Military Rehab Programs

Military Rehab

Friday, April 10, 2020 | By Cooper Samp

Military personnel commonly endure great stress and difficulty for protecting the nation and all it stands for. Unfortunately, this stress can frequently result in alcohol abuse and even addiction. While the National Institute on Substance Abuse reports that using illicit drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine are much less common in active-duty military members when compared to the common public, the misuse of alcohol and prescription drugs is still extensive, and this problem appears to be intensifying each year. Military rehab centers are designed to help, allowing them to proceed to lead healthy and happy lives free from drug abuse.

Why Military Rehab Is Important?

Addictions start with substance use and abuse. There are a number of reasons why people in the military may use drugs. These reasons are important as they are often unique to military personnel. For this reason, it an be beneficial for active military personnel or veterans to attend rehabs that have specialized programs specifically designed to help them. There are many reasons why military individuals might resort to drugs and/or alcohol – here are a few:

The stress of combat

The horrors of warfare and the memories of war can influence the psyche of an individual. Several soldiers will certainly attempt to “quiet the demons” and mask the discomfort they feel with the use of alcohol or substances.

The stress of everyday life

A career in the military can have distinct stresses of its own, just like any job. The stress to accomplish tasks, to hold up against particular physical and psychological stresses, and to constantly be ready for active duty can take a toll. Even more, just like civilians, past traumas and stress factors can play a role in the likelihood to try drugs.

Separation from loved ones

Time away from loved ones throughout long tours of duty can take an emotional toll on even the toughest people. In order to manage the psychological pain, some people might self-medicate with alcohol or drugs.

Post-career dissatisfaction

When a soldier returns after a lengthy tour of duty and attempts to restart civilian life, obstacles may stand in the way of success, including an absence of abilities demanded by the job market or a failure to reconnect with loved ones.


When a soldier is out in the field or in training, there are typically lengthy stretches of waiting within quick surges of activity. Several may fill this time with alcohol use or substance use.

While substance use and subsequent addiction may be easy to understand, the toll of these actions can be harsh. According to the Partnership at, a research study of returning service members discovered that 39 percent had probable behaviors of alcohol abuse, and a different research study discovered that suicide rates among military rose between 2005 and 2007.

Military personnel might desperately need help, however they may hesitate to ask for help. Scott Air Force Base reports that even more than 60 percent of those who are presently in the military think that obtaining support for a psychological health problem would influence job selections within the military organization. This is a stigma psychological health providers are trying to change via outreach programs and public recognition programs, 

In most cases, military personnel often look for private rehabs that are not associated with the military. There is a growing number of private-sector programs that offer targeted assistance for those who have experienced military life and stressors. These programs can be very efficient and are often covered by insurance.

zephyrhills recovery services

Military Therapy for Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Whatever branch of the military or reason for the addiction, alcohol abuse is quite typical. In fact, according to research studies quoted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the incidence of heavy drinking among participants of the military between the years 1980 and 2005 varied from 15 to 20 percent. For anybody who starts a drinking habit while in the military, treatment is the most effective method to break free and overcome alcohol abuse.

The First Step

Actual healing can not occur unless people with alcohol use disorders understand the dangers of their behaviors. For some, this understanding comes while they’re still active members in military life. Members of the Marine Corps, for example, could find out of their alcohol addiction due to random drug testing as alcohol is being screened in addition to various other drugs.

Some people don’t see the indications of their addiction as they may work at a nominally acceptable level throughout their military careers. When these people return home, however, their behaviors likely cause their families alarm or distress. On lots of occasions, they may be asked to admit their addiction and ask for support in order to avoid inevitable family complications.

tricare addiction rehab
Tricare drug rehab

VA Programs

Individuals who want help may go through the Department of Veterans Affairs. This organization provides a selection of therapy programs that can help. This department also offers a program locator tool, making the search process quick and easy. Utilizing a program like this could be appealing to some soldiers, as they’ll get addiction care in the company of other people that have served. They might not feel the need to explain their service or the terms they utilized while they were in active duty, and they may not feel the need to whitewash some of the experiences that happened. For some, this is an ideal place in which to get treatment.

However, not everyone is best served in a VA facility. Private centers might also offer extra help to returning service participants, supplying them with assistance and understanding as they work to reconstruct their lives and progress in a healthy manner.

Active participants of the armed force might stress that an admission of an addiction can cause:.

  • Demotions.
  • Expulsion.
  • Taunts and teasing.
  • Absence of assignments.

