Resources for Military Families and Military Veterans
Addiction and Substance Abuse are concerns within the military community, just like in the broader community. It can often feel difficult to seek the help that you or your family member needs when they are struggling with the effects of substance abuse and the challenges of addiction, especially if they are active duty.
- In 2003, 3.5 percent of veterans had used marijuana in the past month, compared with 3 percent of non-veterans in a similar demographic group.
- The data revealed that 0.8 percent of veterans received treatment for alcohol or illicit drug use, compared with 0.5 percent of non-veterans.
- About 7.5 percent of veterans reported heavy use of alcohol within the past month, compared with 6.5 percent of non-veterans.
- The number of veterans who needed treatment for drugs or alcohol but who did not seek help was comparable to that of non-veterans.
Prescription drug use and abuse is on the rise, and there is increasing research to demonstrate a link between PTSD and substance abuse (a form of self-medication). Here are some helpful resources:
- REACHOUT Hotline: Linking those in need of mental health or substance abuse services with providers 24 hours a day. Call 800-522-9054.
- Gambling Addiction: The problem and Compulsive Gambling Helpline
1-800-522-4700 Toll-Free, 24-Hours a Day, Certified Gambling Counselors
- US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Resources for Returning Veterans and Their Families (SAMHSA)
- Substance Abuse, Addiction Take Heavy Toll on Military Families
- Futures of Palm Beach FL Addiction Center
- Military.com: The Facts of Addiction
- Substance Abuse and the Family at Real Warriors
- Phoenix House: Substance Abuse Rehab for military members and their families
- Understanding Substance Use Disorders in the Military – NCBI: “Substance use and abuse has long been a concern for the nation, both in and out of the workplace (IOM, 1994), with consequences that include lost productivity, disease, and premature death. Indeed, it has been estimated that more than one in four deaths in the United States each year can be attributed to the use of alcohol, illicit drugs, or tobacco (Horgan et al., 2001). Thus, it is no surprise that substance abuse is a significant issue for the U.S. military.”
- PTSD and Substance Abuse in Veterans
- Active-duty sailors can get support and education from the Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention program (NADAP). The NADAP sponsors prevention programs and provides resources for sailors seeking treatment. In 2010, the Navy joined forces with a major non-profit addiction treatment center to provide counseling and support via the Internet for sailors who are currently deployed around the world.
- The Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) provides counseling, education and rehabilitation services for active military personnel. Active duty soldiers are encouraged to seek help for drug or alcohol abuse by self-referring to their local ASAP counseling center, but commanders and other military personnel can also refer soldiers who show signs of substance abuse.
- The Marine Corps Community Services’ (MCCS) Substance Abuse Program provides outpatient care and intensive rehabilitation for active-duty Marines who suffer from substance use disorders. Substance Abuse Counseling Centers sponsored by the MCCS offer initial screening and assessment, early intervention for low-risk drug or alcohol users, outpatient services for Marines who have signs of substance abuse, and intensive outpatient care for chemically dependent Marines.
- Offer sympathy and support
- Actively listen to their concerns
- Acknowledge concerning behaviors
- Seek expert advice
- Consult others ‘in recovery’
- Assist with chosen form of treatment
- Panic or offer pity
- Offer monetary assistance
- Set unrealistic goals
- Cut off dialogue
- Influence treatment
Admitting a substance abuse problem is a difficult task. Keeping an open mind will help create a safe environment that may encourage service members to talk more openly and seek help.
See also Mental Health
This directory of resources is provided for information only. No assertions, promises, endorsement, or advice is offered or given as to the quality or legitimacy of any of these links or organizations. Do your own due diligence. When in doubt seek independent legal and financial advice. No commercial relationship (legal or otherwise) is formed through you visiting this website or any of the links provided here.
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Anna Blanch Rabe, founder of Anna Blanch Rabe & Associates, has been working with Social Enterprises, socially-responsible businesses, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations since 2006 to develop and effectively execute strategic, digital, and narrative initiatives to gain exposure, develop community- capacity, attract talent, and reach new customers. Anna is an Australian-born speaker, writer and advocate. Connect with Anna on Instagram, facebook page, & Twitter.