Most of us go on in our daily lives without thinking that millions of Americans are engaged in active military pursuits. According to the Department of Defense, there are over two million uniformed service members, about half of which are 25 or younger. Within the general population, alcohol and drug use are highest among 18 to 25-year-olds. Add in the pressures of military service, and it becomes easy to understand why substance abuse is common among active duty military.
Harmony Hills provides comprehensive substance abuse treatment for military members, active duty, and veterans. Our specialized programs recognize the unique challenges our service men and women face and provide support in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Trauma is common among military members, so we utilized a trauma-informed approach designed to help military members heal and grow without reliance on drugs or alcohol. Contact us at 855.494.0357 to discover how we can help you.
Understanding the Causes of Addiction in Military Members
Drinking is deeply ingrained in the military culture. Alcohol is readily available at discounted rates on military bases, and numerous long-established drinking rituals exist. Many view drinking as a means of bonding with the other unit members. Still, others may feel pressured to drink to fit in or be accepted.
The rates of binge drinking and underage drinking among active military members are much higher than in the general population. In addition to a culture that heavily promotes alcohol use, other significant causes of addiction in military members include:
- Combat deployment
- High levels of stigma about seeking help
- Exposure to trauma
- The availability of inexpensive alcohol
- Fear of consequences for seeking help, particularly for illicit drug use
- High rates of prescription pain medication use
- Underlying, untreated mental health disorders
The very nature of the work military members must perform is a significant contributing factor to substance abuse that can lead to addiction. Even outside combat, their jobs are highly active, strenuous, and stressful. There is also a great deal of pressure to conform and to be mentally and physically strong.
Recognizing the Need for Addiction Treatment for Active Military
Many people who enlist have preexisting substance use disorders that worsen during their time in service. Military leaders must be able to recognize substance use disorders and guide service members to seek the treatment they need.
Signs and symptoms of substance use disorders include, but are not limited to:
- Inability to perform duties properly
- Deterioration of physical appearance
- Violent behaviors, including physical or sexual assault
- Frequent or unexplained injuries
- Moodiness, irritability, or unprovoked anger
- Substance-use-related legal issues
- Engaging in risk-taking behaviors while under the influence
- Continued drug or alcohol use despite negative consequences
- Exhibiting withdrawal symptoms
Substance abuse and addiction in active-duty military personnel can put entire units at risk, particularly in combat situations. Other impacts can include problems regarding readiness, cohesion within the unit, discipline, physical health, and mental well-being.
Knowing What to Expect in Addiction Treatment
Common barriers to treatment among military members include the stigma attached to substance use and mental health disorders, limited access to services, and the fear of discipline or dishonorable discharge. A lesser-cited barrier is a fear of not knowing what to expect in treatment.
At Harmony Hills, we take time to get to know clients to provide exceptional comprehensive treatment designed to meet individual needs. We rely on evidence-based treatment modalities including, but not limited to:
- Trauma therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- 12-step therapy programs
- Relapse prevention therapy
Treatment also includes education about addiction, mental health disorders, and trauma and how they interact and impact each other and all areas of life. Our holistic approach to treatment also includes the following:
- Somatic bodywork
- Nutritional counseling
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Recreational activities
- Life skills training
- Physical fitness programs
- Art and music therapy
- Yoga, qi gong, and tai chi
Our state-of-the-art facility offers hiking trails, basketball and volleyball courts, and more.
Find Addiction Treatment for Active Military at Harmony Hills
One of the strongest things you can do for yourself is accept help. Discover the benefits of treatment designed for the specific needs of military members at Harmony Hills in Florida. Reach out using our secure online form or by calling 855.494.0357.