Today we proudly honor the active and retired members of our armed forces. We extend our deepest and most profound appreciation for their service and everything they’ve done to ensure our safety and tranquility, as well as that of our families. Recovery Unplugged is humbled and honored by our veterans’ commitment to putting themselves in harm’s way to further preserve and strengthen the future of this country, and want to let them know that we recognize the struggles with substance abuse, addiction and mental illness that many of them experience when they return home from active duty, a struggle that more and more of their fellow servicemen and women face.
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs reports that 20 percent of veterans that struggle with PTSD also struggle with substance use disorder, and that 30 percent of all veterans that seek treatment for substance abuse also suffer from PTSD. In one of the most recent examples of this tragic correlation, 10 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans seen in VA have a problem with alcohol or other drugs. This is a problem that has persisted for a long time, and only seems to be getting worse. It has dismantled many veterans’ quality of life, and impacted their ability to live a healthy and rewarding existence after their active service.
It’s easy for us to extend a quick thank-you when the occasion dictates that it’s appropriate; however, the spirit with which we treat Veteran’s Day should be extended to the entirety of the year. On an institutional level, we must repair and increase mental health care resources for our vulnerable vets and make sure they have the help they need to deal with this otherworldly mental strain. On a personal level, we have to let our loved ones that have serve know that we are there to listen to them and provide whatever assistance they need when they start to exhibit signs of vulnerability.
Recovery Unplugged reiterates our appreciation for our veterans’ efforts, and would like to ask all Americans to do the same. With hope, this awareness and appreciation will translate to real action and our veterans will be better protected from prolonged mental illness and the subsequent onset of addiction. There are numerous resources of which vulnerable veterans can avail themselves in order to get on the road to recovery. Get help today.