PTSD and SUD Among Veterans

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PTSDVeterans Day 2019 is less than a week away; it’s a valuable time to honor those who have served bravely in the United States military. This is also a vital opportunity to discuss some of the challenges that veterans face, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance use disorder.

People who willingly or unwillingly have their lives put in harm’s way are at risk of experiencing lingering problems. Witnessing trauma or being subject to a traumatic event can disrupt one’s life. Veterans who are injured in the line of duty or see horrific events are often ill-equipped to cope.

Addiction and mental health disorders are common amongst servicemen and women and veterans. According to the National Center for PTSD, substance use disorder (SUD) and PTSD accompany each other often. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that more than 2 of 10 veterans with PTSD also have SUD. The VA’s National Center for PTSD writes:

Studies show PTSD and substance use problems are strongly related in people who served in the military and in civilians. Some people try to cope with PTSD symptoms by drinking heavily, using drugs, or smoking too much. People who have problems with drugs or alcohol are also more likely to develop PTSD. The good news is that treatment works, and therapy can target both problems at the same time.

Treating Veterans with PTSD and SUD and their Families

The VA reports that almost 1 out of every 3 veterans seeking treatment for SUD also has PTSD. Veterans who present with both behavioral and mental health disorders must have both conditions treated concurrently. Long-term recovery depends on clients leaving treatment with the skills and tools to work a program of abstinence and manage their symptoms of co-occurring mental illness.

Ignoring one condition usually undoes the gains made by treating the other, which significantly increases the risk of relapse. At NorthStar Transitions, we offer a program that addresses the needs of active military and veterans who struggle with PTSD and SUD. We understand providing a trauma-informed treatment curriculum gives people the best chance of achieving lasting recovery.

Those who seek out our assistance can benefit from residential, outpatient, intensive outpatient, detox, and day treatment programs. Once the drug and alcohol are out of a client’s system, our highly-trained professionals can begin the process of addressing substance use disorder and co-occurring PTSD.

Spouses and children of active service members and veterans are susceptible to substance use problems as well. Those who do not have healthy coping mechanisms may turn to drugs and alcohol to ease their discomfort.

Active servicemen and women, veterans, and their families require support whenever mental or behavioral health disorders manifest. Long-term recovery is possible, provided that one has access to evidence-based treatment modalities.

NorthStar Transitions Accepts Tricare Prime

Active-duty, retired and reserve military personnel, and qualified former spouses can benefit from choosing a treatment center that is in-network with TRICARE Prime®, a managed-care program. Treatment is often a lengthy and expensive process; utilizing insurance can significantly reduce the cost of treatment.

Our staff utilizes several trauma-focused psychotherapies to help people process their traumatic experiences. Regarding SUDs, our team relies on cognitive behavioral therapy and relapse prevention techniques to ensure clients have the best shot at long-term recovery. It’s paramount that treatment involves targeting both conditions at the same time.

Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and to begin your recovery journey. You can reach us online or by calling 303-558-6400.

All of us at NST, are grateful for the sacrifices that servicemen and women and their families make each year. We would like to wish everyone a peaceful Veterans Day weekend.