Military personnel are constantly putting themselves in the line of duty to answer the call of duty and protect those they love. Each deployment comes with a myriad of risks and challenges to overcome and veterans of any branch of the armed forces can be deployed multiple times across varying tours. The intense impact of multiple deployments can present many challenges both for veterans still on active duty and those being discharged and transitioning to civilian life. Thus, understanding the effects of multiple deployments on veterans is paramount for creating an effective treatment plan while setting appropriate expectations for healing from these traumatic experiences.
The Effects of Serving on Tour
Active members of the military face a plethora of challenges in their line of work, from intense training regimens to their first time on tour. Navigating an active warzone, especially while on foreign soil, is incredibly difficult, with exposure to life-threatening situations, tense atmospheres, and much more. Each deployment comes with risk, both for service members’ physical and mental health, with common ramifications of deployments including:
These experiences are never truly and wholly left behind on the battlefield, and many military personnel will carry these challenges back home. Veterans can still carry these profound experiences, and their daily schedule in veteran life, as well as their mentalities and emotional health, can all be affected. However, each of these challenges can be further exacerbated through multiple deployments, further augmenting these already challenging feelings and creating an even more intense situation that demands professional treatment.
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The Effects of Multiple Deployments
Not only are military personnel exposed to any number of harrowing situations in the line of duty, but multiple deployments can further exacerbate these challenges. There is no truly effective way to process many of these challenges without professional, trauma-informed treatment like the professional programs available at Hawaii Island, and military personnel can be exposed to similar situations multiple times, with each event still being incredibly profound. Likewise, there is no “getting used” to trauma, and each exposure to life-threatening situations, each loss of a brother or sister in arms, or other experience can further facilitates this need for treatment.
Being exposed to traumatic events multiple times has lasting effects. Not only can each individual traumatic event have harrowing consequences on an individual and their mental and emotional health, but multiple deployments also can risk veterans beginning to “normalize” these challenges, creating a mentality that expects such traumatic events. This can reform each veteran’s perspective and mentality to begin expecting negativity, loss, and more and developing an incredibly pessimistic or hopeless outlook on their own daily lives.
Some adopting this kind of trauma as the “norm” may also see recovery or treatment as impossible for them, compromising treatment before it has even begun.
The Prevalence of PTSD
PTSD is one of the most common challenges that veterans face following their time in service. Of veterans that served in either Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF,) nearly 29% of them are estimated to experience symptoms of PTSD at some point in their lives. However, PTSD can be even more common for those that have served across multiple deployments, with veterans of these same tours being three times more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD compared to veterans who served a single tour, making the professional and veteran-dedicated treatment programs at Hawaii Island Recovery paramount for an effective transition to civilian life.
Effects of Multiple Deployments on Substance Use and Addiction
Veterans can already be at an increased risk to develop substance use disorder (SUD) stemming from multiple sources across their time on active duty. A normalized and pervasive drinking culture can be ingrained into veterans as they carry these perspectives and practices into civilian life. However, for veterans who have served in multiple deployments, addiction can be an even more dangerous possibility.
For some, the use of drugs or alcohol can be used as a coping mechanism to attempt to process the traumatic experiences witnessed in the line of duty, and further exposures can bring additional stresses that many veterans may attempt to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. However, for others, being exposed to life-threatening situations and a high potential for injury in the line of duty can instead birth addiction through the use of prescription painkillers to address these injuries, with some veterans developing an addiction to these drugs and carrying this addiction home into veteran life.
Each deployment can come with these risks, all compounding with each other to create a unique situation and set of needs for veterans transitioning to civilian life after multiple deployments.
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Finding Treatment for Overcoming the Effects of Multiple Deployments
It can be difficult for veterans who have served across multiple deployments to find effective treatment due to the myriad of various challenges and mindsets that can be instilled after being exposed to these situations multiple times. Dedicated, trauma-informed, and veteran-specific treatment at Hawaii Island Recovery can be paramount for finding not just the most effective trauma, alcohol, and drug rehab programs in Hawaii, but also for creating a community of healing to challenge isolation in veteran life and facilitating the most effective healing for a healthy life.
Each deployment comes with risk, both through putting military personnel through more dangerous situations for physical harm, but also presents dangers for their mental and emotional state. Finding treatment following multiple deployments for military personnel is paramount to coping with these effects in an informed and dedicated manner. Fortunately, Hawaii Island is situated with dedicated veteran care, trauma support, and effective alcohol and drug rehab programs. Our unique veteran community of healing introduces veterans to peers overcoming similar challenges to create an atmosphere of support and a new culture after returning home from tour. For more information on how we can personalize a program that is right for you, call to speak to us today at (866) 390-5070.