As the war across the sea boils down and more troops come home, it is expected that some soldiers would face post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). America has seen the damage caused to the veterans from past wars, and there are many methods of getting treatment help for this type of trauma.
For many of us in the U.S., it is hard to imagine just what horrors soldiers witness out on the battle field, as well as the intensity of the danger zones. What do they see: killings, unfathomable instances of merciless carnage, the gruesome battles, followed by tragic deaths, disturbing torture, and other unethical war tactics; the experience is more than enough to loosen a few screws in anyone. Coming home after witnessing so many terrible things, to find utter peace and safety are too good to be true for some, and the stench of war often follows these soldiers home, plaguing them whether they are asleep or awake.
What many are coming to find is that these soldiers who suffer from PTSD (and even though just mildly bothered about their previous wartime affairs) are turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with the lingering feelings of misery, fear and possibly shame. Although not all soldiers turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate their suffering, the increase in use has been enough to raise a flag of warning amongst communities all over the U.S.
Just like regular addicts who use substances to drown or cloud their memories, as well as to distract them from reality, about a certain painful subject or person, a soldier who abuses substances has a similar problem. Somewhere deep inside they are harboring ill feelings; they are holding in something that bothers them in their core, causing so much misery, even at home. And just like regular addicts, therapy is needed to get to the root of the problems before real healing can happen. While drugs and alcohol merely puts a distraction upon the problem, they do not cut through the damage and heal the wounds from the inside out. In order for a soldier who is suffering from PTSD to heal his or her wounds, a specialist is often needed to sort out the life-changing events that forced them into substance abuse.
Because of the rising numbers of substance dependent veterans, rehabilitation programs have created a specialized tactic for helping soldiers specifically with their inner turmoil and the addiction together. The combination of trauma and substance abuse requires another form of dual-diagnosis treatment, which means that in order to solve one problem, the other must be healed in conjunction.
For those who have family members returning from overseas that exhibit behavior leading to PTSD, it’s important that you help them take the initial step toward seeking help at a professional drug rehab center. In extreme cases of PTSD, happenings have been known to occur which put place its victim, or those around them, in danger. With the added confusion of substance abuse, the combination can be twice as destructive and jarring.