The experiences and lifestyles of military personnel births many unique challenges, with veterans from each branch of the armed forces overcoming a plethora of personal obstacles throughout their time on active duty. However, traumatic experiences, grief, loss, and mental health disorders never stay on base, and often come home with veterans and continue to impact them in civilian life. Without an outlet to process these challenges, many veterans may feel left to cope with these stresses on their own, often leading to substance use or other self-destructive behaviors, with marijuana use and addiction among veterans being exceptionally common. Finding comprehensive treatment for mental health and marijuana use in tandem is necessary for a truly transformative and healthy civilian life.

The Effects of Military Service on Mental Health

While discussing the mental health needs of active service members and veterans alike is becoming more culturally accepted and understood, it is still largely stigmatized across the country. This makes it difficult for veterans to reach out for help regarding their mental health needs and leaves many military personnel without the feeling of support or vocabulary necessary to properly communicate such complex challenges and goals. Understanding the profound effects of a military lifestyle on each person’s mental health is the first step toward addressing the mental health needs of veterans, and empowering veterans to utilize healthier coping strategies rather than the use of marijuana. Some of these challenges include:

Left unaddressed, these mental health needs can develop into other challenges, especially the use of addictive substances to placate difficult feelings or numb the brain to these challenges, with mental health and marijuana being commonly connected as an attempt at self-medication. Likewise, nobody is “immune” to developing these complex mental health needs. Veterans who have been deployed across multiple tours can have the chances of developing these mental health concerns greatly increased. 

Building Mental Health Wellness With the Family
Building Mental Health Wellness With the Family

Mental health wellness is a familial affair. Learn how our luxury mental health facilities in Hawaii can help you and your family by calling (866) 390-5070.

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The Connection Between Mental Health and Marijuana Use

Pushes for the legality and social acceptance of marijuana have led to many misconceptions surrounding its use. However, marijuana is still an addictive drug and can have numerous lasting health consequences. Despite this, marijuana is still one of the most commonly used drugs across the nation. Many veterans may seek it out in an attempt to placate feelings of stress, flashbacks, trauma, and more, especially if an individual feels that they do not have other outlets to process these challenges. 

This can lead to a dangerous cycle of use among veterans as the use of marijuana replaces the development of other coping strategies. Addressing the effects of marijuana and the forces that inform each veteran’s use in tandem is necessary for effective treatment. For many veterans, the use of marijuana may be used to quell feelings of anxiety or stress. However, without working with professionals to develop new strategies for addressing mental health, continued marijuana use can feel like the only option. Coupled with the feelings of isolation and loneliness that may accompany the transition to a new civilian culture, marijuana use can quickly develop into addiction. 

This regular use of marijuana to address mental health disorders can also often lead to the opposite of the intended effect, with feelings of stress, depression, anxiety, and more increasing as the effects of marijuana wear off, or when marijuana is not available, leading to additional mental health needs and furthering the intimate relationship between mental health and marijuana. 

Mental health in sobriety
The Continued Journey with Mental Health in Sobriety

Mental health disorders can continue to impact those in sobriety. Learn about our luxury mental health facilities and treatment options at (866) 390-5070.

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Finding Treatment for Mental Health and Marijuana Addiction at Hawaii Island Recovery

Veterans of the armed forces face a unique situation and set of needs. Not only can marijuana be an addictive substance on its own but many veterans must also address ingrained, complex traumatic experiences from their time in the line of duty. Mental health and marijuana use can be intimately connected, each continuing to inform the other in a cycle of use. Finding effective veteran care that addresses mental health and marijuana use as well as empowers veterans to explore this relationship themselves can be the best step toward effective drug rehab programs in Hawaii and the creation of a healthy civilian life.

Breaking the cycle of marijuana use is difficult. For many, breaking through feelings of isolation is a crucial first step in feeling empowered to truly address held vulnerabilities and challenges. The veteran community at Hawaii Island Recovery can be the best way to connect with peers who genuinely understand the unique challenges that follow service members home after a life of answering the call of duty, all while deconstructing stigmas in a supportive atmosphere. Combining trauma-informed treatment with a dedicated veteran community can empower each veteran to begin to explore not just how marijuana has affected their life, but also the complex traumas, beliefs, and challenges that originally informed its use. 

Veterans must overcome a plethora of mental health needs and challenges, with the use of marijuana being a common coping strategy for many of these challenges. However, it can also beget even more stress or addiction in civilian life, and Hawaii Island Recovery can help you challenge the cycle of marijuana use and mental health disorders today. Our unique approach to drug rehab programs in Hawaii allows us to not only personalize every recovery journey but also create a community of veteran peers dedicated to the unique challenges that veterans face and the cultures, mentalities, and perspectives that inform both marijuana use and mental health disorders. For more information on how we can help you, call us at (866) 390-5070.