Tragically, veterans are often among the forgotten and overlooked members of our society. They have toiled and served their country, sometimes fighting in wars to defend this nation, only to find themselves worse off than when they left. Life as a returning civilian can be quite challenging and disappointing, to say the least, and many veterans’ lives after returning from military deployment change for the worst. People who experience acute stress like newly returning veterans face are vulnerable to drug use and eventual abuse. Acute stressors like job loss, the death of loved ones, physical injury or illness, divorce or separation, and financial distress are quite traumatic and oftentimes the triggers that lead to drugs.
Marriages, long under stress from prolonged military separation and loneliness, often fold under the pressure. Families fall apart when deployed soldiers return home physically, psychologically and emotionally damaged. Employment isn’t as readily available as they might like, so even finances may suffer. Their daily lives of constant activity and danger dwindle down to calmer days, idleness, depression and boredom. To cope, many veterans turn to drugs and alcohol and other addictions, which lead to further problems. Without a good support system, veterans may consequently even find themselves incarcerated or homeless. (more…)