Drug and alcohol addiction hits vets particularly hard. An estimated 1 out of every 15 military service members has struggled with a substance abuse disorder following their time in the military.
There are a lot of reasons veterans struggle with substance abuse at such high rates, including:
The Rigors of Military Service
Military service is intense and physically and mentally demanding. Off-duty and off-base, soldiers describe the need to let loose, relax, and blow off steam.
The Stress of Being Away from Friends and Family
For many of us, our friends and family are our primary support system. Military service requires servicemen and servicewomen to leave their friends and family behind. These long-term deployments can leave soldiers emotionally isolated.
The Horrors of Combat
Soldiers involved in combat see horrific things. The emotional and mental impacts of those experiences are one of the reasons soldiers experience higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression.
The Pain of Physical Trauma
Military service is physically challenging, and can lead to long-term physical pain. Combat can also leave service members with permanent physical injuries, including loss of limbs, spinal injuries, burns, brain injuries or paralysis.
Self-medicating with alcohol and drugs are how many soldiers choose to deal with these issues, but drugs and alcohol use only leads to more problems.
For Veterans, Getting Help Can Be Difficult
For most addicts, getting started on the road to recovery requires admitting that you have a problem, and deciding that you need help with that problem. This step seems to be particularly difficult for many veterans.
Members of our armed forces are expected to be tough—both mentally and physically. They internalize pain and perceived weakness, and they continue with that training and behavior even after their service ends.
Admitting they have a problem they can’t handle on their own can seem like failure. It’s often cited as a reason why many of our veteran patients delayed getting into an addiction treatment program.
But admitting you need help isn’t failure, and not being able to handle addiction on your own isn’t weakness. The mental and physical dependencies our bodies form to substances like drugs and alcohol make it difficult for anyone to stop on their own, whether they are a soccer mom or a super-soldier.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Options for Veterans
At Wyoming Recovery, we’re here for you, and we’re here to help you every step along the way. Our inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs help veterans tackle their addictions, and start sober, healthy lives.
Every patient at Wyoming Recovery gets an individual treatment plan. Our case managers, medical staff, and counselors all work together to come up with a custom treatment protocol designed to treat each patient, their addiction, and the root causes of their addiction.
We also work with our patients’ existing doctors—including the VA—to make sure we are providing the highest quality treatment that also takes into account any ongoing treatment for emotional, mental or physical issues.
We offer many treatment options that help veterans not only with the addiction itself, but the underlying emotional, mental, and physical problems that led to the addiction in the first place.
Group Treatment and Support
Soldiers depend on each other in combat, and we try and work that same mentality into our treatment programs. During the recovery process, our patients are paired with a sponsor, an addict further along in their recovery journey. The sponsor helps by providing emotional support and encouragement from someone who has gone through it before.
We try and pair our veteran patients with veteran sponsors, because in addition to having gone through the recovery process, a veteran in recovery understands the difficulties of military service, and the issues and behaviors that lead to higher addiction rates in military servicemen and servicewomen.
Our Dual Diagnosis program allows our counselors and medical staff to treat a patient’s addictions and mental problems like anxiety, depression, and PTSD concurrently. Since these mental issues are often at the root of many addictions, it can be an effective treatment program for veterans. Wyoming Recovery works towards assessing and treating co-occurring issues, creating individualized treatment plans that address the patient’s substance use as well as any other mental health-related issues. Learn more about our Dual Diagnosis Program.
MAT Medication Assisted Treatment, Alternative Pain Management
Many vets become addicted to pain medications they start as a way to deal with physical injuries, pain and trauma. Unfortunately, opioids and other pain medications are highly addictive and it doesn’t take much for pain management to become a full-blown drug addiction. Thankfully, there are other options, including non-addictive pain medications and Sobriety Enhancing Medications (SEMs).
Alternative Treatments for Pain Management
At Wyoming Recovery, we believe in a holistic approach to patient care and treatment. As part of our pain management program, we offer alternative therapeutics—including acupuncture and massage—that have been shown to provide our patients with pain and symptom relief.
Suboxone Treatment Program
Suboxone is a prescription medication that is very effective in treating addiction to prescription opioids (including addiction to Fentanyl, Percocet, Vicodin, Codeine and OxyContin) and street opioids (including heroin). Suboxone works by blocking the undesired effects of opioids, while still providing effective pain relief to the patient. Learn more about our Suboxone Treatment Program.
Get Treatment Help at Wyoming Recovery
If you are a veteran suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, take the first step on the road to recovery. You can start the process online filling out this form or by calling a case manager at (307) 224-9519 to start the admissions process.
Wyoming Recovery Accepts TriCare Insurance
Wyoming Recovery is part of the Community Care Network through TriWest Healthcare Alliance, and we are proud to provide drug and alcohol addiction treatment services to help the men and women of our military. Speak to a case manager today about getting admitted to one of our addiction treatment programs under TriCare.
If you are a veteran in recovery, and would like to serve as a sponsor to help another vet through the recovery process, contact our Clinical Director, Kristi Hahn.