If you are a former military service member who struggles with alcoholism, getting alcohol addiction treatment from an alcohol rehab for veterans can change your life. The process of getting sober isn’t something anyone should have to go through on their own, and with support from Journey Hillside, you can handle the ups and downs of the journey toward sobriety.
Learn more about veteran alcohol treatment and how to get started on the path to sobriety in the sections below.
How Alcoholism Impacts Veterans
Alcoholism can have a profound effect on veterans and often stems from the trauma endured during periods of active duty. It takes major bravery to serve in the armed forces, but no one is ever prepared for what they have to see and do in service to their country. The traumatic nature of military service leaves many veterans struggling with addiction and trying to cope with co-occurring mental health issues.
Increases Suicide or Self Harm
Alcohol is a depressant, and it can exacerbate suicidal thoughts or the urge to self-harm. In veterans struggling with their mental health, alcoholism is often a factor that makes the struggle harder rather than easier.
In addition, many veterans find themselves depressed after quitting alcohol without professional help and support from a veterans alcohol rehab. The prevalence of depression among veterans who try to get sober on their own is one of the major reasons why we encourage you to seek treatment at our alcohol rehab for veterans. You don’t have to fight alone.
Likewise, struggling with alcoholism and failing to get proper drug and alcohol abuse treatment can lead to conflict in families. If your loved ones want you to get help and you’re unwilling, ongoing conflict can arise that drives a wedge between you and them.
Potential for Homelessness
Alcoholism can also put a serious financial strain on you and your loved ones. If you are drinking too much, the physical and emotional effects are paired with potential financial distress and even potential for homelessness.
Can Lead to Drug and Substance Abuse
In addition, battling alcoholism without getting the residential addiction treatment you need can lead to the development of coexisting addictions to drugs and other substances.
Mental Health Issues
Alcoholism is known to worsen co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Drinking excessively can leave you feeling unable to manage the symptoms of conditions like these.
Causes of Alcohol Abuse in Veterans
Some of the most common causes of alcohol abuse in veterans are PTSD, chronic pain, substance abuse, and other mental health disorders.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Alcohol is an unhealthy but common coping mechanism used by many veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In addition, many veterans use alcohol as a numbing agent when dealing with chronic pain from service-connected injuries.
In the same way that alcoholism can lead to other addictions, other addictions can lead to alcoholism by exacerbating addictive tendencies and causing emotional damage to yourself and your loved ones.
Mental Health Disorders
Finally, other mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, can lead to or worsen a veteran’s compulsive drinking habits.
Symptoms and Signs of Alcoholism in Veterans
Below are the most common physical and behavioral symptoms of alcoholism in veterans:
Physical symptoms of alcoholism in veterans include:
- Severe hangovers
- Trouble sleeping
- Blacking out
- Changes in weight
- Changes in eating habits
Behavioral symptoms of alcoholism in veterans include:
- Increased anger
- Impulsive decision making
- Intense urges to drink
- Feelings of shame related to drinking
- Hiding alcohol
How To Get Help
If you need help dealing with alcoholism, know that there is hope — don’t give up! The following are some of the best ways to move towards recovery.
Support groups that follow a 12-step track, such as Alcoholics’ Anonymous, can be immensely helpful for alcoholic veterans.
Getting the help and support of your loved ones can be the necessary push to get the treatment that you need. This help may come in the form of an intervention.
Certain forms of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) can help you manage addictive behaviors and find the root causes beneath them.
Options for Treatment
Options for treatment of alcoholism include inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, and time at a sober living community. All of these options can help you get sober while maintaining varying levels of independence.
Benefits of Alcohol Rehab for Veterans
Alcohol rehab for veterans has all of the following major benefits:
- Introducing professionals into your support system
- Surrounding you with others in recovery
- Getting you away from alcohol and other addictive substances
- Equipping you with valuable skills to fight addiction on your own
- Giving you a chance to rest and lean on others for help and support
- Helping you find hope and the motivation to heal
Take the First Step in Getting Veterans Help for Alcohol Addiction
If you’re ready to start the recovery journey, we’re here for you. We want to do everything we can to get you back on your feet and feeling like yourself again. Contact us today to start the admissions process and find out more about the services we offer.