Veteran Addiction Assistance
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Turning Point of Tampa has helped thousands find recovery. As an in-network facility, we are able and committed to helping you find the life you deserve.
Military Veterans and active duty military members face challenges. Most commonly health conditions, mental health problems and substance use disorder.
Turning Point of Tampa works with Veterans Affairs and our local VA medical centers to offer military veterans, active duty military members, and military families recovery from drug and alcohol problems. We offer drug and alcohol treatment to those with co-occurring disorders to provide support and ensure safety while addressing addictive behaviors and related issues.
Our treatment facilities offer drug and alcohol detoxification and residential addiction treatment in Tampa, Florida. The healing process for men and women Veterans includes doctors and health care professionals who provide treatment and offer individual treatment options, plans, and confidential support so that our Veteran patients find lasting recovery.
Veterans and their Families Face Unique Challenges
Active duty military members or those adjusting to civilian life after retirement or returning home from a deployment feel real and invisible wounds. Veterans and their families face unique challenges from drug abuse, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder and some Veterans are at a higher risk for uncovering mental illness.
This blog post aims to help Veterans and their loved ones understand how to address drug and alcohol problems and find the help they need..
Overcoming Drug and Alcohol Factors for Military Veterans
There are many reasons why the general population and Veterans have drug and alcohol problems. Easing the physical demands of life usually start with joining friends or commrads for a drink. Alcohol and drug abuse starts to happen when a person thinks they can stop any time they want to but inevitably, their alcohol and drug use starts to cause problems.
The stress of military service combined with physical injuries and traumatic experiences may contribute to drug and alcohol issues.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental health concerns can often co-occur with a substance use disorder for male and female Veterans . Turning Point of Tampa treats post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in our treatment program. We identify drug and alcohol abuse history, pattern, and amounts used early on in the treatment experience as the initial step in successfully overcoming PTSD.
Military sexual trauma and/or childhood sexual trauma is a common factor with male and female veterans seeking alcohol rehab.
Veterans and active duty military members have usually experienced or witnessed traumatic events. These events can be overwhelming and trigger post traumatic stress when this occurs some Veterans self-medicate with alcohol or other illicit drugs or may abuse their prescription medications to cope with their feelings.
Homelessness among Veterans results from many underlying issues, difficulty finding employment, financial insecurity, and for some, mental health disorders. In some cases, Veterans may turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism for their homelessness.
According to the VA website – the Department of Veterans Affairs data from January 2022, 19,572 Veterans faced sheltered homelessness (living in a homeless shelter), while 13,564 faced unsheltered homelessness (living in the streets.)
Military service is a physically-demanding job that can cause injuries and chronic pain.
Prescribed painkillers to manage chronic pain is the norm in health care. Veterans like most men and women can start to abuse these medications. Abuse can lead to addiction. Addiction to these medications can cause significant problems.
Additional Mental Health Issues
Veterans experiencing depression, anxiety, and anger issues might need psychiatric care. Drug and alcohol problems often quiet these issues. A co-occurring disorder is mental health issues coupled with drug and alcohol abuse.
Using drugs or alcohol as self-medication can severely affect one’s mental health. Treatment options like drug and alcohol rehab can be very helpful.
Understanding Alcohol Abuse in Veterans
Binge or occasional drinking is a cultural norm among active service members, and they may continue this habit even after their service years. Alcohol abuse can have dangerous consequences on Veterans’ mental and physical health, such as the following:
Increased risk for liver disease or cancer
Irritability, depression, anxiety, and other mood changes
Relationship problems that could lead to divorce
Since they are exposed to high-stress situations, Veterans might also be more prone to developing alcohol dependence.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse manifests in many forms. Here are several signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse :
Inability to control the amount of alcohol you consume
Feeling a strong and insatiable urge to consume alcohol
Continuing to drink despite feeling drunk or ill
Neglecting obligations and responsibilities because of drinking
Engaging in risky or dangerous behaviors when drunk
If any of these signs are present in yourself or someone you love, seeking professional intervention is the best thing you can do.
Understanding Substance Use Disorder in Veterans
Opioid use disorder has long been an issue among Veterans, and the VA has taken measures to minimize opioid abuse. Many Veterans with access to prescription painkillers often misuse them, which can lead to substance dependence.
