Substance Abuse Disorder (SUD) is a growing problem among veterans, with estimates suggesting that as many as 20% of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have a substance use problem. This is a concerning issue, as substance abuse can have serious and far-reaching consequences for the individual and their loved ones.
In this blog, we will provide a comprehensive overview of Substance Abuse Disorder (SUD) in the veteran community, including its causes, symptoms, consequences, and treatment options. This information is intended to raise awareness of this important issue and provide support and resources for veterans struggling with SUD.
Understanding Substance Abuse Disorder
Substance Abuse Disorder (SUD) is a condition in which an individual continues to use substances despite negative consequences. Substance abuse can include the use of drugs, such as opioids and cocaine, and the abuse of alcohol. SUD can develop quickly or over a long period of time, and can have serious consequences for the individual and their loved ones.
There is no single cause of SUD, and the development of SUD is often influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Some common factors that contribute to the development of SUD include:
- Genetics: Substance abuse is more common in individuals with a family history of substance abuse.
- Environmental factors: Substance abuse is more common in individuals who have been exposed to substance abuse in their environment, such as in their family or community.
- Trauma: Traumatic experiences, such as combat exposure, can increase the risk of developing SUD.
- Mental health conditions: Mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, can contribute to the development of SUD.
Symptoms of Substance Abuse Disorder
The symptoms of Substance Abuse Disorder (SUD) can vary depending on the substance being used and the severity of the problem. Some common symptoms of SUD include:
- Increased tolerance: The individual needs more of the substance to achieve the desired effects.
- Withdrawal symptoms: The individual experiences physical and psychological symptoms when they stop using the substance.
- Substance use interferes with daily life: Substance use interferes with the individual’s ability to perform daily activities and responsibilities.
- Substance use continues despite negative consequences: The individual continues to use the substance despite negative consequences, such as legal problems, financial difficulties, and strained relationships.
Consequences of Substance Abuse Disorder
Substance Abuse Disorder (SUD) can have serious and far-reaching consequences for the individual and for their loved ones. Some common consequences of SUD include:
- Physical health problems: Substance use can lead to a range of physical health problems, including liver damage, heart disease, and stroke.
- Mental health problems: SUD can worsen mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety and can also lead to the development of new mental health problems.
- Financial problems: Substance use can lead to financial difficulties, such as lost income, increased healthcare costs, and legal problems.
- Relationships problems: SUD can strain relationships with friends, family, and loved ones, and can lead to social isolation.
Treatment Options for Substance Abuse Disorder
There are a range of effective treatment options available for Substance Abuse Disorder (SUD), including:
- Behavioral therapies: Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing, can help individuals with SUD to change their substance use behavior.
- Medications: Medications, such as naltrexone and methadone, can help to reduce cravings and prevent relapse.
- Support groups: Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, can provide a supportive community for individuals with SUD.
How Can We Help?
In conclusion, there is definitely help if you are willing to try. If you or a loved one are currently struggling with Addiction, it is important to look for treatment as soon as possible. The effects of this disease can be fatal, not only for the abuser but to the possibly innocent samaritans around them. Inpatient Rehabilitation for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services are available at Embrace Treatment Center. As well as providing the necessary care, we provide activities to keep clients engaged and motivated. As Embrace Treatment Center’s clients begin their journey to recovery, our team of specialists ensures they have the support and resources they need. Click HERE to learn more about how to get help for yourself or your loved one. There are so many resources that can make searching for help overwhelming, let us help you begin your recovery journey.