How Can Military Life Stressors Contribute to Drug Abuse?
There’s no doubt that life in the military is frequently very stressful. It takes a special kind of person to volunteer for a life of frequent change, regular danger, difficult living conditions and potential trauma. Soldiers face stress on the battlefield and in the home when they return. Distance from family, financial struggles and constant alertness are all negative emotional stressors that can cause soldiers to develop various psychological disorders that they may then self-medicate through drug abuse. Substance abuse and addiction are major areas of concern for members of the military and the mental health professionals who treat them.
Military Life, PTSD, and Addiction
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a major problem for members of the military. While symptoms of PTSD have been recorded in war environments for centuries, changes in the way conflicts are addressed and the asymmetrical nature of modern military engagement greatly increase the risk of trauma for today’s soldiers. PTSD can be caused by any of the following experiences:
- The death or injury of fellow soldiers
- Exposure to widespread death and suffering
- Long-term low-level stress caused by a constant fear of attack
- Proximity to explosions
In addition to the triggers for PTSD, soldiers also face a wide range of stressors that have nothing to do with the field of battle. The following life experiences are common for many in the military and often lead to substance abuse:
- Marriage or other relationship problems caused by distance
- Serious debt problems due to predatory lenders
- Difficulty adapting to home life after deployment
Soldiers are famously tough people who often struggle to accept help from others. While excellent counseling and life-coaching services are available for members of the military, many fear being ostracized or thought of as weak for seeking help.
Successfully Treating Addiction in the Military
Excellent treatment programs have been developed for members of the military. Through counseling, education, skill development and strategic planning for stress management, these programs can help soldiers successfully manage their stress and end their drug abuse. If you are ready to get the help you need but are reluctant to speak with someone in your chain-of-command, please call our toll-free helpline any time of day or night. Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24 hours a day with free, confidential answers and access to the most effective treatment programs available.
You deserve the best treatment you can find. Physically injured soldiers have no shame about allowing a doctor to patch them up. The mental wounds suffered while serving your country are just as serious as a bullet wound, even though they cannot be seen. We can help. Call now.