Members of our nation’s military and their families live very different lives than their civilian counterparts. The unique demands and challenges of military service and the culture of military life create a lifestyle that seems foreign to civilians and includes stressors exclusive to this population. These differences result in significantly higher rates of substance abuse, trauma, and mental health conditions among military personnel and their family members.
Harmony Hills’ Heroes Program recognizes the unique needs of the military community. It provides substance abuse and trauma treatment for military members specifically designed to cater to their needs and circumstances. Whether you are a veteran, active-duty service member, or a military family member struggling with substance abuse or addiction, we can help. Call 855.494.0357 or contact us online to learn more.
Drug Addiction in Spouses and Children of Military Members
It is common knowledge for most that substance use disorders (SUD) and mental health conditions like PTSD, anxiety, and depression are common among military personnel. Less common is the knowledge of the rates of SUD and mental health disorders among the spouses and children of military members.
Primarily due to frequent moves for changes in services members’ duty calls, spouses and children of military members face challenges that typical families don’t, such as:
- Recurring and extended periods of separation due to training, deployments, and other obligations
- Emotional stress and fear of death or injury of their loved one
- Financial stress due to low pay for active duty service members and job insecurity for spouses
- Limited access to healthcare, especially for specialized treatments, due to duty stations
- Educational setbacks
- Loneliness and social isolation
- Lack of a sense of community connections
- Ongoing grief and loss
The military operates under strict rules and regulations that govern everything from personal appearance to conduct and behavior. Service members often expect their spouses and children to adhere to these rules and regulations, making them feel they lack autonomy.
These factors, compounded by a stigma against mental health treatment, ultimately result in significantly higher rates of mental health disorders and drug addiction in spouses and children of military members.
Statistics on Drug Addiction and Alcohol Abuse in Military Families
While significant research indicates that military personnel and their family members are at increased risk of drug addiction and alcohol abuse, specific statistics are limited and vary based on the source and the population studied.
Alcohol use is deeply embedded in the military lifestyle, but illicit drug use is heavily frowned upon, creating a culture of secrecy. Still, a 2019 study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that:
- Significantly more military spouses reported heavy alcohol use in the past month compared to the general population
- Military spouses also reported significantly higher rates of illicit drug use in the past year compared to the general population
- A 2018 Journal of Family Psychology study found that military children were more than 20% more likely to have SUD than their civilian peers.
- A 2020 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that among military families seeking substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, a significant number of veterans and their families sought help for alcohol abuse, marijuana addiction, and prescription drug treatment.
These numbers highlight the need for substance abuse treatment programs that address the specific underlying causes of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction among the spouses and children of military personnel.
Learn More About Substance Abuse and Trauma Treatment for Military Personnel and Family Members
Harmony Hills provides comprehensive co-occurring trauma and substance abuse treatment for active military members, veterans, and their families. Residential treatment provides a supportive therapeutic environment with 24-hour access to care without daily life stressors. In addition to trauma and substance abuse, we offer treatment for:
- Anxiety disorders
- Depression and mood disorders
- Self-harm or self-injurious behavior
- Eating disorders
- Suicide prevention
- Personality disorders
Here, military-based clients have access to peers who can relate to their experiences. Find the treatment you deserve at Harmony Hills.