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PTSD and Addiction: An Increasing Problem for Many Veterans :

PTSD and Addiction: An Increasing Problem for Many Veterans


There are unique similarities in the treatment of drug recovery and PTSD. Unfortunately, far too many veterans are suffering with both. Finding treatment can be difficult and costly.


As a veteran of Enduring Freedom and a co-founder of the New York Recovery Home, I see dual diagnosis conditions as a problem for many veterans. These problems won’t go away on their own. There needs to be a concerted effort to ensure a relatively quick, effective recovery. I recommend five imperatives for anyone facing PTSD and addiction:


1) Stay committed. Success in recovery can only come with a dedicated effort. There will be ups and downs, and sometimes it will seem like the downs happen much more frequently. Staying committed is the only way to heal.


2) Have a mentor. AA is the most successful recovery program in the world. It is not always right for everyone, but there are certainly many things in AA that are highly beneficial. Mentorship is a large part of its success. Find a mentor and in time, become a mentor yourself.


3) Seek help sooner rather than later. Many of us have to hit “rock bottom” before we take action. Unfortunately, rock bottom takes too many lives, without giving us the opportunity for a second chance. When you have dual/multiple diagnosis (such as PTSD and Addiction), you need specialized support. Find a place you can trust and get the help you need.  


4) Make a plan. When people make plans, they stick to them or at the very least head in the right direction. Make a recovery plan and stay committed to achieve it. It will change numerous times, but in the end, planning will get you where you need to be.    


5) Don’t ever give up. If you follow the above steps, you will find you have what it takes and there are people that believe in you. The downfalls will be there, but you can overcome them and your addiction.


The New York Recovery Home works effectively with dual diagnosis veterans because our focus is on the individual, not a stereotype or a rigid one-size-fits-all mold. You too must understand that your situation is different than everyone else’s.


Two veterans can come from the same local town, have PTSD for the same exact reason, and get addicted to the same drug. However, they are two different people and their recovery processes will be different.


Understand this about yourself. Your fellow vets may get better quicker than you or fall harder during a relapse. Don’t let that discourage you. Despite your similarities you are different, and that’s what makes you, you.


The NYRH proudly supports, a free self-help website that provides a total solution for your virtual recovery needs.