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US Veteran Drug Treatment

by James Heller 11. June 2009 07:28
A higher percentage of US veterans suffer from drug abuse and drug addiction than the whole of society.  This is because the war “theater” has an effect on armed personnel who face combat along with support staff who never do.  The stress of war can leave veterans who previously had no problems with alcohol or drugs surprised to find they suffer from addiction.

Prescription drug addiction is becoming a major problem for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Combat injured veterans use prescription drugs to relieve physical pain and emotional trauma they suffer.  Veterans who did not see combat may have had to cope with high stress situations, and will take medication to help overcome the trauma.  In each case, taking these drugs for legitimate reasons in the beginning may lead to addiction in the end.

Many US veterans return home choosing to self-medicate with illegal drugs.  They may fear repercussions for using illegal drugs, and probably don’t realize that they can get help for the trauma they suffered in combat along with drug treatment.  Sadly, these individuals usually end up in the criminal justice system, or worse, before they seek help on their own.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides drug treatment through integrated behavioral healthcare specialized for US Veterans.  Mental health professionals are available to treat those who suffer from co-occurring substance abuse and post-combat issues.  So alternate forms of medication can be explored and the chance of relapse after prescription drug treatment can be minimized.  

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has placed a priority on minimizing drug abuse over the past generation.  The DoD has made an effort to help veterans discover when a problem exists and when to seek drug treatment.  Since it is difficult for an individual to see their own path to prescription drug addiction, basic information can be very helpful in getting to treatment.  A short section of a website dedicated to those aims follows.

-- Begin external content --

Some Service Members are prescribed pain medicine for very real problems, including pain from injuries. In this situation, it's more difficult to talk about "misusing" or "abusing" drugs, because the medication was prescribed for an actual medical reason. But taking more of the medication than prescribed can become a serious problem. Why? First of all, many pain medications are addictive, which makes it difficult to stop taking more than prescribed. Second, these medications affect mood and thinking. Some people use their prescription medications to numb themselves or escape from stress and painful feelings. The danger, though, is that these drugs can also lead to depression, trouble thinking clearly, confusion, and addiction. There is also a risk of overdose or death when painkillers are mixed with other drugs or alcohol.

Here are some pointers for determining when prescription drugs are being misused:

  • More of the medication is taken than was prescribed.
  • Instances of running out of the medication early.
  • Using the medication for longer than it was prescribed.
  • Taking the medication for some other reason than the reason that it was prescribed (for example: to get high; to feel better).

-- Source: http://www.afterdeployment.org/index2.php?cid=s108_0110&rcid=s108_0100#2d

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley, and in Santa Ana.