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Friday, November 8, 2019

Veterans Day: PTSD and SUD Awareness

At Celebrate Hope, we would like to express our gratitude for the brave men and women who have and continue to serve in the armed forces. Your sacrifices are not lost on us, and we would like to thank you for your service.

We also understand that many veterans are living with untreated mental and behavioral health conditions. Substance use disorder (SUD), depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects veterans at higher rates than the general public.

Last month, we wrote a post about the prevalence of depression: a mental health condition that affects more than 300 million people worldwide. This week, in observance of Veterans Day, we would like to discuss PTSD and SUD among veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that:
  • About 11 to 20 out of every 100 veterans who served in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have PTSD in a given year.
  • About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War veterans have PTSD in a given year.
  • About 15 out of every 100 Vietnam veterans were currently diagnosed with PTSD in the late 1980s. The department estimates that 30% of Vietnam veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.
The statistics show that PTSD impacts the lives of hundreds of thousands of American veterans. Without treatment, such individuals can struggle with symptoms like feeling keyed up, flashbacks of an event, avoiding reminders of the event, or feeling numb to things they used to enjoy. What’s more, those who have untreated PTSD are more likely to misuse drugs and alcohol to cope, which often results in the development of an alcohol or substance use disorder.

Veterans Living with PTSD and Addiction

The National Center for PTSD at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs points out that 27% of veterans in VA care diagnosed with PTSD also have a substance use disorder(SUD). The center adds that PTSD and SUD are strongly related in people who served in the military. More than 2 of 10 veterans with PTSD also have SUD; almost 1 out of every 3 veterans seeking treatment for SUD also has PTSD; about 1 in 10 returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan seen in the VA have a problem with alcohol or other drugs.

At Celebrate Hope, we understand that many people struggling with mental illness suffer in silence. Some people ignore their symptoms or keep them to themselves due to the stigma and shame that come with a mental health diagnosis. Since a large number of individuals do not seek help, it’s likely that the number of veterans living with PTSD and SUD is much higher than what is reported.

Veterans Day is an ideal time to open up the dialog about mental health conditions affecting our nation’s heroes. Together, we educate the public about the existence of evidence-based co-occurring disorder treatment and encourage men and women to seek assistance.

Research shows that when men and women address both PTSD and SUD concurrently, they are better able to heal and adopt a program of long-term recovery. Behavioral and mental health treatment works, and evidence-based therapy can target both problems at the same time.

Faith-Based Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Our dedicated team of professionals provides medical and therapeutic support for clients dealing with a dual diagnosis. At Celebrate Hope, we treat both conditions alongside one another to increase the likelihood that our clients will achieve lasting recovery. Please contact us today to learn more about our faith-Based dual diagnosis program. You can speak to a faith-based recovery specialist today by calling: (888) 350-6910

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