Individuals serving in the military struggle with addiction more often than most realize. Whether they are addicted to drugs or alcohol, the problem is quite serious. Military personnel who can relate to this issue should not be afraid to reach out for help. These individuals must learn more about addiction and where they can get the help they need. This drug and alcohol addiction guide for military personnel aims to provide insight into where addicted military personnel can get the help they need.
If you or a military member in your life is struggling with addiction, reach out to Northpoint Idaho at 208.486.0130 for more information about our specialized military addiction treatment program in Boise, Idaho.
Your Drug and Alcohol Addiction Guide for Military Personnel
Far too often, people assume that members of the Armed Forces are immune to the threat of addiction. Military members are often seen as strong individuals that carry a heavy burden on their shoulders. They are honored and respected because of their many sacrifices. However, many suffer from addictions, and the subject is often untouched or brushed off. The reality is that addiction can happen to anyone, including those who protect their country’s freedom at all costs. The question is, why does addiction occur for active and retired members of the military?
Military personnel is more at risk of addiction because:
- They endure long hours.
- They encounter dangerous situations.
- They face serious stress.
Frequent injuries also add to the risk of addiction for military members.
What Stops Military Members from Getting Help for Addiction?
It is very normal for military members to have difficulty getting help for addiction once they have one. There are a couple of different reasons for this:
- Even though there are services available to help them, military men and women are taught that asking for help is a sign of weakness. They are taught to be strong, in control, and charge of everything happening around them. For them, having to go to the VA for help with an addiction means that they were not strong enough to deal with it independently.
- They may be too proud to get assistance or lack pride in themselves and, therefore, are not feel motivated enough to get the help they need to recover.
- They may be in denial that they have a problem with drugs or alcohol. If others on their base also abuse substances, they may view it as typical behavior.
For many active military members, addictions to drugs and alcohol are a way of life. Members of the United States military often face challenges every day that so many other people in the world will never have to face. Many of them spend their days and nights wondering if they will see another day. They live a large portion of their lives away from their families and friends back home. They also encounter situations and circumstances that they would never want to speak about to another human being, and those horrors often come back to haunt them at the strangest of times. To help them manage these stressors, military personnel need encouragement to help addiction and mental health.
How to Identify Addiction Among Military Members
Denial is common for those addicted to alcohol and drugs. Whether active service people or veterans, drug or alcohol addiction is dangerous. It is important to know the signs of addiction to opiates and other substances. These include:
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Slowed breathing
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Poor coordination
- Increased tolerance level to the substances being used
- Chronic fatigue
- Becoming withdrawn socially
- Extreme mood swings
- Bouts of confusion
- Difficulty making decisions
Someone may be struggling with addiction without showing all of the above signs and symptoms. Sometimes only a few of them are indicated, which may mean that the addiction is still fairly new. However, suppose more than one or two of these signs are present. In that case, that is an obvious indicator that an addiction may be present, and they should seek out professional help through drug or alcohol rehab immediately.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Military Service Men and Women
Most people with addictions have more than one issue that needs to be treated. Several years ago, whenever someone had an addiction and a mental health condition such as PTSD, depression, or anxiety, the addiction was treated separately. That is no longer the case for most professional drug and alcohol rehab centers. Today, dual diagnosis treatment is available, and most military members have found that they need this option.
Dual diagnosis treatment focuses on treating the individual holistically, understanding that one or more other conditions may have contributed to the addiction. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Physical pain in the body
- Major depressive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Dual diagnosis treatment allows addiction treatment professionals and mental health professionals to work together to provide the best possible outcome for the patient.
How Can Addiction Treatment Help Military Personnel with Addiction?
Getting professional addiction treatment can make a world of difference because experts in the addiction field understand exactly what you are going through and have the knowledge and expertise to treat you. You will find that several components of a military addiction treatment program come together to provide you with the help you need, such as:
- Providing you with either medication to help with your withdrawal symptoms or a time of holistic detox to get you through the withdrawal period
- Working with both you and your family help rebuild and restore the broken relationships that may have occurred because of your addiction
- Teaching you valuable coping skills to help you learn how to live your life without being dependent on drugs or alcohol
- Teaching you about relapse triggers and how to avoid them
- Individual therapy sessions to help you learn the reasons behind your addiction so that you can heal
- Connecting you with additional resources to help you after your treatment is over
Even if you attempted to quit using on your own, as you can see, having these components will certainly make the process much easier on you both mentally and physically. Also, more people are successful with recovery when they have an excellent drug and alcohol rehab program, rather than trying to quit independently.
Find Military Addiction Treatment in Boise, Idaho, at Northpoint Recovery
It is natural to feel like you have no way out if you are a military member struggling with addiction. However, you need to know that there is a way out. The help you need is available to you at Northpoint Recovery’s military addiction treatment program in Boise, Idaho. Call us at 208.486.0130 when you are ready to take the next step and ask for help for your addiction.