Multiple Deployments: Adjusting from deployment to civilian life can cause significant stress on veterans. As a result, those who experience multiple deployments are more at risk for substance abuse.
Combat Exposure: Experiencing combat can result in stress and trauma. Alcohol is commonly used as a coping mechanism during deployment.
Related Injuries: The misuse of painkillers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin has been on the rise in the veteran community as these drugs are commonly prescribed for injuries incurred during combat and chronic pain after service. The wide availability of opioids poses a great risk for addiction in veterans who have been prescribed medication for combat-related injuries.
Ignoring Prescription: Those who are becoming addicted to opioids will divert from their prescription. This may mean that they take more than the prescribed dosage or take opioids when they aren’t in pain.
Mood Changes: Prolonged opioid use can result in a depressed mood and increase irritability.
Preoccupation With Obtaining Opioids: Those who are dependent on prescription drugs may borrow medication from others, pretend to lose their medication in order to obtain more, or see multiple doctors to receive multiple prescriptions.
Unusual Behavior: Opioid abuse may result in a disordered perception of reality, confusion, and disorientation. Prolonged use can increase the likelihood of risky behavior, social withdrawal, problems at work or school, and financial difficulties.