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Why do veterans end up in substance abuse?

Keith Prance discusses four common reasons why veterans may turn to drugs, alcohol and other outlets that are addictive.

1. To deal with the tough transition back to normal life –

The various changes or transitions in life can be challenging for many people. However, for veterans, transitioning to normal life can be particularly challenging. While in the military, they work in a highly-structured environment. This may not be the case in regular jobs where duties and roles aren’t clearly defined. Other challenges they come across are coping with new and overwhelming decisions in daily life.

2. To cope with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) –

During war times, military personnel experience life-threatening and traumatic events. After they’ve left combat, these events such as death, shooting, torture, and others lead to the development of PTSD, a severe mental health condition. Veterans struggling with this condition turn to alcohol and drugs to self-medicate, which often doesn’t help and ends up worsening their symptoms.

3. To numb chronic pain from war injuries –

Chronic pain is another reason why many veterans fall into substance abuse. While some of us may suffer from some kind of long-term pain, veterans are at a greater risk of developing chronic pain because of the extreme circumstances and traumatic injuries experienced in war.

To manage their pain, they may use opioids. These are strong painkillers available only with a prescription. If taken as prescribed, these medications can be very effective in handling various issues such as surgery recovery, back pain, and other problems. However, since they’re also addictive, veterans may abuse them.

4. To deal with the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries –

Other than chronic pain from physical injuries sustained during war times, another reason that may lead veterans to substance abuse is a traumatic brain injury. This injury may result from a violent shake or blow to the head.

Alcohol and drug rehab for Veterans in the UK

If you or your loved one is a veteran and is suffering from substance abuse, getting professional help is vital. While many people prefer going to the NHS in UK, this system isn’t well-equipped to offer the help needed. That’s why it’s recommended that you enrol yourself or a loved one in a suitable drug and alcohol rehab centre. Especially if it’s a fully residential clinic, it can work wonders to help a veteran get rid of their addiction and lead a fulfilling life.

Fully residential rehab centres are the recommended option due to several reasons. One, they a safe environment where a person can recover without temptations. Second, they ensure 24/7 care from qualified medical professionals. Quitting a substance abuse addiction comes with various withdrawal symptoms, some of them which may be devastating. Being in a residential centre ensures that there is someone to care for you just in case of anything.

When you join a residential rehab centre, there are several stages you may go through.

For more, visit – https://www.rehab-recovery.co.uk/resources/substance-abuse-resources-veterans/.

Other articles at https://www.rehab-recovery.co.uk/articles/.


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