompanying it can be a challenge for those returning from the military. 

Alcohol use and abuse may worsen a family’s already troubled situation. PTSD and heavy drinking can lead to domestic violence or abuse, assault, and even child neglect, depending on the severity of the disorder. When they need familial support after the diagnosis of PTSD, they face further difficulties if they continue to drink.

Homelessness

Many service members will have nowhere to go when returning after their duty tour. They don’t have a place to live, no income, and no health insurance, so they can’t get help, and they’re always in the food search. Depression, anxiety, and a general sense of helplessness can all be exacerbated in this way. For many of these individuals, there appears to be no other option except to turn to drugs and alcohol. But, VA-approved programs can help. Contact your local VA for assistance if you are experiencing or at risk of homelessness after returning home. 

PTSD and Substance Use: It’s Not a Way Out

Veterans may think they are the only ones dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse after returning from war, but they are not. Veterans with PTSD and those who may have developed a drug addiction issue due to their PTSD can often benefit from specialized treatment programs and facilities. So, what are some of the therapeutic alternatives that are out there? Let’s look into the facts and solutions.

Per the National Institute of Health, someone with PTSD is four times more likely to get into alcohol addiction. There is integrated care for veterans and therapies planned to make them feel better. More than one in 10 Veterans are diagnosed with high rates of alcohol addiction, and there are many aspects behind it. Only some seek treatment, and many get better. 

Detox

Detoxification is the first step for everyone with PTSD and substance use issues. Before treatment can begin, this aids in removing toxic substances from the body. Detoxing should be done under the guidance and care of medical specialists who have received the appropriate training. Find a treatment center that provides detox services, such as a local medical facility or a veteran detox facility. You could face many troubles if you try to detox on your own.

Treatment

A treatment program must be entered into after detox or if detox is not required. You can choose a reliable treatment facility before it gets too late. This may be an inpatient or outpatient program, depending on the recommendation of your treatment specialist. 

Treatment options vary on the choice of the veterans themselves. A lifelong recovery awaits you as you are valuable to the people of the United States. Don’t delay any longer, as contacting your treatment provider today can save you from the higher risks.

Linking Mental Illness and Alcoholism

Military service members and veterans with co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are at risk for catastrophic health consequences. Comorbid PTSD and AUD affect a disproportionate number of U.S. military personnel and veterans.

This may be attributed to characteristics specific to the military, such as military culture, deployment, and trauma exposure. The National Center for PTSD declared that veterans who have PTSD and have drinking problems too suffer from other chronic mental health disorders.

In some cases, veterans who self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to alleviate service-connected ailments may be entitled to compensation for other diseases that were created by their addiction. Hepatitis C can be contracted by the use of heroin or alcohol, both of which can cause liver cirrhosis.

Dual Diagnosis Among Veterans

If you are dealing with alcoholism and also PTSD, then you need to get a dual diagnosis. Alcoholism, for the time being, calms a person, but in the long run, it has serious side effects like high blood pressure and severe damage to the liver. 

Veterans with mental health symptoms find out that their stress, traumatic brain injury, and PTSD worsen when dealing with alcoholism. It is imperative to treat the veteran population dealing with mental health and alcohol use disorder. You can get relapse prevention if alcohol use has made you suffer. 

Simply call our compassionate counselors at (800) 817-1247 to talk about your situation and our veteran alcohol and drug treatment programs

Alcoholism in Veterans who have ptsd

Frequently Asked Questions

What percent of veterans are alcoholics?

As per the 2015 health survey, more than five percent of veterans are diagnosed with heavy alcohol consumption. The heavy drinkers among veterans consume more than five drinks in a single day, and they tend to consume alcoholic beverages five days a week or more.

Is alcoholism common in the military?

Even active-duty military personnel have been facing the problem of alcoholism. Trauma and tragic moments cause stress, and to cope with it, many veteran men and women adopt alcohol use; thus, it causes them to be prone to alcohol dependence.

Are alcoholism and excessive drinking a problem in the military?

Military personnel face difficult situations and a lot of troubles, so there aren’t any restrictions on drinking after duty hours. Drinking in the military leads to excessive drinking patterns for adults in the military, even after they return home.

Why do some veterans have substance problems and others not?

Some issues associated with chronic pain can lead military personnel to leave the service with opioid, alcohol, and medication dependency. Such a situation can entangle them into trouble and other substance use. Some do not have the events, traumas, or conditions that bring them these triggers.

Get Back to Life at The Recovery Team

Being a military man or woman, you have served the nation and thus deserve the best treatment, and we won’t abandon you during these challenging times. Alcoholism in veterans has been associated with sexual assault, mental distress, and more traumas than we can list.

We will get you to recover from alcohol abuse as we care for you; your services to the nation are integral. We will provide you with a dual diagnosis to regain your health and eliminate excessive alcohol use. 

You can get sobriety when you get into our rehabilitation program. Reserve hope that we will treat ailments at our best with intensive outpatient care. Call us to learn more at (800) 817-1247.