PTSD and SUD Among Veterans: Recovery

Most people who’ve had struggles with drug and alcohol addiction have some form of a traumatic event in their history. It’s common, trauma and substance use disorder (SUD); people will use drugs and alcohol to cope with their symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those symptoms can include depression, nightmares, sadness, guilt, anger, denial, or anxiety.

At Pacific Shores Recovery, we provide our clients with the tools to work through PTSD symptoms and co-occurring SUD. Our credentialed team provides coordinated trauma counseling and addiction treatment services simultaneously to improve people’s chances of achieving lasting recovery.

Now is a perfect opportunity to discuss PTSD and SUD; Monday is Veterans Day, and many of those who have served bravely are suffering from the above conditions. Raising awareness about both disorders helps break the stigma that silences men and women and prevents them from seeking treatment.

Individuals who battle symptoms of mental and behavioral health disorders are not alone. Support services exist, as do evidence-based therapeutic modalities that can effectively get men and women on the road to healing and recovery.

If you or someone you love is dealing with PTSD and comorbid substance use, then please seek help immediately. Such disorders do not improve on their own and not without professional assistance. Perhaps Veterans Day can be a source of empowerment and the impetus for seeking outside help. Treatment works.

People Living With PTSD and SUD are Not Alone

Many veterans have seen and done things that have left lasting scars on their psyche. It is common for such individuals to keep their symptoms to themselves; as mentioned above, some will resort to drug and alcohol use to combat their debilitating, traumatic feelings. The practice is known as self-medication, which is using alcohol, nonmedical prescription drugs, or illicit substances to cope. It is often the impetus for developing a SUD.

It is not only veterans who struggle with PTSD symptoms; active duty servicemen and women do too. Civilians who are not immune either; those who have been physically, sexually, and emotionally abused are at a significant risk of developing PTSD. When the condition is left untreated, such people are apt to self-medicate as well.

No one can understand the horrors of combat better than veterans of foreign wars. This demographic is highly susceptible to post-traumatic stress and co-occurring behavioral health disorders. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that:

Veterans living with both disorders face medical, legal, financial, and social challenges. If they do not seek treatment and find recovery, then they are at heightened risk of suicidal ideations. The VA reports that the rate of suicide was 2.2 times higher among female veterans compared with non-veteran adult women; the data indicate that the rate of suicide among male veterans is 1.3 times higher than non-veteran men.

It is paramount that people living with PTSD and SUD can access therapy that targets both problems at the same time.

Southern California Dual Diagnosis Treatment

We invite veterans, active-duty military members, and civilians to reach out to Pacific Shores to learn more about our dual diagnosis program. Our accredited treatment facility is equipped to address substance use disorders alongside dual diagnoses for PTSD.