Life in the military can lead to intense and even traumatic experiences. Upon returning home, many veterans find their mental health in a dark and harmful place. Attending a veteran rehab program can help these service members work through past trauma and make a healthy transition back to civilian life.
However, most veterans do not receive the level of support they need to fully heal. There are many reasons why a veteran may not seek professional mental health care, including lack of accessibility, financial barriers, and feelings of shame.
At Georgetown Behavioral Hospital, we seek to help patients work through these obstacles so they can receive the quality care they deserve. Every day, we strive to change the stigma surrounding veteran mental health and guide as many people toward long-term recovery as we can.
The State of Veteran Mental Health
In 2019, almost four million veterans had a substance use disorder or mental illness. These numbers are high enough to make veterans one of the most at-risk groups for developing mental health issues. But why is that?
Below, we’ll assess common contributors to mental illness in veterans. We will also discuss how a lack of accessible veteran rehab options can push people to take treatment into their own hands, which often leads to substance abuse.
Veterans and Trauma
Traumatic events can negatively impact someone’s ability to handle stress, process emotions, and connect with others. Moreover, there are many traumatic experiences someone can live through during their time in the military. Any of these painful experiences could push them to need the services of a veteran rehab.
Examples of traumatic experiences someone could have while in the military include:
- Combat exposure
- Complicated grief
- Military sexual trauma (MST)
- Service injuries
- Survivor’s guilt
- Training accidents
- Food insecurity
Compared to civilians, veterans are disproportionately more likely to experience the above events. For this reason, they also tend to experience higher rates of mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Veterans and Substance Abuse
As mentioned previously, many veterans do not seek professional treatment from a veteran rehab facility. Instead, they may look for their own ways to cope, which don’t always involve the healthiest methods for processing trauma. For example, some veterans try self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.
Many substances have been known to help people “forget” their problems. However, this only offers a temporary reprieve. Once the substance’s effect wears off, they are back where they started. This tends to lead to recurring substance use, which can quickly become full-fledged addiction.
There are other reasons veterans may develop addictions as well. For instance, many veterans live with chronic pain and rely on prescription painkillers to feel better. Unfortunately, many of these medications are highly addictive, making it easy to fall into patterns of drug abuse.
Veteran Rehab Programs
Because veterans can live with such a broad range of mental health challenges, effective veteran rehab centers generally offer more than one treatment program. This ensures that every individual patient can make the best treatment choices for their unique needs.
Georgetown Behavioral Hospital stands as one of the treatment facilities that offers multiple potential paths to recovery. Our treatment programs are flexible and designed to conform to the needs of veterans battling substance abuse, mental illness, or a combination of both. These programs include:
Inpatient Mental Health Rehab
The most intense form of mental health treatment involves inpatient care. To that end, we offer a residential mental health program at our veteran rehab center. During treatment, patients live at our tranquil facility and participate in vital therapeutic activities every day.
Under the guidance of an interdisciplinary team of mental health professionals, patients develop important coping skills and learn to manage the symptoms of their condition. Every victory and step forward is celebrated by staff and peers alike, and every hurdle is met with support and encouragement.
Our residential treatment program is not designed with any singular mental illness in mind. Instead, it helps individuals with a broad range of mental health conditions, such as:
- Bipolar disorder
- Affective disorders
- Mood disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Inpatient treatment benefits those who need the highest level of care. They receive regular evaluations to track their progress and take note of any problem areas. This is helpful not only for individuals with severe symptoms, but also those whose home lives lack warmth or stability.
Medical Drug and Alcohol Detox
For those battling drug and alcohol abuse, the first veteran rehab program they utilize may be our medical detox. Detox is a crucial component of addiction recovery because it allows someone’s body to physically heal from prolonged substance use.
During medical detox, a team of trained physicians and addiction experts monitor patient vitals 24/7. This keeps them safe from severe withdrawal symptoms and potential complications. In addition, their team is able to soothe the effects of milder withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process as comfortable as possible.
Furthermore, a medical detox eliminates the risk of relapse. When someone attempts to detox at home, they maintain easy access to drugs and alcohol. By going to specialized treatment centers, however, they can commit to finishing detox without relapsing.
Dual Diagnosis Rehab
Millions of veterans live with either a substance use disorder or another mental illness. However, these conditions are not mutually exclusive. Roughly half of individuals with an addiction also live with a separate, co-occurring mental health problem at the same time.
To treat co-occurring disorders, someone may attend our veteran rehab center for our dual diagnosis program. This program is very similar to our mental health program, but it places a special emphasis on the role of addiction in someone’s mental health.
During dual diagnosis treatment, patients participate in several evidence-based treatment options, including:
- Psychiatric screenings
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Family education
- Medication evaluation and management
- Group therapy
- Recreational therapy
- Relapse prevention planning
- Discharge planning
By choosing dual diagnosis treatment, patients can immerse themselves in a secure, sober environment and focus solely on recovery. The path to healing may be long, but it is not one that needs to be traveled alone.
Veteran Rehab in Georgetown, Ohio
Georgetown Behavioral Hospital is a treatment facility that helps individuals overcome substance abuse and mental illness. For veterans seeking mental health care, we provide compassionate, respectful care that acknowledges the nuance and individuality of their battles.
To learn more about our veteran rehab programs, please contact us today. You can reach an admissions expert by calling 937-483-4933 or by submitting a confidential contact form through our website. They will be happy to answer any questions you have about our mental health and addiction treatment programs.
Whether your fight is with addiction, depression, PTSD, or a combination of mental health issues, Georgetown Behavioral Hospital can help. Your pain does not have to last forever. With the support of mental health professionals, you can heal from past trauma and achieve long-term recovery.