December 17, 2015

Military personnel encounter a lot while on active duty. Much of what they experience can lead to high levels of stress, which can quickly result in psychological issues. The problem is that many do not seek the professional help they need, and instead begin to rely on substances like drugs, alcohol, and tobacco to get through difficult times. If the misuse continues, it can quickly lead to a downward spiral in their lives.

If you or someone you know is suffering with psychological issues that have caused them to misuse substances, it is imperative to get help right away. Mental health issues and addiction tend to go hand in hand, and prolonging treatment can lead to physical and mental health concerns as well as damaged personal and professional relationships.

Signs You’re Abusing Substances

How do you know if you or someone else in the armed forces is battling addiction or using negative substances to cope? Here are a few signs that let you know help is needed:

1.  You find yourself using the substance when you’re stressed or anxious

2.  Your intake has increased considerably

3.  The only way to get through the day is with the use of substances

4.  You’ve fallen into financial trouble trying to afford the habit

5.  You’ve isolated yourself from others

6.  You have no interest in common activities

7.  Inability to focus

8.  Poor work ethic

9.  Mood swings

10. Withdrawal symptoms when not using substances

11. Several failed attempts to quit

Getting Help

Finding the right program for assistance with your mental health and substance abuse problem is as simple as an online search. With the help of websites like One Recovery Center you can find the right facility in the area that are best suited to help veterans suffering from addiction and other psychological issues.

Here are some questions you want to consider as you determine which program will work best:

·  How long is the program? – though programs tend to depend on the severity of your addiction, knowing how long you’ll be in treatment is important so you can share this information with your commanding officer or employer.

·  Do you offer in and outpatient services? – While inpatient services tend to work a bit better than outpatient care, knowing which options are available to you can help you determine which will work best with your personal schedule.

·  Do they specialize in helping veterans? – There are plenty of programs; however, you want to work with a facility that has previous experience in working with veterans. As you face a higher levels of stress and are exposed to more things than the average person, you want to work with medical professionals that can cater to this and treat you.

·  What programs are offered to aid in recovery? – Aside from therapy, it is good to know what other programs are offered to help you recover. Having a few things to do will improve your chances of kicking the habit for good. This might include things like nutrition and exercise programs, basic life skill training, and other hobbies or therapeutic services.

·  Is there counseling available? (Group and family counseling as well) – Addiction affects more than just the addict. Having therapy for yourself and your loved ones will be important for cultivating better relationships once you’ve finished treatment.

·  What methods of payment or forms of insurance are accepted? – You want to know upfront what your out-of-pocket expenses might be. Though you may be entitled to a discount, you want to make sure that you can afford treatment or seek help from your employer/commanding officer if you cannot afford it.

·  Are there resources to assist participants after completing the program? – Once you’ve completed the program you may need support as you adapt to sober living. Many rehab facilities offer assistance to participants who have completed the treatment program. This may include helping them find outside counseling, support groups, or even locating a job.

Speaking up about your physical and mental well-being does not make you any less of a person. In fact, knowing that you need help and taking the proper steps to get it makes you strong. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse as a direct result of stress or anxiety it is important to get help right away. The sooner you recognize the signs and seek treatment, the sooner you can get back to living your life the way you deserve.

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