When we talk about addiction, all the horrendous thoughts crowd our minds and we focus on its hazards alone. However, what we must not lose sight of are the reasons why someone becomes a victim of substance abuse and this insight should gather more pace and courage when it is related to a veteran.

Do you know why?

It’s because that military personnel is always considered strong, robust, resilient, and whatnot! So, when someone like that chooses or involuntarily falls prey to addiction, the underlying reasons must be identified and reasonable solutions/ treatments should be offered.


According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1.5 million veterans aged 17 or older which makes 6.6 percent of this population had a substance use disorder in the past year. Certainly, this is a worrisome statistic and must have some critical reasons behind it. So, let us first identify the core reasons that may trigger a veteran’s urge to get addicted to certain drugs, alcohol, etc.:

  • The strains of deployments as well as the stringent environment of the military present the personnel with more hazards than protection.  Deployment is connected with triggering the initiation of smoking, excessive drinking, drug usage, self-sabotage, and other dangerous activities. This is why deployment could be such a strong reason behind a veteran’s addiction.
  • Although we talk about the violent exposure of the veterans that may lead them towards addiction, it cannot be ignored that many a time it is an outcome of the practice that is followed as a custom in the military. Let me explain what I mean to say here. See, when the military goes through warfare or wins some battle, what is the customary way of celebration or destressing? Well, you got it right. They are rewarded by allowing drinking and all. But, for many, it could be the initiation of their addiction which may leave life-long impacts on them in the long run.
  • Likewise, consistent exposure to killings, trauma, and sexual assaults may also considerably contribute to fueling their addiction.

So, once identified, what should be done to help the veterans?

Read on to explore some promising ways:


As addiction doesn’t happen overnight, it is built over some time. Likewise, the treatment of addiction won’t be like a magic wand that can resolve it. As a seeker of treatment or as a support to some veteran combating the addiction, you must bear this major point in mind. It won’t be easy or quick but it would surely be worth it once you or they heal completely.

So, let me share some of the best options for the treatment of addiction among the veterans:

  • Medical Detox is the primary and probably the most crucial step towards beating addiction in veterans. This step includes support and a combination of medication that can help them get the toxins out of their body and mind. Although the hardest, this step is the most important and wholesome in treating addiction.
  • Along with this, one on one, family, and group therapies are also offered in-service and afterward too.


It is common for those suffering from PTSD, whether diagnosed or not, to revert to various forms of self-medication. So sometimes, it’s important to better understand PTSD and a Dual Diagnosis.  Once understood, these issues are addressed as part of the PTSD treatment

Clearly, the serious issue of addiction among veterans is grave and cannot be ignored. Although it is not something untreatable if left untreated, it may worsen and add more issues like PTSD, self-harm, and even attempting suicide. All of this chaos can be evaded by seeking treatment and support at the right time and also providing unconditional support to the one in therapy.


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