Veterans, PTSD, and Addiction Recovery

June 15, 2020

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health disorder that causes an individual trouble recovering from a traumatic event. Symptoms can vary and can range from mild to severe, chronic, and possibly debilitating. Certain groups, such as veterans, are more likely to suffer from PTSD, though the condition can affect anybody who experienced a traumatic event.

Since PTSD Awareness Day falls on June 27th, it’s worth taking time to recognize PTSD, the communities it affects, and the ways in which PTSD can lead to addiction. Indeed, addiction and PTSD can often strike in tandem, creating a difficult medical challenge for people to overcome. Luckily, there is hope in the form of PTSD and addiction recovery.

Veterans, First Responders, and 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.

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. Healthy coping mechanisms tend to be the most effective. 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.

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. 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 or first responders 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 treatment program: Salute to Recovery. As a veterans treatment program, Salute to Recovery is able to treat veterans who struggle with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. The staff at Salute to Recovery are either veterans or closely related to veterans. This allows them to connect with their patients on a deeper level. Salute to Recovery is available at Desert Hope Treatment Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Recovery First Treatment Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. At Recovery First, the Salute to Recovery program also incorporates treatment tracks and therapy types to specifically help First Responders tackle addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Whether you’re a veteran, first responder, firefighter, or healthcare worker, 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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