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Veterans & Unique Issues
Chronic Pain from the Battlefield
- Chronic pain is a major problem for many veterans, due to battlefield injuries.
- Chronic pain affects 60% of veterans who served in the Middle East, and more than 50% of older veterans in the VA health care system.
- Chronic pain is often treated with opioid painkillers, which can lead to a substance use disorder. Sometimes people to rely on illegal drugs like heroin.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Exposure to combat and other life- threatening situations can be very traumatic and not only cause physical injuries, but psychological wounds
- PTSD is very common among veterans – it effects 1 in 3 veterans who seek help with substance abuse.
Stress: Transition to Civilian LIfe
- When veterans transition from military to civilian life, it can cause a considerable amount of stress.
- Unlike military life, which is highly structured with a clear chain of command, civilian life is generally very unstructured which can be very challenging and stressful for veterans stressful.
- Finding a job, finding housing, getting transportation, family issues and coping with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are a few things that could trigger overwhelming stress. This may cause some veterans to rely on opioids and/or alcohol to cope with these stressors.