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Alcohol Abuse in the Military

Woman comforts vet by putting hand on him as he discusses alcohol abuse in the military

Alcohol abuse in the military is a serious issue that has been recognized for years, though not always adequately addressed. The use of alcohol is deeply ingrained in the military culture. Many young men and women enter military service before the legal drinking age of 21 but face initiations and traditions centered around alcohol.

Among the general United States population, substance abuse is highest in 18-25-year-olds, and alcohol is the most commonly abused substance. Nearly half of the uniformed service members serving our nation are 25 or younger. Most Americans do not understand that a person as young as 25 can be classified as a military veteran.

Vertava Health is committed to providing alcohol rehab for military members and veterans. Contact us online or call 844.470.0410 to learn more about our treatment programs to help you or your loved one.

Alcohol Abuse in the Military

Alcohol abuse in the military is unfortunately common. Alcoholic beverages are readily available at discounted rates on military bases, where established drinking rituals are part of everyday life. Many service members view drinking as a means of bonding with others within their units. Still, others, especially young, new recruits, may feel pressured to drink to fit in or be accepted.

The binge and underage drinking rates among active military members are much higher than in the general population. In addition to a culture that heavily promotes alcohol use, other causes of alcoholism in the military can include:

  • Underage access to alcohol
  • Combat deployment
  • Exposure to trauma
  • The availability of inexpensive alcohol
  • Peer pressure
  • Fear of consequences for seeking help
  • Underlying, untreated mental health disorders
  • Lack of knowledge about alcohol use disorder (AUD)

The very nature of military members’ work is a significant contributing factor to alcohol abuse that can lead to addiction. Outside of combat situations, their jobs are highly active, strenuous, and stressful. There is also tremendous pressure regarding conformity and the need to present as physically and mentally indomitable. Therefore, asking for help has, historically, been viewed as a sign of weakness, going against all training.

Alcohol Abuse Among Veterans

Alcohol abuse among veterans is typically the result of untreated mental health conditions like PTSD, anxiety, and depression that develop from unresolved trauma experienced in active duty. The sigmas associated with seeking help, a lack of understanding of benefits coverage, and inadequate access to resources and appropriate care are significant barriers to treatment for veterans.

Many veterans turn to alcohol to relieve the symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Self-medicating can appear to provide temporary relief, but it ultimately worsens mental health symptoms and creates a dysfunctional cycle that is difficult to overcome without professional intervention and can have dire results.

Vertava Health helps to address alcohol abuse among veterans and active-duty military members by providing treatment that addresses the unique challenges of this population. Our alcohol rehab for military members and veterans focuses on the following:

  • Education about the causes and effects of alcohol abuse
  • Identifying and treating trauma
  • Fostering the development of healthy coping skills
  • Offering a safe and supportive environment
  • Access to group therapy with peers who have shared experiences
  • Treatment for co-occurring mental health issues
  • Family education and support
  • Connections to community resources and support groups
  • Relapse prevention
  • Aftercare planning
  • Alum support

While millions of Americans struggle with alcohol abuse and addiction daily, the experiences of members and veterans make their treatment needs unique. At Vertava Health, we recognize these distinct needs and have created treatment programs to address the specific needs of current and former military personnel and their families.

Call Vertava Health for Alcohol Rehab for Military Members and Veterans

The men and women who voluntarily serve as our nation’s defenders live in a vastly different world than everyday citizens. At Vertava Health, we recognize the unique needs of military members, past and present, and have developed programs specific to this population.

Contact us at 844.470.0410 to learn more about our treatment programs for active-duty military and veterans.