Those who have served in the military are often in need of alcohol detox help when they return from active service. War can have a profound effect on soldiers, with many suffering mental health problems such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), anxiety, and depression.
According to a report published by The Independent, the number of former military personnel being compensated for mental health disorders has increased by 379 per cent in just six years. There has been a claims increase of thirty-five per cent in the last year alone.
Many people within the military suffer from mental health problems, and a significant number of these will self-medicate with alcohol. Coupled with the very strong drinking culture within the armed forces, this can lead to devastating addictions for which many will require alcohol detox help.
PTSD is a devastating illness that can have a profound impact on the lives of those affected. Sufferers tend to experience flashbacks to traumatic events; for soldiers, this can mean reliving the most devastating scenes witnessed during war. It is not unusual for soldiers to turn to alcohol in a bid to numb the pain and suffering experienced as a result of this mental health problem.
King’s College London previously published research into the effect of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on soldiers. The rates of PTSD in soldiers who had been involved in combat were around seven per cent, compared with the national average of approximately four per cent.
Many veterans are desperate for support, and a large number require alcohol detox help, although it would appear as though they are not getting the assistance they need. Some believe the Government is not doing enough to help veterans. Dean Upson served in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and said, “They don’t care. The fact that you have fought for your country, done three combat tours, that counts for nothing … The visible injuries, that they can’t argue with – the lost limbs – they will pay straight away.”
Combat Stress is a charity assisting those who have served in the military and their director of medical services, Dr Walter Busuttil, said that ‘stigma is a big thing in the military’. He added that many of the people who are helped by Combat Stress do not apply for compensation due to this mental health stigma. He went on to say that the number of affected veterans who actually apply for compensation is around four per cent.
Despite many urgently needing treatment for mental health problems, and a significant number who require alcohol detox help, Dr Busuttil said there is a lack of services in the UK, particularly for those with a low income.
It is not just ex-serving military personnel with mental health problems who suffer from alcohol abuse issues. Unfortunately, binge drinking is common in the military, and there is often pressure placed on new recruits to take part in drinking games.
Statistics have shown that those aged between 18 and 25 and who serve in the military drink much more heavily than civilians in the same age bracket.
Those who suffer physical injuries on duty may also turn to alcohol in a bid to numb the pain. If they are off duty because of their injuries, they may be more likely to abuse alcohol.
The good news out of all this is that treatment is available for those with an alcohol addiction. The first step on the road to recovery is a detox programme. Alcohol detox help is usually necessary for those who want to quit drinking.
In most cases, it is recommended that this takes place in a supervised facility where access to medical care can prevent any life-threatening situations. Alcohol is a toxic substance that can affect most of the body, so withdrawing from it may be complicated. It is important that this is done in a comfortable and safe environment. For more information on alcohol detox programmes, contact Recovery.org.uk.
After you have received alcohol detox help, you will be ready to begin a programme of rehabilitation. This will usually take place in an inpatient or outpatient setting. Inpatient programmes are, for the most part, provided by private clinics. However, an equally effective, if less intensive, type of treatment is that provided by outpatient facilities.
If you are an affected individual and it comes to accessing a suitable treatment programme for your needs and circumstances, contact us here at Recovery.org.uk. We will assess your situation to ensure that we recommend a facility that suits your requirements and your budget. We understand that private treatment is not feasible for everyone and, for that reason, we work with charities, the NHS and local support groups to ensure that treatment is available to everyone that needs it.
Source: Veterans desperate for help, but government leaves them hanging (The Canary)