Veterans and Alcohol Abuse

America’s military veterans make many sacrifices during and after their service to our country.  Unfortunately, their unique experiences in stressful and traumatic situations can often lead to mental health issues.  Only in recent years have we begun to prioritize the mental health of our military members by recognizing and treating the overwhelmingly high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder.  Although there has been a push for quality treatment for those suffering from PTSD, many veterans are still enduring the consequences of war, and are using alcohol as a crutch to cope with their pain.

Alcohol is particularly dangerous to those suffering from PTSD for a variety of reasons.  PTSD hinders a person’s ability to live a peaceful, productive life by causing symptoms such as acute anxiety, insomnia, paranoia, and dissociative disorder.  Alcohol on its own can cause many of these same symptoms, and when coupled with PTSD can exacerbate the manifestations of existing trauma. For example, a person suffering from PTSD-induced insomnia may choose to drink to help them fall asleep, not knowing that alcohol actually disrupts the quality of their sleep and leaves them feeling even more depleted the next day.  Alcohol is also commonly used by veterans with PTSD in an attempt to forget violent and disturbing experiences, but suppressing traumatic memories can actually give those memories more power in your subconscious and lead to greater mental illness.

When veterans with PTSD abuse alcohol, they are more likely to suffer from negative consequences such as deteriorating health, family violence, financial instability, parenting struggles, and failed relationships.  If you believe you are suffering from PTSD and are using alcohol to cope, or if you know a veteran you think may have alcohol use disorder, it is important to reach out to a treatment center that can help you heal the underlying emotional scars of military service while also achieving sobriety.   

At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.