Serving in the Armed Forces is a stressful life. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of substance abuse disorder among both current and former service members. The rates of alcoholism and drug addiction in Vietnam War veterans, though, show an even bigger problem. Soldiers who served in this war developed addiction at high rates, and many are still living with these issues.
At Transformations Treatment Center, we’ve far too often seen the outcome of military service. Men and women of the Armed Forces serve valiantly, but this frequently comes at a high price. Vietnam veterans still living with alcoholism and addiction are a disheartening testament to this fact. If you’re a vet dealing with substanceabuse disorder, you don’t have to fight the battle alone.
Contact us today to learn how we can help.
Vietnam Veterans and Addiction
Many people see Vietnam as some long-ago issue. In reality, there are over 6 million veterans still living that served during the war. More than 600,000 of these vets actually fought in the conflict. Serving in combat increases the risk of substance abuse, but statistics show this problem was even more pronounced during the Vietnam War.
There are many reasons behind the heightened risk of alcoholism and drug addiction in Vietnam vets. One major issue is that alcohol and heroin were readily and cheaply available in the Asian country during that time. Among all veterans who seek treatment for opioidaddiction, Vietnam vets are more likely to have started using while in the service.
The reasons behind alcoholism and drug addiction in Vietnam veterans also differed from their colleagues. These vets cited relief of tensions and fear as the driving factor behind their substance abuse. Conversely, veterans who didn’t serve in Vietnam listed “boredom” as their primary reason for use. This shows just how stressful serving in combat can be.
Government Programs for Vietnam Vets With Addiction
When soldiers returned home from Vietnam, they faced countless struggles. For the first time in history, Americans did not welcome vets home as heroes. The anti-war sentiment at the time landed squarely on their shoulders. Statistics also show that these vets had a risk of divorce 28 times higher than non-veterans. Unfortunately, even the U.S. Government let them down.
More than one-quarter of Vietnam vets used heroin or cocaine while in service. By 1971, there were at least 12,000 former service members who lived with heroin addiction. The most disheartening statistic related to this, however, is that the VA only took three referrals for drug addiction that year. Three — out of 12,000.
Fortunately, changes have occurred since that time. There are various government programs now available to handle alcoholism and drug addiction in Vietnam veterans:
- VA Medical Centers offer detox and drug rehab services for vets who qualify.
- Community Vet Centers offer resources for vets who don’t qualify for VA treatment.
- VA Community Resource and Referral Center can help with non-VA services.
- VA MISSION Act provides government funding for outside treatment.
America let down its service members after Vietnam. Fortunately, steps have been taken to rectify this issue. Alcoholism and addiction in Vietnam vets is a major issue, but help is available. Contact the admissions team of Transformations Treatment Center today at (877) 304-1484. We can help you find resources and verify if the VA MISSION Act will cover your treatment.
Treatment for Vietnam Veterans
Some people see substance abuse as a singular issue. In reality, it’s very complex. This is particularly the case for Vietnam veterans with alcoholism or drug addiction. For instance, less than half of people with posttraumaticstress disorder (PTSD) develop a serious addiction. Among Vietnam vets, this number sits at 74%.
Unfortunately, many of these soldiers abused alcohol and drugs to deal with PTSD. As countless studies have shown, though, this can make symptoms worse in the long term. The complexity of co-occurring disorders requires a complex approach to recovery. This is why Transformations Treatment Center tailors every treatment plan to the individual.
And with theHelp for Our Heroes program — led by a veteran and former first responder — we’ve created an environment specifically focused on helping vets recover. Recovery may be a long road, but it’s not one you have to travel on your own.
You Don’t Have to Live With Addiction
Most Vietnam veterans had little clue that they wouldn’t leave the battle back in the jungle. The struggles they faced upon returning were many, and this frequently led to alcoholism and drug abuse. There’s no debate that their country let them down when they got home. Fortunately, there’s still time to get help.
At Transformations Treatment Center, we strive to provide the help that’s needed by our former service members. Alcoholism and drug addiction in Vietnam vets is a common problem, but no two individuals are the same. This is why — even within our veterans’ program — each individual has a customized treatment plan. If you’re ready to take your life back, we’re here to help.
Contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment programs for vets.
The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Department of Veterans Affairs