Shockingly, veterans between the ages of 18 and 30 are twice as likely as non-veteran adults in the general population to be homeless.1 Veteran homelessness in the U.S. is discouraging due to the increase in numbers. Still, there is hope, mainly thanks to the dedicated healthcare professionals who work to combat veterans with substance abuse or mental health issues. Understanding the primary cause for the severity of the homelessness percentage can help create more solutions to help America’s veterans.
History of Substance Abuse in the Military
Once an active-duty military member forms a dependency on a drug, then a lifelong struggle with addiction, after service, becomes the result. Typically, soldiers will use prescription medications or alcohol to cope with boredom or panic attacks, increase energy, or reduce pain. During the United States Civil War, the use of opium concluded in addiction for many soldiers. Soldiers often have time during service or during travel to go out and enjoy happy hour at bars and restaurants. Drug interaction with alcohol is not unusual during these times since heavy drinking has been socially accepted in the military and is a part of history.
Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume veterans and substance abuse go hand in hand. Veterans continue the misuse of drugs and alcohol to cope with PTSD, depressive episodes, and more. Finding a military and veterans detox program can help people overcome substance abuse and dependency and establish a positive support system.
How Many Homeless Veterans Are There?
About 1.5 million veterans are considered at-risk of homelessness.1 The risks are defined as those who are under the average poverty line, as well as divorced. There are about 40,000 current homeless veterans in America. Veterans often lack a strong support system which makes it difficult to turn away from drugs and alcohol.
Around 56% of the homeless vets are African-American or Hispanic, and the number of homeless female veterans has been on the rise since 2006.1 The number of homeless veterans causes great concern since these people fought for America and its freedoms.
Help for Our Heroes at Banyan Treatment Centers
At Banyan’s Military & Veterans in Recovery program, veteran homelessness in the U.S. is a priority. We offer special levels of care and programs, including therapies that will help with addiction and mental health recovery. Our experienced medical staff provides a clean and safe environment for expression and treatment during the recovery process. If you or a loved one has served this country but is in need of medical assistance, Banyan has you covered.