Every year, about 95,000 people die from alcohol-related causes. Unfortunately, one group that is susceptible to dealing with alcoholism is military veterans.

But why is there a link between alcoholism and veterans? What can you do if a veteran in your life is struggling with alcoholism and what are some treatments available to them?

We’ll explore all of that in this short guide. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is the Link Between Alcohol Abuse and Military Service?

Since the military has a strict zero-tolerance policy about the use of illicit drugs, many military members don’t want to risk taking something that could get them kicked out of the service. In that case, it’s easy to turn to alcohol, since it’s not a banned substance.

While many people initially turn to alcohol as a way to unwind, it can become a coping mechanism for military service members that are dealing with stress, feelings of isolation, or worrying about staying safe on the job.

Then, even after ending their military career, it can be tempting to continue turning to alcohol. This is especially true for war veterans or those that have experienced and seen traumatic events like death and combat.

Eventually, alcohol use becomes more frequent and becomes a dependency rather than an occasional indulgence. This increased consumption can start to interfere with their daily lives, and become dangerous if left untreated.

Alcoholism Treatments Available to Military Veterans

If you’re a veteran who’s concerned that you may have developed a dependency on alcohol or you’re worried about a military veteran you know, remember that help is available.

One of the best things you can do if you struggle with alcoholism is attend rehab. For veterans, in particular, it’s worth looking into a VA alcohol rehab center. By attending a rehab program aimed specifically at helping veterans, you’ll work with counselors who are trained to help you work through the specific difficulties that come from developing alcoholism after serving.

This can include getting help for issues like post-traumatic stress disorder, which is often an underlying cause of alcoholism in veterans.

How to Support Someone Struggling With Alcoholism

When you see a loved one dealing with alcoholism, it’s natural to feel unsure about the best way to show them the support they need. The most important thing you can do for them is to love and support them without judgment.

It can be difficult for people to admit when they need help. When they do, the last thing they need is to feel like you’re judging them. Instead, be supportive, listen to them, and help them find the resources they need to get help.

It’s also important to remember to take care of yourself during this difficult time. Be gentle with yourself and find local groups for loved ones of those dealing with alcoholism to learn more about how to stay strong.

It’s Never Too Late to Get Help

Military veterans sacrifice so much for us and our country. Unfortunately, those sacrifices can lead to alcoholism as a way to cope. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s never too late to seek help.

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