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How Can Military Life Stressors Contribute to Drug Abuse?

How Can Military Life Stressors Contribute to Drug Abuse?While being a member of the military is an honorable and valuable career choice, the requirements of the job can cause individuals excessive stress that can eventually contribute to drug abuse problems in the future.

Military Life Stressors Linked to Drug Abuse

There is no doubt that a military family is going to face different challenges than the average family, as loved ones are away for extended periods of times and routinely put their lives in danger. In addition to the obvious life stressor of a family member being sent off to war, there are numerous other stressors that can pave the way for a drug abuse problem, including the following:

  • Constant moving – Military families rarely stay in one place for a long period of time, making it difficult for them to put roots down. This instability can affect both spouses and children of military service members, as it creates anxiety about when they might need to move next, and also prevents them from developing positive relationships. Withdrawing from others and living with anxiety can cause an individual to use drugs to cope.
  • PTSD side effects – When members of the military return home from war they may begin to experience PTSD. The side effects of this disorder can cause a drug abuse problem to develop, as sufferers turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with anxiety and painful feelings.
  • Fear of the unknown – Family members may have difficulty staying in touch with deployed loved ones, which can cause excessive worry and anxiety. To avoid feeling this way on a constant basis, family members might use drugs or alcohol.

Military families are often uprooted, experience numerous psychological issues including PTSD, and struggle with not knowing the condition of their deployed loved ones. Each one of these stressors can lead to a higher likelihood of drug abuse in the home.

Treatment for Military Families

Now that the VA is becoming more open about psychological disorders and substance abuse, members of the military and their families can reach out to get the specific support they need. Mental health and addiction resources can include family therapy, individual therapy, or medication for family members struggling with PTSD, anxiety and depression. By participating in these types of treatments, members of a military family can strengthen their coping skills enough to prevent drug abuse from occurring in their homes in the future.

Do You Need Help Coping with Military Stress?

Call our toll-free, 24-hour helpline right now to speak to an admissions counselor today. Take the time to get mental health and addiction help for you and your family before it is too late. Call us now.

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