These repercussions might influence an individual’s capability to make a respectable living, and can even end a career. While the military does not actively encourage this sort of discrimination, some service individuals are so terrified at the mere concept that they select not to enlist in VA programs.

In a similar way, not every person that has a drinking problem is eligible for VA support. Some people that binge drink make terrible choices while on duty, which puts associates in jeopardy. This sort of behavior often tends to cause a dishonorable discharge. Regretfully, when that takes place, the person could lose VA benefits.


It is essential to know that whether people enlist in VA programs or look for support in a confidential center, they will not be alone in the fight against alcohol. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 7.1% of U.S. veterans satisfy the standards for a substance use disorder. It’s an usual issue, and therapy can make an impressive difference.

The treatment process starts with detox. This initial action enables the body to adjust without substances. Sometimes, it can be a harsh shift. Alcohol often tends to leave a significant amount of damage behind, decreasing electrical activity inside the brain to such a degree that the cells become unfamiliar to regular levels of functioning. Some people can come to be irritable and angry, hallucinating and screaming. As the process moves on, some maybe even have seizures called delirium tremens.

Because detoxification can be dangerous, it is recommended that people have the help of medical professionals. Professional treatment programs start and the healing process proceeds once detoxification is over.

Woman confronting man about his trauma and addiction

Assessing Trauma

When detoxification is concluded, it’s time to dig deep into the factors that brought about substance abuse. Often, these conversations involve working through trauma. Joining the military often means managing all sorts of dreadful scenarios, including:

  • Active fighting and killing
  • Death of friends
  • Death of noncombatants
  • Life-or-death choices
  • Difficult memories of life-and-death scenarios

These are the sorts of circumstances that remain in the mind, and without treatment, they can create their own kind of damages. Individuals might find that they’re haunted by the events that have taken place, and they may be unable to forget the episodes without the use of alcohol. This often results in trauma (PTSD). According to the National Center for PTSD, about 11 to 20 percent of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan return with this disorder.

Therapy for PTSD generally involves using organized treatment sessions to process memories. When people are able to explain their memories in an environment that won’t cause them harm, they finally feel comfort knowing the event occurred in the past and does not have the power to harm them in the present.

Therapy might involve talking, activities, role-play exercises and viewing video clips. Some therapists even include hand movements into their therapies, using a technique known as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Any of these techniques can allow military members to move past their trauma, so they can stay in the here and now without numbing their feelings with drugs or alcohol.

Family Support

Over time, someone in the military might change his or her views on home life and family duties. Some returning soldiers may feel removed from their families and the activities of the household. Loved ones once held so dear may also feel separated from the individual. Consuming alcohol can further increase that sense of detachment, as an inebriated person is frequently incapable to find a place within the confines of a happily functioning home. As the alcohol addiction deepens, loved ones are usually fractured and the pain worsens.

Family therapy is commonly useful as it can allow everyone to come together and promote healing. The soldier can talk about the transition process in a safe place, and the loved ones can find out more about how to make that shift as smooth as possible. Some family members even discover more about codependency, and how family behaviors like enabling can play a role in alcohol addiction.

Ongoing Recovery

Along with the treatments pointed out earlier, individuals with alcohol problems need to learn how to find their triggers for drinking and control those situations when they take hold. Conventional addiction treatment commonly helps– especially in a group environment. In a support system, people have an opportunity to really think of what makes them drink. They can likewise practice techniques that can help them to manage their cravings without relapsing. On top of that, meetings can provide problem drinkers with the sense of community they may be missing out on after they’ve left active service.

A Long Process.

Recovering from alcohol addiction takes time. It is not unusual for people to invest months in active therapy for addiction. When this action is complete, it’s typical for people to spend time in outpatient care, so they can taper out of intensive work and into community life. The work is hard, but in the end, it can be the most effective way in which a military member can develop a life that’s healthy, happy and free of addiction.

Coalition Recovery considerably values the sacrifices that the brave men and women of the military make daily, and the emotional and physical toll it can place on them and their families. With that in mind, Coalition Recovery is well-appointed to help veterans with their recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, providing comfort and care in Tampa Bay, Florida. 

Please call us at Coalition Recovery if you ‘d like to begin. We supply both inpatient and outpatient therapy options in Florida. We can develop a personalized recovery program just for you that uses clinically validated therapies. Our military program dives into trauma healing and works with your unique experiences of active duty. Please call now to discover more about our services.

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