Spouses of military personnel must deal with many obstacles daily. When their significant other is deployed for months and sometimes years at a time, raising children or living life alone can leave them at an elevated risk for substance use or mental health issues. 

The hardships associated with military service can put families of military personnel on edge. There will be days or weeks where you wonder if they have survived something you may have seen on the news when there is no contact. 

Our military deals with some of the most obscene parts of human life, but it is the reason we can afford the luxuries we have in the United States. Unfortunately, the service of military members places a lot of stress on their families that can push them into substance abuse.The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) has followed this type of scenario very carefully, and it estimates that of the 910,000 military wives aged 18 to 49, 12.8 percent of them have used illicit drugs in the past year; 5.1 percent used marijuana in that same year, and 16.2 percent smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days.

Other studies showed that a staggering 67.8 percent engaged in alcohol consumption in the past 30 days and that 31.5 percent engaged in binge drinking. NSDUH took this information and compared it to married women aged 18 to 49 in civilian life, and they found that military wives were more likely to use alcohol in the past 30 days, and they were more likely to engage in binge drinking.

There are discrepancies, however, and the higher representation of young adults 18 to 25 among military wives could contribute to high estimates of alcohol use since young adults are more likely than adults aged 26 or older to use alcohol.

On that same note, 29.1 percent of military wives aged 18 to 49 had any mental illness (AMI), 11.8 percent had at least one major depressive episode, and 22.6 percent received mental health services. The statistics paint a grim picture and give us a peek into the reality that spouses in the military are up against.

Unfortunately, depression in military spouses is common, but mental health services are currently available. Psychological issues related to separation, the stress of adjustment to the various deployment stages, and the challenges associated with coping have all been observed in families of service members for quite some time. If you are a military spouse, you may be wondering what your drug rehab options are. The article below will highlight some of the ways to cope and the types of care you can expect from a treatment facility. 

How to Cope As a Military Spouse

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that long periods of deployment are associated with more mental health cases among wives of U.S. military members. While some spouses can acclimate to their surroundings, some struggle, which makes it especially important for them to network with other military spouses.

Meeting other spouses who are in the same boat can offer words of advice and encouragement, all while offering you hope, confidence, and peace of mind that this is merely a chapter in your book. It will also allow you to make new friends or learn new outlets for dealing with the stress and rigors of being alone.

Other Positive Outlets to Cope With the Deployment Include:

  • Exercise
  • Yoga classes
  • Spending time with friends, family, and children
  • Learning a new hobby
  • Reconnecting with old friends
  • Join a networking group with military spouses
  • Find ways to support others and offer advice on your own experiences
  • Get a massage
  • Meditate 
  • Breathing exercises to alleviate stress
  • Eat healthily

Becoming Familiar With Alcohol and Drug Use

While coping may not always work the way you’d expect, it’s possible that substance abuse is picked up. You must become aware of the signs because a person can become dependent on drugs or alcohol gradually over a short period. Some warnings can include decreased energy, unexplained injuries, irritability, changes in mood, financial difficulties, and relationship problems. Addiction doesn’t always have to involve a substance, and sometimes a destructive habit or behavior can become a dependence, which can include an internet addiction, a shopping addiction, or a sex addiction. 

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. Addiction is characterized by an inability to abstain consistently, impairment in behavioral control, craving diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

Drug Rehab Options For Military Spouses

If a spouse is dealing with a substance use disorder or mental health problems that is pushing them to use drugs, they must consider treatment and go through the full continuum of care. The continuum of care refers to a system where clients enter treatment at a level appropriate to their needs and then step up to more intense treatment or down to less intense as needed. 

An effective continuum of care features successful transfer of the client between levels of care, similar treatment philosophy across levels of care, and efficient transfer of client records.

The Five Levels of Care Include:

  • Level 0.5: Early intervention services
  • Level I: Outpatient services
  • Level II: Intensive outpatient/partial hospitalization 
  • Level III: Residential/inpatient services
  • Level IV: Medically managed intensive inpatient services

Medical Detoxification

The first and most intensive portion of treatment is medical detoxification. During this phase, the client will be placed in a facility for three to seven days while they clear all foreign substances from their body. They will be cared for 24 hours a day by addiction specialists who can help mitigate any dangers and risks. Fortunately, they are equipped to deal with emergencies, making this a significant portion of treatment. For more dangerous drugs like benzos or alcohol, detox can be the difference between life and death.

Residential Treatment

Depending on the severity of the addiction, a client could be moved to residential treatment. If they end up here, they will spend anywhere from between 30 to 90 days working on therapy to overcome their addiction. They will take part in therapies that are geared toward learning triggers and how to overcome them when faced in their daily lives.

Outpatient Treatment

If the client does not have a history of relapse, low addiction severity, and a safe home environment, they may be able to opt for outpatient care. During outpatient treatment, they will be able to experience all of the same opportunities present in residential treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy, but they will have the option to go home once therapy concludes. Outpatient will be an excellent option for someone with children who may use as a barrier to going in the first place.

Let Serenity at Summit Help You Today

If you are looking for the best possible care, look no further than our program. Let Serenity at Summit be the outlet that saves you from prison and addiction. Our specialists are ready to listen to you and help get you out of a bind. Feel free to give us a call right now at 855-956-4940 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help.

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