Veterans, PTSD, and Addiction Recovery

2 min read · 2 sections

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic mental health disorder that can cause immense distress for someone that has experienced trauma. Symptoms can vary and can range from mild to severe, even possibly debilitating.1 Certain groups, such as Veterans, are more likely to suffer from PTSD, though the condition can affect anybody who experienced a traumatic event.2 Addiction and PTSD can often strike in tandem, creating a difficult medical challenge for people to overcome.3

Fortunately, recovery for Veterans struggling with both PTSD and addiction is possible through evidence-based treatment.4

Veterans & PTSD

Certain communities struggle with PTSD at higher rates than others. This is due to several factors. Some communities and demographics face higher levels of stress, which can amplify the effects of PTSD. Certain professions or occupations also have the potential of putting people in traumatic situations. Military personnel, frontline health workers, EMTs, and fire fighters all see higher rates of PTSD than other occupations.2,5

PTSD, in tandem with the stress commonly experienced by these professionals and communities, can develop into addiction. When somebody is stressed, or faces with serious mental health conditions like PTSD, they seek out ways to cope. If healthy coping mechanisms are not developed or do not alleviate the stress, one might turn to substances in order to numb the stress and pain. This can lead to the development of an alcohol or drug addiction.3

PTSD and Addiction Recovery

There is help for Veterans who struggle with PTSD and addiction. While the two conditions can affect somebody in different ways, treatment is available.4 A great way to start treating PTSD and addiction is to seek out facilities that offer treatment for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Finding a Veterans treatment program can also be a good strategy. Since Veterans face higher rates of PTSD, addiction recovery programs geared towards treating Veterans may have strategies for treating PTSD.

American Addiction Centers has its own Veterans program. This program makes it possible to treat Veterans who struggle with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. The staff at the AAC facilities, where these Veteran programs exist, are either Veterans or closely related to Veterans. This allows them to connect with their patients on a deeper level.

The Rally Point: AAC is a specialized Veteran’s addiction treatment program available at our VA Centers of Excellence facilities:

Other AAC rehab centers, like Recovery First Treatment Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Laguna Treatment in Orange County, California, and AdCare facilities in New England also provide specialized treatment for Veterans.

If you’re a Veteran struggling with addiction and PTSD, remember that you don’t have to suffer in silence. There are treatments for PTSD and addiction alike, treatment that can help to live a better, healthier life.

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