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Drug Addiction and Veterans: What You Should Know

Being in the military is no easy task. The men and women who enlist do so freely and put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us. But more than that, these men and women often bring home more than just battle scars. Too many of the nation’s veterans are coming home and getting addicted to drugs or alcohol with an estimated one in five veterans suffering from substance abuse.

Zero Tolerance Policies

The US Military has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to active duty drug use. Soldiers and other military personnel have frequent random drug tests and face severe consequences if caught using.

While this works to keep drug use down during the stressful experiences of deployment and wartime, it seems to backfire once the soldiers return home. For those who go through multiple deployments and see multiple combat situations, the risks become even higher.

If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it’s time to find help. Call 800-481-6320 today to talk to someone about your treatment options.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Addiction and Veterans

Some veterans use drugs to alleviate symptoms of PTSD.

One in six American veterans comes home with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a debilitating anxiety disorder that causes severe flashbacks and panic attacks.

But PTSD does more than just keep you up at night. It also makes you more likely to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. And of the veterans already diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder, one in three of them also has PTSD.

Prescription Pain Medication

For many of those returning home from combat, a problem arises with prescription pain pills. From missing limbs to shrapnel wounds, these men and women have injuries that cause significant pain. But often, instead of teaching them new ways to cope with the pain, they’re prescribed narcotic pain medication.

These medications are highly addictive and soon, even when taken just as prescribed, a higher dosage is necessary to deal with the pain and the path to addiction is started.

It’s Not Just the Veterans

Prescription pain pill abuse is a problem among those on active duty as well, even with the zero tolerance policies in place. Eleven percent of active military members admit to abusing their prescription medications and yet the current system doesn’t seem to be prepared to handle the situation, and it continues to grow.

When it comes to alcohol abuse, the numbers are even higher. Twenty percent of active duty service members admit to binge drinking at least once a week. While many take this type of drinking lightly, binge drinking is a big deal. It’s hard on the body and brain and can lead to devastating consequences.

Are You Addicted?

If you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol and sick and tired of being sick and tired, today’s the day to make a change. Call 800-481-6320 now to talk to a live person about your treatment options. Our addiction professionals understand what you’re going through and can answer your questions and help you find the treatment that can change your life. Don’t wait. Call today.

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