Balancing finances is stressful for anybody. However, navigating financial stresses is especially important for veterans transitioning to civilian life. Not only can veterans have a unique set of hurdles to overcome in their journey to establishing a civilian lifestyle after their time in service, but these stresses can also have profound effects on veterans’ financial situation and sobriety.
Left unaddressed, addiction may perpetuate, informing further emotional challenges, mental health disorders, and other ramifications in addition to compromising each veteran’s efforts to manage their own budget. Understanding the unique financial challenges that veterans face and how they may relate to the use of drugs or alcohol is essential for creating an effective and personalized approach to recovery at our Hawaii substance abuse treatment centers.
Financial Stresses of Veterans
Veterans have many unique challenges to overcome when transitioning from military life to civilian life. For some, finding employment after being successfully discharged from active duty can be difficult. The experiences and skills of veterans may make it difficult for many to take an interest in a new field or feel like an accepted part of a new culture and professional community. Others may find it difficult to find and hold consistent employment while coping with trauma, PTSD, transition stress, or mental health challenges.
However, finances are still an inevitable part of daily life, and exploring a new professional career following each veteran’s time in service is a crucial time of change. Moreover, exploring how financial stress can further the use of addictive substances or impact veteran health is crucial for taking the first step toward change.
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The Impact of Financial Stresses on Sobriety
Financial stresses and substance use can be more closely related than many may realize. Knowing the pressures that financial turmoil or uncertainty can create can help veterans and supports ready for a new approach to sobriety.
Triggers Resulting From Financial Stresses
Managing finances and creating a budget are both incredibly stressful responsibilities. Furthermore, times of unemployment, debt, or uncertainty of how a person may live paycheck to paycheck are all immensely difficult. It is common for veterans to look to any available outlets to release this stress. These stresses themselves bring intense feelings of anxiety, depression, and more. However, these triggers can also inform the use of addictive substances, with veterans turning to drugs or alcohol to push down these financial stresses and emotional challenges – even if such use would further complicate their emotional health and financial situation.
Limited Access to Care
Many veterans may also view financial stresses as a reason not to turn to professional treatment to cope with already established challenges, such as trauma, PTSD, emotional challenges, or substance use disorder (SUD). Professional treatment to address substance use and its effects on veteran life is paramount, and eschewing professional treatment due to financial concerns can further beget even more destructive outcomes and the development of addiction.
Utilizing insurance and resources through VA care in addition to finding a community of peers can help veterans prioritize their sobriety, even amidst financial stresses, and explore new outlets and access to necessary care.
Compromised or Strained Home Relationships
Finances can also play a large role in the health of personal relationships. Financial stresses can bring interpersonal conflict or shift family dynamics, causing family members to become financially reliant on one another. Additionally, resentments may mount due to financial strains picked up by others. This can further bring emotional distress and friction to a family home. Such a compromised relationship can itself inform the use of addictive substances to cope with such stress, begetting a cycle of familial strain and substance use that can break down these relationships and facilitate the need for professional treatment.
The Cycle of Substance Use and Financial Stresses
Financial challenges and substance use can be intimately intertwined, and each can further beget the other. As financial stresses continue to mount, veterans may turn to more and more addictive substances to cope with such stresses. However, this can further complicate an already fragile financial state, exacerbating the financial strains already present. Not only does this continue to impact the emotional health of veterans, but it can also lead to addiction, veteran homelessness, and more as these two challenging aspects of veteran life continue to impact each other. Addressing not just the stresses and factors behind the financial stresses of veterans but also how they inform the relationship with addictive substances is paramount for a fulfilling and sober civilian life.
Many are surprised to learn that behavioral addictions, such as gambling addiction, can be just as destructive as addictions to drugs or alcohol. Read on to learn more about the dangers of gambling addiction and how you can seek help for yourself or a loved one.More info
Hawaii Island Recovery’s Role in Change
Finances should never be a barrier to recovery, but rather recovery can be a guide to overcoming substance use and financial stresses among veterans. Hawaii Island Recovery’s commitment to change is facilitated by a dedicated veteran community, where meeting with veteran peers can help to address these financial challenges, network with peers in recovery for job opportunities, and develop personal skills for managing finances, stress, anxiety, trauma, and much more in veteran life.
These community networks, coupled with holistic approaches to treatment, can empower veterans to take control of their financial skills while developing coping strategies to address their relationship with addictive substances. From budgeting and life skills to daily coping strategies, change, sobriety, and newfound agency of each veteran’s financial stresses are always possible in a fulfilling civilian lifestyle.
Financial stresses can have a profound effect on the mental health and sobriety of veterans, and these financial stresses can be persistent due to the unique experiences and challenges faced by the veteran community. At Hawaii Island Recovery’s comprehensive Hawaii substance abuse treatment centers, we craft a unique approach to each individual and situation. By personalizing each program to address the unique stresses and challenges of each individual, we can create a comprehensive and holistic approach to veteran healing. Each program is backed by not just a community of veteran peers and trauma-informed professionals, but also by spiritual healing programs, life skills, experiential therapies, and a myriad of other opportunities for transformative healing. To learn more, call (866) 390-5070.