Veterans continue to experience the impact of their military experiences long after they have been discharged from active duty. Injuries incurred in the line of duty can continue to affect an individual through chronic pains that can have a profound effect not just on a veteran’s physical health, but their emotional health as well. Prescription medication to address such pains is common. However, this can also come with its challenges, with the development of prescription drug addiction further adding to the challenges that veterans face.

The Role of Prescription Drugs Among Veterans

Prescription drugs can be necessary for some veterans. Simply having a prescription does not necessarily mean that an individual will develop an addiction to the drugs, and their use can be essential for managing pain or other challenges that may populate daily civilian life. However, if not managed correctly, addiction can be a devastating consequence of their use. 

Chronic aches and pains as a result of injuries in the line of duty, either in training or while navigating life-threatening situations, are common, and prescription drugs are commonly used to address these challenges and help active service members return to the line of duty. However, not only can these physical pains continue to negatively impact daily life as a veteran, but they can also carry an intense emotional toll. 

For some, these chronic pains can be a constant reminder of past traumas, serving as reminders of having to navigate an active warzone and the emotional challenges therein. Others may feel inherently limited by these pains and injuries, which can further feelings of isolation, doubt, or a compromised sense of self-worth. Having support to cope with these pains can be necessary for veterans to transition to a healthy and fulfilling civilian life. However, unmoderated use of these prescriptions can have a number of dangers and negative ramifications. 

Helping Veterans Find Purpose When Transitioning Back to Civilian Life
Helping Veterans Find Purpose When Transitioning Back to Civilian Life

To ensure recovery, veterans must find their purpose while transitioning back to civilian life. For more details, call Hawaii Island Recovery at (866) 390-5070.

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The Development of Prescription Drug Addiction

With the various ways in which prescription drugs can help veterans successfully navigate civilian life, their use is widespread among the veteran community. Their use has also continued to increase with each passing year, with some 24% of veterans in the VHA receiving prescription opioid support. However, with their increased ubiquity also comes an increase in veteran overdoses, which has seen a similar rise as their use continues. While not all such overdoses result from the direct use of prescription opioids, such prescriptions can influence these overdoses in other ways. 

Addiction to Prescription Opioids

For some, these prescriptions may feel like the only way to process these challenges. Thus, when a prescription runs out, veterans may look to alternative sources for a similar effect. This can lead to seeking out street-level drugs or other opioids such as heroin or illicit fentanyl. Others may ignore prescription directions, taking more and more of a drug to attain a similar effect, leading to addiction and overuse.

Likewise, unmanaged use of prescription drugs can also lead to veterans compromising and exploring other methods of coping with their challenges. While prescription drugs can help navigate personal challenges, an overreliance on solely their use without complimenting their use with recovery practices and personalized strategies can lead to further prescription drug addiction among veterans.

The Value of Working With Professionals

Professional treatment is crucial to help veterans best utilize the potential advantages of prescription medication while being vigilant in recognizing potentially negative effects and consequences. Hawaii Island Recovery is just one place in which veterans can not only explore their personal needs and goals in civilian life but also address their relationship with prescription drugs for a comprehensive understanding of their lives outside of active duty. Working with professionals is crucial for a variety of reasons, from identifying early signs of addiction to introducing a variety of coping strategies in addition to any active prescriptions.

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Managing Prescription Drug Addiction

Not only can professionals help veterans identify problematic methods of thinking of patterns of use of prescription medications, but it can also help educate veterans on the signs and symptoms of a potentially developing perception of drug addiction. From personal and physical signs such as withdrawal symptoms, agitation, mood swings, and more to more behavioral signs, such as an increase in lying, self-isolating behaviors, and the development of a more secretive lifestyle. 

Recognizing when the use of such medications is developing into prescription drug addiction can empower veterans and professionals to take action to address the situation before more destructive consequences manifest. 

Developing Alternative Strategies

Professional treatment for managing prescription drug use can also empower veterans by exploring a variety of coping strategies to address physical, emotional, and even spiritual healing. Hawaii Island Recovery blends each of these dimensions into its programs by creating a comprehensive and robust set of coping strategies for veterans to utilize inside and outside the walls of the facility. 

Strategies like yoga, veteran community involvement, oceanic healing opportunities, and other personalized recovery techniques can all further empower veterans in recovery. This can prevent an overreliance on a single coping strategy, such as prescription medication, and can even help veterans better explore all of their needs while overcoming prescription drug addiction. 

Prescription painkillers in the veteran community
Prescription Painkillers in the Veteran Community

Prescription drugs can be incredibly dangerous among veterans. Learn about our effective approach to drug rehab in Hawaii by calling us at (866) 390-5070.

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Preventing Addiction

Engaging in professional treatment programs for veterans is paramount, whether a veteran is overcoming a prescription drug addiction or confronting any other common challenges. Trauma and PTSD, survivor’s guilt, and more can all impact each veteran’s use of prescription drugs as they seek release from physical or emotional pain. Hawaii Island Recovery champions the opportunity to not only manage prescription medication but also treat the other challenges veterans face for a comprehensive approach to healing and healthy civilian life.

The use of prescription drugs among veterans is common. However, the development of prescription drug addiction can be wholly devastating, and finding effective, personalized, and veteran-specific support to cope with the challenges of prescription drug addiction is paramount. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we can personalize each and every program to the unique needs and experiences of veterans, creating a comprehensive approach to healing for veterans and their families. 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.