Veterans make up a proud portion of each community they are a part of, and the respect garnered from their time in service should never go understated. However, through their time on active duty, veterans are also at an increased risk for traumatic experiences, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addiction. 

Supporting those who have protected their communities is crucial, and pervasive stigmas surrounding words like “addiction” and “recovery” can make it difficult for these pillars of their communities to get the help needed to face these daily struggles. Veteran-focused centers for alcohol and drug treatment are a reliable way to address veterans’ unique needs and experiences while creating a safe space to deconstruct stigmas and overcome the effects of trauma to create a sober future. 

The Need for Veteran-Focused Programs

It is not enough to merely celebrate veterans’ bravery and sacrifice on Veterans Day. To truly thank veterans, communities must support veterans through the unique struggles veterans face. Eleven to 30% of veterans suffer from some degree of PTSD following their service, depending on many factors, including:

  • The war served in
  • The politics surrounding the war
  • Number of deployments
  • The length of time spent away from one’s family

The loss of brothers and sisters in arms and the stress of being in an active warzone also exacerbate PTSD among veterans. 

Likewise, about one in 15 veterans also struggle with substance use disorder (SUD) following their service, making veteran-focused treatment crucial. The use of drugs and alcohol among veterans can be attributed to a myriad of factors, from the sudden life change to attempts to self-medicate following traumatic experiences, survivor’s guilt, anxiety, and stress.

It can also be complicated for veterans to reach out for help due to social stigmas or expectations. Veteran-specific programs are essential for helping deconstruct these barriers and provide veterans with the specialized treatment needed to pursue a healthy, sober civilian life. 

The Prevalence of Addiction in Veterans
The Prevalence of Addiction in Veterans

Addiction is incredibly common among veterans, and tackling the unique traumas and experiences veterans face is difficult. Learn more at (866) 390-5070.

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The Benefits of Veteran Treatment Programs

Veterans face unique challenges while pursuing sobriety, and dedicated veteran programs are essential for providing the educated treatment necessary for a truly transformative experience. Taking advantage of the unique benefits of veteran programs ensures that one’s time in treatment focuses on one’s specific challenges with practical strategies catered to each veteran’s situation. 

Normalizing Treatment for Veterans

One of the most significant barriers to effective treatment is the stigma surrounding the word. For veterans, this barrier can be even more challenging to overcome and stands in stark contrast to the images of strength, heroism, and stoicism instilled through one’s time in the military. 

However, veterans and active military personnel are still people. Seeing fellow veterans addressing similar issues and clearing similar hurdles can deconstruct the idea that veterans must maintain this image at all times of the day. While addressing vulnerable topics like trauma and addiction takes strength, it can be easier to overcome these trials if one has a dedicated veteran program to accept and normalize reaching out for backup.

Facilitating Effective Communication

Frank discussions of SUD and personal trauma can be difficult for anyone. This can be especially true for veterans who may have difficulty communicating about combat’s unique stresses and losses. 

Dedicated veteran programs can ensure that one speaks with peers and educated professionals while being heard and understood without changing one’s language. This level of camaraderie is crucial for developing meaningful communication strategies and essential relationships throughout one’s recovery and is a level of communication that may not be ordinarily attainable without a focus on veterans.

Trauma-Informed Care

It is difficult to separate one’s use of drugs and alcohol from the traumas that one has faced, and being able to address the two in tandem makes for a genuinely compelling, transformative recovery. Understanding how substance abuse and trauma relate to each other and taking a sensitive, trauma-informed approach to therapeutic modalities is crucial for balancing each individual’s needs throughout recovery, especially for veterans. 

Trauma-informed treatment can ensure that one is developing the most effective, practical strategies for maintaining sobriety and mental health while continuing to build the resilience necessary to face the trials of daily life. 

Trauma | PTSD | Treatment
Identifying Trauma, PTSD, and Addiction in Veterans

Veterans face a constant battle with trauma, PTSD, and addiction. Learn to identify warning signs by calling Hawaii Island Recovery at (866) 390-5070.

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Creating Community

Community is a significant part of the recovery process; one must feel connected to others as they navigate their sober journey. Veteran-focused treatment programs are instrumental in creating an atmosphere of acceptance and community, introducing veterans to peers who can continue to understand and positively impact one’s recovery journey. Building meaningful relationships, relating to others in similar circumstances, and developing a new social circle based on sobriety and change can continue to motivate each individual throughout each step of their journey to a sober future. 

We at Hawaii Island Recovery are proud to offer our veteran-focused programs to directly address the needs, goals, and challenges that veterans in our communities face. We are committed to helping create educated, effective treatment options, all while building an atmosphere and culture of acceptance and change. The unique advantages of our Hawaii recovery center allow us to create a truly unique and transformative experience. From your first step into detox to your continued residential and outpatient care, we are prepared to personalize your time with us each step of the way and help you create a community of peers for veterans to challenge addiction, trauma, and the daily trials of life as a veteran. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us and help you recover from addiction, call Hawaii Island Recovery today at (866) 390-5070.