Wounded Veterans and Addiction

Wounded Veterans and AddictionMembers of the military returning home from combat have high rates of substance abuse and addiction. Wounded soldiers and veterans are exposed to serious physical and psychological trauma and injury that can influence their desire to abuse drugs or alcohol in order to combat symptoms of pain.

Wounded veterans are susceptible to a number of different injuries and conditions that can cause them persistent, repetitive, chronic, lingering and excruciating pain. A major problem specific to wounded soldiers and veterans is that they have a hard time admitting weakness, physical or psychological. Talking or seeking treatment for wounds, injury and illness can feel like whining or complaining to these individuals, since they are trained to overcome pain and weakness. In addition, while in service there are limited options for treating injury and pain, so prescription medications, alcohol and other drugs are utilized at the earliest sign of pain.

Physical wounds, traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder are rampant among soldiers and veterans who have been in combat. If returning soldiers and veterans do not have other resources and options for treatment they are likely to stick with the substances that have already decreased their symptoms and pain in the past.

Pain medications are addictive and when pain is chronic or long-term, like it tends to be in wounded soldiers and veterans, the use of medication can quickly lead to addiction.

To make things more complex, wounded soldiers and veterans often have a difficult time returning back to their “normal” lives after combat. After witnessing and experiencing so much trauma, sadness and major change, issues like depression, anxiety, apathy, boredom, loneliness, and suicidal ideation can onset in soldiers and veterans. These issues only increase the risk for substance abuse and addiction as both prescription and recreational substances can numb emotional pain just as well as physical pain symptoms.

Pain Management and Other Non-Addictive Recovery Options for Soldiers

There are several pain management options available to wounded soldiers and veterans that do not rely solely on medication and other addictive substances. Whatever issues a soldier or veteran is struggling with can be addressed through various physical, psychological and spiritual methods of treatment. Utilizing a multi-comprehensive pain management plan will address the numerous possible issues that may be connected to a wound, injury or condition. Physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, meditation, homeopathic medicine, talk therapy, group therapy, adventure therapy and medical care are all powerful tools for dealing with the physical and emotional wounds that come from serving in the military.

Another helpful option for dealing with pain is by joining a support group. There are so many soldiers and veterans who have returned home and experienced serious challenges along the way. Having others to share their experiences with can significantly benefit veterans’ recovery from both physical and psychological trauma.

Addiction Recovery Options for Wounded Soldiers and Veterans

To find help for a wounded veteran or soldier you can call our toll-free number. Our recovery professionals are on-hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in order to assist family and friends of wounded soldiers and veterans, or wounded soldiers and veterans themselves. You do not have to rely on drugs, alcohol and a life of addiction to avoid experiencing physical or emotional pain. If you’re ready to find recovery, call and learn more about your options today. Whether you still have questions or are ready to find the right treatment services and professionals today, we are happy to help.