Substance abuse is so prevalent that it impacts virtually every sector of society, leaving no sub-group or special population untouched. This includes active-duty and retired military members, the people who are or have been entrusted with defending our country’s freedoms.
In fact, military use of antipsychotic, sedative, mood stabilizing, and stimulant drugs have increased significantly, particularly between 2005 and 2011. The New York Times reported a 700 percent increase in psychoactive drug prescriptions among the military in that span.
This spike in psychotropic drug use has also had another unfortunate effect, according to a mental health watchdog group.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR) stated that the increased use of psychotropic medications directly correlated with spikes in military suicides. It’s also worth noting that in 2016, the suicide rate for veterans was 1.5 times greater than that of civilians, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
It is also worth noting that alcohol use among men and women in the military is higher than that of civilians.
What this all means is that sufficient drug treatment is a pressing concern for members of the United States Armed Forces. This is especially the case for members of the United States Army, which saw its suicide rate increase by 150 percent between 2001 and 2009. However, the Army does provide treatment services through the Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP).
ASAP is not your only option.
Professional addiction treatment can offer an array of services that includes the latest in addiction treatment therapies and practices.
Read on to find out more about ASAP and reputable professional treatment.
How To Tell If You Have a Substance Abuse Problem
Depending on the substance, it might take time to identify whether someone has a substance abuse issue. At some point, however, the person will begin to display outward signs and exhibit certain behaviors that point to addiction. These signs can be physical, behavioral, and/or psychological in nature.
The Physical Signs Include:
- Bloodshot eyes, or dilated pupils
- Changes in appetite
- Strange sleep patterns
- Runny nose or sniffing
- Unexplained and sudden weight changes
- Shaking, tremors, or poor coordination
- Intoxication signs such as slurred speech
- Unusual odors
Some of the Most Common Behavioral Signs Are As Follows:
- Strained relationships
- Secretive or suspicious behavior
- Trouble at work, school, or with the law
- Legal issues like arrests or charges
- Failing performance at work or school
- Changes in social circles, new friend groups
- Unexplained need for money, constantly asking for cash
- Stealing money or valuables
- Lack of control with drugs or alcohol
- Increased tolerance (drinking or using more before it’s effective)
- Using drugs or alcohol when it is dangerous (i.e., drinking and driving)
- Lack of self-care, poor hygiene
Substances of Abuse Also Produce Psychological Symptoms, Influencing an Array of Observable Behaviors. Those Psychological Warning Signs Include:
- Fearful, panicked, anxious, or paranoid without a clear cause
- Lethargy, lack of motivation
- Unusual surges of energy
- Strange and sudden mood swings
- Irritability or agitation
- Angry outbursts or bouts of rage
When Addiction Is Present
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines addiction as “as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences.”
A user will often exhibit compulsive, drug-seeking behavior centered on obtaining their drug of choice.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) publishes a manual considered the foremost authority on psychiatric diagnoses. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines 11 criteria that characterize addiction.
According to the Manual, If Someone Displays Two of the Following Symptoms Over 12 Months, Addiction Might Be Present:
- Taking more of the drug than intended and for a longer time than intended
- A persistent desire to stop taking drugs or repeated unsuccessful attempts to quit taking drugs
- A lot of time spent trying to get drugs, abuse them, and/or recover from their effects
- Intense cravings or urges for specific drugs
- Failing to go to work or school, or to meet obligations to friends and family because of drug abuse
- Ongoing drug abuse despite physical, mental, emotional, or social problems associated with the abuse
- Giving up hobbies or activities to abuse drugs
- Ongoing abuse of drugs in inappropriate situations, such as using them in the morning before work, driving while intoxicated, or abusing drugs around children
- Experiencing physical or psychological problems due to substance abuse but continuing to abuse drugs anyway
- Physical tolerance, meaning the body needs more of the drug to experience the initial level of intoxication
- Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when trying to quit the drug
The Ins and Outs of the Army Substance Abuse Program
On its site, ASAP states that its mission is “to strengthen the overall fitness and effectiveness of the Army’s workforce, to conserve manpower and enhance the combat readiness of Soldiers.”
It Also Lists the Following as Its Objectives:
- Increase individual fitness and overall unit readiness
- Provide services that are proactive and responsive to the needs of the Army’s workforce and emphasize alcohol and other drug abuse deterrence, prevention, education, and rehabilitation
- Implement alcohol and other drug risk reduction and prevention strategies that respond to potential problems before they jeopardize readiness, productivity, and careers
- Restore to duty those substance-impaired soldiers who have the potential for continued military service
- Provide effective alcohol and other drug abuse prevention and education at all levels of command, and encourage commanders to provide alcohol and drug-free leisure activities
- Ensure all personnel assigned to ASAP staff are appropriately trained and experienced to accomplish their missions
- Achieve maximum productivity and reduce absenteeism and attrition among civilian corps members by reducing the effects of the abuse of alcohol and other drugs
- Improve readiness by extending services to the soldiers, civilian corps members, and family members
What Professional Addiction Treatment Entails
Instead of treating individuals to restore them to military fitness, our goal is to provide treatment that helps them to achieve complete recovery for their lives. We do so by providing an array of services that treat the mind, body, and soul.
Here’s a look at what those services look like:
- Nutritional assessments
- Emotional regulation
- Medical education
- Motivational enhancement
- Relapse prevention
- The 12 steps of recovery
- Wellness skills
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills
- Genetic testing
- Family-focused therapy
- Trauma-informed sessions
A Continuum of Care
Professional treatment is administered through a continuum of care, a system of evidence-based recovery processes marked by four broad levels of therapy.
Whether your addiction is to alcohol, opioids, marijuana, or cocaine, a professional, civilian treatment program will rid your body of the addictive substance, get you mentally and physically stabilized, help you get to the root of your addiction, and equip you with the life skills and strategies necessary to live a sober life.
If you have a substance abuse disorder and a co-occurring mental health issue, you can get specialized dual diagnosis treatment in a reputable, professional program.
The first step in treatment is medical detoxification, which occurs via acute treatment. At this stage, the addictive substance is removed from the body, and any concerning withdrawal symptoms are alleviated. All the while, a staff of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel provide around-the-clock care and supervision.
Clinical stabilization services offer comprehensive therapy and counseling designed to treat the underlying causes of your addiction, while outpatient care provides additional therapy on a part-time basis.
After your treatment is completed, a caseworker can help you get connected to a recovery community that can provide support and mentoring as you begin your new journey.
Get Help Today
We want to help you get the treatment that benefits your whole life.
Call 855-956-4940 anytime, day or evening, for a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable addiction recovery specialists. We can help you find the right treatment option. You can also contact us online for more information.