Families of veterans can experience severe emotional and psychological stress every time their loved one is deployed, returns home, or even retires. Veterans are likely to develop mental health disorders or subsequent substance abuse disorders because of the stress of active duty. Veterans might have problems:
- Adjusting to civilian life after being deployed or serving and retiring
- Finding employment after they leave the military
- Returning to their family after months or years apart, especially when the family dynamics changed out of necessity during that time frame.
This story represents the start of the path toward addiction.
That same individual might not get the same level of support they wanted from a dedicated spouse as they try to deal with PTSD of their deployment. This leads to complications at home and fights.
Meanwhile, the spouse and children left behind during the deployment don’t know how to help with things like PTSD, and they don’t know how to resolve the fact that they are now equal partners or that they too have a job with their own level of stress and can’t be entirely counted upon to tend to the household or the children.
The everyday work responsibilities for active duty are stressful enough that they can lead to substance abuse on their own; no deployment or family dynamic changes are needed.
How Does Addiction Impact Veterans?
This story represents a fraction of the situations and circumstances that can lead veterans toward substance abuse. Most civilians don’t appreciate how easily an enlisted individual can succumb to severe mental health disorders because of the stress of their job.
- When a civilian has a bad boss, they can just leave. Or when a civilian doesn’t like their job anymore, they can quit. Enlisted don’t have that opportunity.
- When civilians don’t have someone to babysit their kids or aren’t feeling well, they can just take a personal day. Enlisted don’t have that opportunity. The job comes first.
- When a civilian doesn’t want to do something at work because it’s outside their purview, they can simply tell their boss that it can’t be done. But in the military, this often isn’t an option, so enlisted and veterans succumb to a great deal of stress and pressure, knowing that if they don’t deliver on an impossible task, they won’t advance in their career, or worse, they will get kicked out with a bad mark on their name.
There are literally dozens of other examples of veterans facing severe stress and mental health disorders that can eventually lead to substance abuse. The most common substance abuse disorder in the military for active duty and retirees is alcoholism.
Why? It’s a legal substance. Active duty can be tested at any time for illegal drugs, but alcohol flies under the radar, which makes it the easiest way to unwind after a difficult day, self-medicating for depression, anxiety, or PTSD.
How are Families of Veterans Impacted by Addiction?
Families of veterans are impacted by addiction. Families have to contend with things like:
- Financial instability
- Lower satisfaction in relationships
- Intimacy issues and problems with sexual interest
- Reduced communication between partners and spouses
- Children taking on the role of an adult to help their parent
- Children experiencing an extreme concern for their parents resulting in academic problems or problems in other relationships
Sometimes families feel so strongly about the struggle of their loved ones that they develop PTSD themselves. In the worst of cases, families have to deal with the behavioral changes brought about by addiction like personality changes, depression, anger, and even abuse. To find family therapy programs in Utah, contact Spirit Mountain Recovery today at (801) 336-0658.
Are There Support Groups for Families of Veterans?
Yes! There are support groups for families of veterans, and these support groups can help ease the burden of addiction placed on partners, spouses, and children.
Studies indicate that the life experiences of veterans can lead to higher rates of addiction compared to non-veterans. Veteran or not, addiction doesn’t impact the user alone but extends to their friends and family. This is why groups for families of veterans are so important.
Studies show that recovery for active-duty military and veterans is more likely in situations where there is not only rehab for veterans but recovery support services like rehab groups for families of veterans.
How to Find Rehab for Veterans in Utah
As part of our Utah-based addiction treatment, Spirit Mountain Recovery specializes in groups for families of veterans who are struggling with addiction. We understand the importance of integrating the family into the recovery process.
When family members aren’t educated on the impact of addiction or how it manifests in loved ones, those same family members don’t necessarily know what to look for when it comes to addiction or relapse. Family members don’t know what to say, how to help, or when not to help.
Our rehab groups for families of veterans provide addiction education and a safe place where families can work with their loved ones, communicate more effectively and enjoy family behavior therapy together. Other rehab groups for families of veterans provide a safe place for family members to share their struggles openly, learn from others, and help combat feelings of isolation brought about by addiction in the family.
Many family members don’t have people they can turn to for an open discussion, and they don’t know how to recognize things like symptoms of PTSD because of the struggles and experiences of their loved ones. But Spirit Mountain Recovery aims to fix that. Let Spirit Mountain Recovery help you find a Utah rehab program for your veteran and your family. Contact Spirit Mountain Recovery today at (801) 336-0658.