Veterans, especially those who have served overseas in wars, have always been highly susceptible to drug abuse and mental health problems. Many of them have either gone untreated, or simply not received enough care to adequately deal with the issues that need to be properly addressed. As a result, the nature of behavioral disorders, including substance abuse, usually winds up leading to some type of criminal behavior, wether it be simple drug use and possession, or something more serious.
Regardless of finger-pointing about why a higher rate of veterans are having a problem, the fact still remains that there are many of our nation’s freedom fighters who deserve our help since they risked their lives for us. For many, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs is a valuable resource, but others seem to need a different approach.
A recent story from MSNBC stated that there are about 140,000 veterans behind bars today, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Well over half of these (60%) have substance abuse problems, and about a quarter were intoxicated at the time of the violation that landed them in prison. Many experts believe that these vets are self-medicating to deal with real issues and potentially hidden diagnoses such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and more. A few years ago a Rand study claimed that more than 18% of reurning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan who were screened had depression and/or PTSD.
For many years there have been many drug courts across the country for first-time and non-violent drug offenders, and now there are at least two federal courts that provide similar services for veterans to give them a chance at at rehabilitation rather than bein locked up. Giving these men and women a second chance is the least our nation can do to provide help for those who have served. Once the opportunity is made available, then it can be a matter of knowing what the treatment options may be. This is something we can help with.
Do you have a loved one who is a Veteran and having problems with substance abuse and potentially other behavioral disorders? Contact us today to find out how to get them into programs that can help.