Hundreds of thousands of veterans continue to struggle with prescription drug use each year. Even if these drugs were prescribed by a physician, they can cause tremendous damage to your health, wellbeing, and family. Fortunately, help is available. Ultimately, the fastest way to detox for prescription drugs is to enter a medically supported detox. Prescription drug use can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms if tried alone, but with the help of a rehab for veterans at Heroes’ Mile, you can break free from your addiction.
Prescription Drug Use Among Veterans
Despite efforts by the VA and public health officials, prescription drug use is still prevalent among veterans. Notably, the rates are even higher among vets with combat exposure, PTSD, or co-occurring mental illness. Ultimately, these medications are still prescribed to hundreds of thousands of veterans each year and can quickly develop into a lasting problem.
One of the reasons for the high prescription rates among veterans is that this population is often plagued with occupation-related chronic pain. Additionally, military personnel and veterans have elevated rates of anxiety, depression, and PTSD which often warrants a prescription medication. However, many of these prescriptions are addictive in nature, and if abused can result in dependence or addiction. When you begin to show signs of a substance use disorder, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Prevalence of Prescription Drug Addiction
Recent data suggests that nearly 4% of the veteran population misuse prescription medications, or 801,000 individuals. The vast majority struggle with opioid misuse. Specifically, hydrocodone, oxycodone, or fentanyl are examples of opioids that are often missed. Additionally, benzodiazepine and stimulant misuse is common as well
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Unfortunately, the vast majority of veterans never receive treatment for their addiction. In fact, 85.1% of veterans who meet the criteria for a substance use disorder don’t attend any type of treatment, and 53.3% with mental illness never receive care.
Causes of Prescription Drug Misuse
There is no single cause for substance misuse, but data indicates that the majority of veterans with a substance use disorder also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Unfortunately, the rate of substance use disorders among combat veterans with PTSD is nearly 75%, roughly triple that of the civilian population who have PTSD symptoms. In this way, using substances to cope with the effects of trauma is common, but the short-term relief of drug use quickly wears off.
In addition, many vets suffer from chronic pain, often as a result of their service. The most commonly reported healthcare problem among veterans is low back pain, followed by joint pain. Many vets will start taking prescription painkillers to manage this pain but find themselves addicted in short order.
Signs of a Substance Use Disorder
Substance use disorders can happen to anyone. It can happen as either a result of abusing drugs or taking them as prescribed. Importantly, it implies nothing about your willpower or character: addiction is a disease. Fortunately, addiction is highly treatable with the help of an addiction recovery program.
Signs of a substance use disorder include:
- Tolerance, or needing to take more drugs to get the same effect
- Withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop
- Cravings for the drug
- Multiple failed attempts to stop on your own
- Losing interest in hobbies or activities
- Continued drug use despite consequences
If you are beginning to show any of these signs, you’ve likely developed a substance use disorder. But there is hope, and we can show you how to detox from prescription drugs and set you on the path to recovery.
Making the Choice to Quit Prescription Drug Use
The disease of addiction can make it difficult to choose to stop using drugs. But you can still choose to seek treatment at a facility that is effective at helping people overcome substance use, even if you continue to battle with cravings. Making the call to a rehab for veterans is the fastest way to detox from prescription drugs and get back to living a more fulfilling life.
How to Detox From Prescription Drugs
The first step in addiction treatment is medical detox. This is because prescription drugs can cause intense withdrawal symptoms when stopped suddenly, some of which can even be life-threatening. In fact, the side effects of quitting prescription drugs cold turkey include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Joint Pain
- Intense cravings
- Sleep difficulties
By choosing a professional detox center, you ensure your safety and can make the first stage of recovery much more comfortable. At Heroes’ Mile, our medical detox offers 24/7 medical monitoring by addiction specialists, a thorough physical and mental health evaluation, and targeted assessments to determine the severity of your substance use problem. Intense withdrawal symptoms are managed with a careful medical approach, and in some cases can be eliminated entirely in medical detox.
Prescription drugs can be overcome, but detox alone isn’t enough. To achieve lasting recovery, detox is typically followed by entering into an addiction treatment program. These treatment settings can help teach you the tools of recovery and prevent future relapse.
Veteran’s Addiction Recovery Program
The veteran’s addiction recovery program at Heroes’ Mile focuses on offering evidence-based treatments that are time-tested at fighting addiction. This includes treatments such as:
- Individual and group therapies
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
- A thorough nutritional assessment and food plan
- Counseling for family members
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
In addition to treating addiction, we place a heavy focus on helping vets overcome the unique challenges that often result from a life of service. This includes treating PTSD, military sexual assault, and other mental health issues common in the military.
The addiction recovery program at Heroes’ Mile was designed by veterans, for veterans. That means having a peer group that truly understands your position, clinical staff that has walked a mile in your boots, and trauma-informed care from people who know the damage that trauma can cause.
Rehab for Veterans at Heroes’ Mile
Choosing to battle your addiction and overcome the struggles of a substance use disorder can be challenging, but making that choice is a signal of strength and virtue. Heroes’ Mile can help show you the path – but you have to take the first step. Call our admission specialists at 888-838-6692 and start your road to recovery today. With Heroes’ Mile in Central Florida, you can stop prescription drug abuse.