Another substance of interest among Veterans is marijuana. Although marijuana is legally and readily available in some states, it’s still classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse
If you are a concerned loved one of a Veteran, and you’re worried if they’re secretly misusing prescriptions or using illicit drugs, here are some signs and symptoms you need to watch out for:
Bloodshot eyes and dilapidated pupils
Sudden and extreme weight loss
Evident dental and hygiene issues
Irrational aggression and irritability
Depression and lethargy
Changes in their social circle
These are just a few physical, behavioral, and social changes you might observe in a person suffering from substance abuse.
Veterans Are Prone to Dual Diagnosis
Dual diagnosis refers to a person suffering from substance abuse and mental health problems. Roughly 50 percent of individuals with severe mental health issues turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with the symptoms.
Treating a dual diagnosis is more challenging than treating the various conditions as a single issue. The good news is Turning Point of Tampa is a specialized medical detox and drug and alcohol rehab program designed to help Veterans with dual diagnosis.
Reducing the Substance Abuse Stigma Among Veterans
The stigma around mental health and substance abuse can be a significant hurdle for some when seeking help. When accessing mental healthcare, stigma strongly reinforces the notion that seeking help is a sign of weakness or failure, especially for Veterans trained in the military culture of self-reliance.
Veterans Suffering in Silence
This idea of being tough and not needing help may decrease the Veteran’s motivation to access medical assistance. Because of the negative public perception regarding seeking mental healthcare and addiction treatment, many Veterans are worried and hesitant to seek the support they need.
This leads to Veterans suffering in silence while their untreated mental health issues and substance abuse problems worsen over time.
Since many veterans do not seek treatment and are often undiagnosed, their untreated mental health or substance abuse disorders negatively impact themselves and those around them.
Family members, friends, and even the community can suffer from the consequences of untreated issues. In some cases, they can even end up hurting themselves.
Reducing the stigma around mental health and substance abuse is critical to ensure veterans get the help they need.
Real Warriors Campaign
To fight the stigma, the US Department of Defense launched the Real Warriors Campaign in 2009. The campaign empowers Veterans, active service members, and their family members to learn more about mental health and seek help if needed.
The campaign also promotes a culture of support and understanding of psychological health in the military community.
Veterans can access information and resources, empowering them to seek help. Veterans and active duty members with anything from PTSD to dealing with the stress of daily military life can get the comprehensive and confidential help they need.
Turning Point of Tampa Committed to Help Veterans Recover From Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Turning Point of Tampa is a substance abuse treatment facility that helps veterans recover from substance abuse. We are an in-network facility that accepts contracted rates from most insurance companies. We offer treatment to active duty military members and Veterans willing to combat their addiction.
We have several levels of care:
Veterans participate in individual therapy, which focuses on the unique needs of each person. This treatment includes one-on-one counseling with a licensed therapist to help address underlying issues related to substance abuse.
Therapy is perfect for veterans who want to gain insight into their substance abuse disorder and its underlying causes in private and confidential settings.
Group therapy is another form of treatment for Veterans with substance abuse problems. It involves a group of people, such as other Veterans and others facing similar issues, who can offer support and sympathy.
Group therapy helps gain new insights and understanding into problems, learn effective coping strategies to manage cravings, reduce stress and anxiety, and develop healthier ways of managing emotions.
Trauma Treatment Programs
Trauma treatment programs focus on helping Veterans and civilians cope with the trauma they have experienced and develop healthy ways of managing stress and anxiety.
At Turning Point of Tampa, our trauma programs involve cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and evidence-based treatment to help our patients successfully learn coping mechanisms.
Medical Detox Program
Substance use disorders take a heavy toll on the body. Detox helps rid the body of toxins that can build up over time due to substance use, and this process is necessary before any other type of treatment can be effective.
Turning Point of Tampa offers inpatient medically supervised detoxification.
Get the Helping Hand You Need From the Turning Point of Tampa
Reaching out your hand to seek help is not easy, but it is the first step toward a better tomorrow. Turning Point of Tampa provides treatment programs aimed at helping Veterans recover from substance use disorders and other mental health issues.
Our friendly and experienced healthcare professionals are here to support every Veteran as they begin their recovery journey. Our treatment programs are individualized to the needs of each Veteran and ensure they receive the best care possible.
Are you ready to take the next step in your recovery journey? Call us now, and we’ll help you get started toward the life you’re wanting.