Alcoholism & Veterans: The Troubling Statistics & How To Get Help

alcoholism treatment veterans

Struggling with alcohol abuse is lonely and isolating. However, many veterans may not realize that it’s a sadly common experience. According to Behavioral Health News, 27% of soldiers met the criteria for alcohol abuse when screened three to four months after their deployment to Iraq. In the civilian population, only 10% of adults 12 and older had alcohol use disorder in the last year, the National Survey on Drug Use & Health reports. Stigma is real, and zero-tolerance policies around intoxication create a culture of shame and secrecy surrounding drinking in the veteran population. It doesn’t have to be that way. Addiction treatment for veterans can help you beat your alcoholism and avoid becoming just another statistic.

Veterans & Alcoholism: The Factors & The Impact

Many service members unfortunately adopt new substance use behaviors during deployment as stresses mount and their normal support systems fall away. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as much as 33 % of active duty service members have been recorded as binge drinkers — far more than the general population. When those service members see combat, that number can even increase.

These statistics are partly due to simple demographic factors. A study by the Rand Corporation explained that service members tend to be young males — the group most likely to drink in American society at large. However, environmental factors like the trauma of deployment and combat also play a role.

Of course, for these reasons and more the military does have safeguards in place meant to protect the health and safety of our forces. There are many zero tolerance policies surrounding intoxication and substance abuse. Unfortunately, those policies often have the unintended effect of preventing people from asking for help. In admitting the problem, many fear they’ll be punished. Instead, far too many veterans attempt to drown their emotional wounds with alcohol or drugs.

Alcoholism Treatment for Veterans

However, there is help. Addiction treatment for veterans can help those struggling to identify and heal the wounds of war, breaking the shackles of addiction and setting them free. 

At Owl’s Nest, our Medical Director is a veteran, and our veterans addiction treatment program was developed to meet the unique needs and challenges of veterans. Using a dual-diagnosis approach, our expert team of caring addiction treatment professionals works with each client to treat their addiction and any underlying issues simultaneously.

Many veterans might not even be aware of how complicated and tangled the roots of their addiction may be. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, veterans suffering from addiction are as much as four times more likely to also have a mental health issue than veterans who do not have addiction issues. That might include PTSD, anger management issues, relationship issues, disordered eating, depression, and more — all of which can be addressed, treated, and healed in veterans addiction treatment.

Each client receives a customized addiction treatment plan meant to address their own unique challenges. Our clinical team will put together a powerful menu of addiction treatment modalities like DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy), CBT (cognitive behavior therapy), group counseling, and more to help you heal. Daily yoga can help you find balance again, and medication-assisted treatment when appropriate can help make the early days of recovery more comfortable.

Paying for Veterans Alcohol Addiction Treatment

The VA is not your only option for treating your alcoholism. Owl’s Nest Recovery is proud to be in network with Tricare and VA Community Care, as well as many other private insurance programs. Verify your insurance quickly and easily online, or reach out to our team. Give us a call or send a confidential chat to be connected to kind, authentic people who know how to find freedom from addiction — and let your hope take flight.


The Owls Nest


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