By Sandy Baker
Veterans & Addiction
Drug and alcohol addiction impacts many veterans each year. The use of marijuana, prescription pain medications, heroin, and alcohol is not uncommon. When addiction and dependence form, veterans face numerous challenges. Veterans may use these substances for various reasons:
- To forget the images and memories of what they’ve seen, especially if they are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder
- To manage the depression and anxiety they’ve developed over the years, especially if they don’t feel they can or should open up and talk about it
- Because they suffer from chronic, often debilitating, pain from injuries and mobility problems and cannot stop using opioids to help control it
These are just a few of the reasons veterans use. If you are in that place right now, it may seem like there’s no help. That’s not the case. In an addiction treatment program designed specifically for veterans, you can recover and heal from addiction.
Why Seek Help for Addiction?
Treatment can be highly effective for veterans. Here are some benefits you may experience.
#1: Treatment for Underlying Mental Health Disorders
Addiction treatment must also address any underlying mental health disorders. Veterans who struggle with addiction commonly struggle with mental health disorders such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety as well. These disorders impact day-to-day life. They make it hard to engage with others and build meaningful relationships.
Many people use substances as a way to control or minimize the symptoms of mental health disorders. In doing so, they become addicted. Treating mental health disorders with therapy and proper medication improves the outlook for most people.
#2: Finding New Ways to Deal with Pain
Veterans with an addiction to opioids often struggle with chronic and debilitating pain. These medications work very well to stop the pain signals traveling to the brain, providing relief. But they don’t address the cause of the pain. One of the ways drug and alcohol addiction treatment can help is by providing non-opioid medications, physical therapy, or inflammation reduction. Treatment can also include innovative new pain management solutions that give true relief without opioid-based drugs.
#3: Get the Support You Need
Meaningful support is more than many families and friends can offer. If they have not been in combat or experienced military life, they don’t understand.
You can find true support in a veterans’ addiction treatment program. You’ll work with other men and women who have gone through what you have or have had similarly challenging experiences. You’ll also be able to talk to and work with therapists and counselors who have experience with veterans.
#4: Rebuilding Relationships
Often, feeling a lack of support or a disconnection from others leads to problems in relationships with non-veterans. It can feel hard to rebuild relationships when you’ve been gone for so long. You may feel everyone has moved on and lived their life without you.
In addiction treatment, family therapy can provide opportunities for reconnecting. This also creates opportunities to work through past relationship problems, communication barriers, and all of the “you just don’t understand” feelings you have.
#5: You’ll Learn Strategies for Coping with Life on Your Terms
With addiction treatment in a veteran-focused program, you’ll gain the tools you need to work on rebuilding your life. That includes strategies for dealing with addiction withdrawal and cravings. It also means working to restore your health, build a stronger sense of who you are, and create new goals for your future.
Therapy enables you to become more of the person you want to be today. It allows you to avoid feeling controlled by drugs and alcohol. You can make your own decisions and feel empowered to create a new way forward.
How The Ranch at Dove Tree Can Help You Today
Our Tactical Recovery Veteran Support Services are designed to provide the chance for recovery you deserve. We recognize that veterans, including active military personnel, require a more comprehensive approach to treatment. Our program is designed to address your unique needs in an effective manner.
We’ve partnered with PsychArmor, a nonprofit organization, to provide a program designed just for you. This program is tailored to meet the needs of each individual using evidence-based treatment methods. It’s a proven way to promote recovery in veterans.
What is the Tactical Recovery Program for Veterans and First Responders?
The Tactical Recovery Program provides a culturally competent and trauma-informed environment, tailoring care for each individual using evidence-based practices, proven to promote recovery among Veterans. RDT also incorporates Service Member Groups which occur twice weekly and led by a certified EMDR therapist. In addition, RDT offers the opportunity for clients to participate in equine therapy, trauma-informed yoga, as well as other recreational therapies and groups. Once a client completes treatment at The Ranch at Dove Tree, our alumni programs will connect them with ongoing, appropriate resources.
We encourage you to reach out to us today to learn more about the supportive programs and therapies we can offer to you right here in Lubbock, Texas.