Heavy drinking is prominent across the Armed Forces culture. Alcohol is used as a relaxing, social, and bonding agent. Yet it is also abused as a coping strategy, especially through the pain, emotions, and mental struggles of military life. If abused, drinking habits can form, as can associations with alcohol.
For veterans, habitual behaviours can resurface. Associations with alcohol can return through the challenges of civilian life. Returning home from combat can be emotionally and psychologically testing, found to increase the risks of mental illness.
As mental health issues are common for veterans, illicit and prescription drugs are used as a way of coping. Alcohol is especially a favoured coping strategy for veterans, helping to slow down the central nervous system and suppress symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
Whilst there are services within the Armed Forces to help reduce the risks of alcoholism and mental impairment, demand for additional support continues to rise. With that, alcohol rehab for veterans is essential, offered here at Rehab Clinics Group.
Reach out for our help, here to offer a range of addiction recovery options.
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Alcohol addiction among veterans
As alcohol is normalised whilst serving in the military, it’s mostly seen as a harmless substance. Although minimal harm can be expected through initial use and responsible drinking, once the line is crossed, risks of alcohol addiction and many health issues are high.
Alcohol is a favoured substance as it slows down the body and mind. It acts as an escape, which for military personnel is part and parcel of the job. Escaping from pain, loneliness, fear, and early-onset mental health issues is common, seeing alcohol as a way of coping.
Associating alcohol with coping can be dangerous, viewing it as a long-term strategy. For veterans, alcohol is associated with relief, especially through civilian life. Alcoholism and heavy drinking habits are common for veterans, as returning home, adjusting, and coping can be very challenging, especially whilst battling with traumatic memories or symptoms of PTSD.
There are many factors that can trigger alcohol addiction among veterans, from deployment and a change in routine to physical pain and a lack of support. Due to increased rates, alcohol rehab for veterans is in demand.
Mental health issues among veterans
Mental health issues are also common among veterans, found to trigger alcoholism and drug abuse and/or result in a life-limiting condition. Co-existing conditions rates are high, due to the relationship between substance abuse and poor mental health.
Recent research has found that 1 in 8 military personnel and veterans require mental health support. Common conditions include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), chronic depression, anxiety disorders and mood disorders.
Mental illness can be pre-existing from serving in the Military. Conditions are also found to develop through the adjustment phase, between leaving the Military and returning home to civilian life. Change, previous trauma, head injuries and exposure to drugs and alcohol are all common causes of mental health issues among veterans.
Alcohol treatment for veterans
Although internal support is available, many veterans return home with underlying problems. Without sourcing treatment, primary problems with alcohol can resurface and can also develop into dual diagnosis.
Alcohol treatment will offer the tools and direction to withdraw from alcohol, work through the emotional associations that may be present, and plan for relapse prevention. Treatment programmes are tailored to individual needs, yet with a strong focus on stress management, trauma counselling and mental health recovery.
At Rehab Clinics Group, alcohol rehab for veterans is available, delivering inpatient treatment programmes and long-term recovery plans. Taking into account personal habits, associations, experiences, and triggers, we offer bespoke treatment programmes, following a 12-step recovery process.
Alcohol detox will be recommended, safely facilitated to reduce the strength of withdrawal symptoms. Addiction therapy will also be prominent, with a focus on cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, and support groups. Dual diagnosis treatments for mental illness, holistic therapies, and management techniques are also included to prevent alcohol relapse.
Private rehab facilities are available through our group, to offer an intimate and discrete rehabilitation process. Settings are also controlled and relaxing, to help reduce symptoms and influences. 24/7 support, a wide range of additional resources, and a comprehensive recovery process will be delivered through alcohol rehab.
Veteran aftercare support
Whilst adjusting to sobriety and civilian life, support will be paramount. Veteran aftercare support is offered through alcohol rehab, available for 12 months free of charge.
Aftercare support services are helpful whilst working through adjustments, mental challenges, symptoms, and milestones. Support group meetings, therapy sessions and 12-step recovery plans are on offer to manage both addiction and mental health recovery.
For many veterans, the adjustment phase will also provide the chance to rebuild relationships, routines, and self-awareness. Aftercare support will offer the tools to return home with positive coping strategies and rebuild techniques.
Addiction recovery options – How we can help
Recovering from substance use disorders will be possible through both inpatient and outpatient recovery options. Inpatient rehab is offered here at Rehab Clinics Group, offering a private, progressive, and personalised experience. Alcohol addiction treatment and dual diagnosis treatment can be worked through urgently, followed by 12 months of aftercare. Each step of alcohol rehab will be tailored to your needs.
Outpatient rehab can alternatively be arranged yet is offered on the NHS. Depending on your urgency and circumstances, outpatient treatment may be unsuitable, as waiting lists are usually long and programmes are generic.
Whilst alcohol addiction and mental health problems are common in veterans, each diagnosis will be different. Complete our admissions process here at Rehab Clinics Group to be treated as an individual through alcohol rehab for veterans. We have a number of rehab clinics to select from, offering medical and therapeutic support.