Drug Addiction in the Military: 4 Common Signs and Treatment Options


Most people who have served in the military at some point in their lives struggle with addiction. It is a coping technique for the conditions they find themselves in. Returning from the military can give you a hard time. Veterans may also have PTSD. Suffering from injuries, blending in with routine again, and adjusting with friends and family can be highly fatiguing. Drug and alcohol use may aid them to find comfort in the situation momentarily. However, their long-term effects can be severely damaging throughout their life.


Even if military veterans aren’t taking drugs or alcohol, they may get addicted to prescription medicines, for example, pain killers, antidepressants, sedatives, etc. All of these are prescribed to them to help them cope with either the injuries or the trauma. These drugs can easily make you develop a dependence on them. Quitting them may come with unbearable withdrawal symptoms.

Drug Addiction in the Military


While addiction to medication is one thing, some veterans switch to illicit drugs if they develop a tolerance for prescription drugs. They’re cheaper, more potent, and a lot more accessible. From what the statistics depict, drug addiction is inevitable in the military. Click here to follow a guide for military veterans regarding addiction and substance abuse treatment. To treat any disorder, you must first recognize the signs to assume a complete diagnosis. Drug addiction isn’t necessarily how it gets portrayed in the media. Addicts are very clever at concealing the mess they’re in until it gets out of hand.  Continue reading to recognize the signs of drug addiction in the military and possible treatments.

  1. Decreased Energy And Loss Of Appetite

Veterans are generally highly alive and active as a result of all the exciting adventures they’ve had. They always have so many stories to tell. They even devour home-cooked food more than regular people because they’ve possibly missed out on it during their time in the military. If they don’t, it might be a red flag. Not being able to enjoy food or feeling low throughout the day are some early signs of addiction. However, they may also indicate other conditions like PTSD.

  1. Irritability, Agitation, And Mood Swings

There are a hundred reasons to be agitated when you come back home from the military. Your connection with your wife may seem detached. The children may be upset because of your absence. The utility bills are piling, etc. Even so, this kind of agitation is just temporary. Persistent display of strange behavior might be a warning sign of an underlying condition. It could be anything, but it could likely be an addiction too.

  1. Relationship Problems And Domestic Abuse

As mentioned earlier, addiction can render long-term detrimental effects on an individual’s life. In the life of a veteran, drug addiction is usually followed by aggressive behavior, inability to maintain relationships, and ferocious episodes of domestic violence. It is an expected response as dependence halts a person’s ability to think rationally. Drugs and other substances are all they can think about as if PTSD wasn’t enough. All the added pressure needs to exit your body before it explodes. The people who live with you are a potential target of letting out your rage. If you notice any of these signs, call for help immediately.

  1. The Lack Of Attention Towards Personal Hygiene

A person who loses time and awareness of their surroundings is likely to forget personal hygiene. For addicts, drugs are their priority. If they do not consume, they will undergo unbearable withdrawal symptoms. Everything else doesn’t matter, including family and personal hygiene. The lack of self-esteem is also a reason why drug addicts don’t feel like following hygiene standards.

Treatment Options

  1. Detoxification

Physician-supervised detoxification helps you to cleanse your system of harmful drugs in secure surroundings. It is advantageous since drug withdrawal can result in painful or even fatal physiological effects. Detoxification is generally administered in conjunction with other treatments since it does not address the primary psychological reasons for addictive behavior.

  1. One-On-One Counseling

The primary motivation for using drugs is stress. One-on-one therapy assists you in releasing buried sentiments. Along with a detox, counseling can help you gain freedom from addiction and avoid relapse in the future. Many therapists are specialized in counseling addicts. Behavioral, cognitive therapy is also known to work in such conditions.

  1. Outpatient Rehab

Most people find it troubling to get admitted to a psychiatric facility to undergo rehab. Staying at a facility for long periods can be highly discomforting. It might do more harm than good to the already suffering individual. Outpatient rehab allows you to obtain treatment and return home after every session. It’s also one of the most discreet forms of treatment.

Wrapping Up

While addiction is inevitable in the majority of circumstances, it is still treatable. Quitting may become difficult for the addict as it comes with painful and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. However, seeking professional help can be the solution to this problem. There are various ways of obtaining treatment, for example, therapy, detoxification, and rehab. The government also offers state-funded rehab centers for people with drug problems. Nevertheless, to fix a problem, you must first watch out for the warning signs. The signs of drug addiction include isolation, unattended personal hygiene, failed relationships, poor appetite, constant agitation, domestic abuse, financial issues, etc.

Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams is a blogger and writer who expresses her ideas and thoughts through her writings. She loves to get engaged with the readers who are seeking for informative contents on various niches over the internet. She is a featured blogger at various high authority blogs and magazines in which she shared her research and experience with the vast online community.

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