Veterans sacrificed their dreams, time with their loved ones, and personal gain to ensure freedom amongst the people of America. Their experiences are often traumatic, and many will undergo much suffering before they make it home. Yet, they are seen as heroes, even warriors, battling with something. Over the last several decades, veterans' alcohol abuse has become a huge concern across the United States. Many will choose to cope with their past by relying on the bottle, which is never advised.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops after a person has experienced a shocking or traumatic event. People will feel overwhelmed with stress or easily frightened even when they are not in danger. Symptoms will usually happen three months after the event, but some may process the affair later, even after as long as a few years. PTSD and alcohol abuse go hand in hand since flashbacks of a shocking event, bad dreams, or thoughts will cause individuals to drink large quantities of alcohol to distract themselves and drink themselves into a forgetful state of mind.
Around 60 to 80% of Vietnam veterans with PTSD rely on alcohol, while most war veterans tend to binge drink. Alcohol abuse in the military upholds countless binge drinkers who drink due to stress, homesickness, or depression. Of course, veterans diagnosed with PTSD should not depend on alcohol since it can worsen symptoms, making it harder to concentrate and be productive.
Examples of PTSD symptoms that may increase with alcohol abuse include feeling:
It may be easy to “medicate” with alcohol, especially if lacking sleep due to flashbacks of a certain happening. Alcohol changes the quality of sleep a person may have since it manipulates the connections and signals in the brain; therefore, altering a person’s behavior. It is best to avoid battling PTSD by using alcohol as a coping mechanism. Alcohol treatment is a fantastic solution to resolve the dependency on the substance and regain control over your life.
Veterans' alcohol abuse may cause new mental health disorders to form or worsen an existing mental illness. Veterans and co-occurring disorders alone can cause conflict in the home, like resentment toward a spouse, or make parenting exceptionally difficult. Veterans who return home and do not seek help right away for any feelings toward past trauma may inflict violence or represent a lousy influence when they mix the problem with alcohol.
Close to half of those who are battling PTSD along with drinking problems also may suffer from panic attacks or anxiety, mood problems such as depression and attention problems, or behaving in ways that harm others. Paranoia and self-destructive behavior are common side effects of alcohol abuse when a veteran has a current mental illness.
At our Military Veterans in Recovery program at Banyan, we offer medically monitored detox treatment with unique therapeutic methods to ensure safety during and after the withdrawal process. Our team of highly trained and licensed professionals will inform you about the special programs offered and what will work best for you to reach your goals.Our experienced medical staff can provide support and rehabilitation treatment to help patients reach sobriety. We do not take Veterans’ alcohol abuse lightly and understand the struggle Veterans are facing and how help and guidance are needed to get back on track after experiencing trauma. If you or a loved one is battling against alcohol or other substance abuse, please do not hesitate to call us as there is always a team member available to answer any questions you may have.