Serving in the armed forces is an honorable profession, but soldiers often brave situations that can cause considerable pain. This usually includes combat, where people may injure an enemy and/or witness the death of one of their own. These experiences can cause posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which may encourage soldiers to abuse drugs to cope. However, military personnel with these problems can recover if they seek professional help.
Combat is not the only way a soldier can experience trauma during a tour of duty; rather, it is just one of the many ways someone can become scarred from military service. For instance, many soldiers who return home from war abuse addictive substances, and many people who currently serve also struggle with this debilitating problem. Both war-related trauma and substance abuse are connected in the following ways:
Between trying to cope, block out memories and reengage in social settings, soldiers may abuse drugs to deal with the many issues that results from trauma.
PTSD commonly drives soldiers to drug abuse, but there are many treatment methods that address both of these issues at the same time. For instance, soldiers can seek Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) as well as psychotherapy to treat both trauma and the resultant substance abuse. By engaging in Dual Diagnosis treatment, soldiers who survived trauma during war can get help to address both their mental and physical health.
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