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Alcohol Use among Veterans

Recovery Unplugged recently discussed the prevalence of opioid addiction in the veteran community, including its causes, impact, and possible solutions. When you go by the numbers, however, alcohol use among veterans continues to be another serious substance use issue facing this community.

As we endeavor to honor the selfless sacrifice of our retired military, living and deceased, this Veterans Day, we must also observe the “war at home” that many face when they attempt to transition back into post-service life. If you or your loved one is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces currently battling alcohol addiction, please know that you’re not alone, and help is out there.

Prevalence of Alcohol Abuse among Veterans

Putting aside an acceptable level of casual social drinking and alcohol use among veterans, alcohol use disorders are the most prevalent form of SUDs among military personnel, according to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The same data indicates that 65 percent of veterans who enter a treatment program report alcohol as the substance they most frequently misuse, which is almost double that of the general population.

Data reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates that veterans were more likely to use alcohol (56.6 percent vs. 50. 8 percent in a one-month period) and to report heavy use of alcohol (7.5 percent vs. 6.5 percent in a one-month period than non-veteran populations.

Reasons for Alcohol abuse Among Veterans

There are multiple reasons why veterans turn to alcohol during and after active military service, including but not limited to:

  • Service-Related Trauma – The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reports that between 11-20 percent of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The same can be said for 12 percent of Gulf War veterans and 15 percent of those who served in Vietnam.
  • Post-Transitional Difficulties – Mental illness and even everyday logistical difficulties can create barriers to veterans seeking gainful employment, accessing proper healthcare, and reintegrating back into their family dynamics.

Addiction treatment for veterans must address these unique and distinct lifestyle struggles to help them rebuild their lives in recovery. 

Treating Alcohol Abuse among Veterans

Recovery Unplugged is fully mindful of the difficulties military vets face and how they can lead to addiction. We’ve helped numerous veterans find their footing in post-service life through comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment. Get medically supervised detox from trained doctors and nurses and comprehensive behavioral therapy for the behavioral aspects of addiction.

Recovery Unplugged is in-network with most major insurance providers to make care more accessible, and we offer many different levels of care, including inpatient, outpatient, and virtual. Recovery Unplugged has multiple locations across the country, all of which are fully staffed with compassionate, experienced, dedicated trauma-trained therapists.

We can’t express deep-enough thanks for your service, but we want to help you do everything we can to live the life you deserve if you’re experiencing substance use disorder. Let us help you. Contact us now to start your treatment today.

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