Finding effective treatment for veterans overcoming trauma, addiction, and more is difficult. Many veterans may find it difficult to locate places or people who truly understand the challenges they face and the approach needed to effectively address their needs and goals in veteran life. While communities and families can help by destigmatizing language and making treatment options available, some of the best people to reach out to veterans are other veterans who have found treatment themselves. Reaching out to veteran peers can be one of the best ways to not only empower others to pursue their own healthy and sober civilian lives but also begin the hard work of destigmatizing treatment and creating a culture of healing at home. 

The Challenges for Veterans Finding Treatment

Veterans returning home from active duty and transitioning into a new culture in civilian life are met with a plethora of challenges. For many, the effects of addictive substances and substance use disorder (SUD) can continue to impact daily life, with mental health disorders, trauma, flashbacks, PTSD, and more all informing veterans’ use of drugs or alcohol. 

Despite these challenges, it can still be difficult for many veterans to reach out for help, even if many may recognize that they would benefit from professional treatment programs like those available at Hawaii Island Recovery. Some may feel as if reaching out for help would be admitting some kind of weakness or vulnerability that they are not comfortable with or that it would otherwise compromise the way that others perceived them and their “strength.” Veterans may also feel that treatment programs would be ineffective, especially if they cannot meaningfully connect with professionals or civilians who have not lived through the trials of military service. 

Because of this, veterans who have explored treatment themselves can be the best people to reach out to veteran peers so they can begin their healing journey, with veteran alumni being crucial in creating and expanding a culture of acceptance, healing, and change.

Relapse Prevention Strategies for Sober Veterans
Relapse Prevention Strategies for Sober Veterans

Overcoming addiction as a veteran is difficult, and having established, effective, and comprehensive relapse prevention strategies in veteran life is crucial to avoid re-engaging with drugs or alcohol. For more information on our dedicated veteran programs and unique approach to our Hawaii rehabilitation, or if you have any questions about your next step, call (866) 390-5070.

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Reaching Out to Veteran Peers

Veterans know all too intimately the challenges presented by military life. Trauma, PTSD, physical and moral injury, guilt, grief, flashbacks, and much more are all common among military personnel and often inform prevalent and dangerous use of drugs or alcohol. Taking on the role of a veteran alumnus who is willing and ready to reach out to veteran peers is a truly profound effort and something that should be celebrated for its role in facilitating a spirit and culture of healing necessary across the veteran community. 

Veterans, working alongside professionals with trauma-informed and dedicated veteran treatment programs like those at Hawaii Island Recovery, can be the catalyst for change for veteran peers, and it all starts by knowing how to open this important dialogue.

Use Your Experiences

Reaching out to veteran peers is difficult and requires that veterans who have navigated their own treatment and healing journey be open to talking about their own difficult experiences. One of the major barriers to veterans beginning their recovery journey comes with the belief that it will be difficult for them to connect with civilians due to living through vastly different life experiences, traumas, cultures, and more. Being willing to discuss one’s journey with both military life and treatment afterward can validate the feelings of veteran peers and ensure that they feel connected to a person who has navigated their veteran-specific challenges. 

Make Resources Known to Veteran Peers

Nobody can force another person to engage in truly effective healing – an individual must want this healing for themselves and put in the work to make change happen. However, veterans who have navigated treatment can make known effective resources for veteran peers who may be curious about contacting professionals for help. Simply being willing to share the names and locations of local programs where a person has been, or the names of individuals who may be able to better point an individual in the right direction can empower veteran peers to decide to pursue treatment for themselves at their own pace, without feeling pressured. 

Use Challenges to Highlight Success

Effective addiction and trauma recovery comes with many discomforts and challenges along the way. Acknowledging and drawing attention to this difficulty can allow veterans to reach out to others and more effectively highlight their successes, triumphs, and the positive outcomes of overcoming these challenges. This approach provides an honest perspective and helps veteran peers set accurate expectations for their engagement in a dedicated treatment program. 

Prescription Drug Addiction Among Veterans
Prescription Drug Addiction Among Veterans

The use of prescription drugs among veterans is common. From proven substance use treatment practices to community engagement and spiritual healing, we offer a comprehensive approach to a transformed and sober future for veterans of the armed forces. For more information on how we can personalize a treatment plan for you, call us today at (866) 390-5070.

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Continue Your Treatment and Healing

Leading by example can be exceptionally powerful, especially when in a culture that may have difficulty verbally expressing personal needs or challenges. Continuing to practice personal healing strategies, attending rehab in Hawaii, and engaging in veteran support groups can be a great way to make oneself available, as well as facilitate an atmosphere of healing and change by furthering a person’s own recovery goals, self-care strategies, and more. 

Veterans are an integral part of any community and can also be the best people to understand and reach out to other veterans regarding the importance and efficacy of effective treatment. However, finding the right treatment program is still essential. Hawaii Island Recovery’s dedicated veteran rehab in Hawaii blends the preventative therapeutic strategies of addiction treatment and recovery with trauma-informed professionals and modalities, ensuring that veterans can address mental health needs, trauma, and addiction in tandem for a truly transformed civilian life. We also curate a community of veteran peers to address the unique challenges of military life and the transition to a civilian lifestyle. To learn how we can help you, call us today at (866) 390-5070.