Healing Trauma: Addiction Treatment for Veterans in Orange County, CA

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It’s no surprise to most people that veterans often face issues after leaving the military. A significant number of them have trouble finding housing or employment. These issues often relate to substance abuse and mental illness, including PTSD. For this reason, addiction treatment for veterans in Orange County, CA is often necessary. This article will cover some of the issues veterans face and where to find help.

What Challenges Do Military Veterans Face After Their Service?

Military veterans often face a unique set of challenges after their service, which can impact their transition back into civilian life. They often suffer higher levels of homelessness, unemployment, and addiction.

A major reason for this is the high incidence of PTSD among members of the armed forces. One study of veterans under the care of the Veterans Administration found that 23% of veterans suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives.

PTSD stands for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that occurs after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Individuals with PTSD may also experience intense emotional distress when reminded of the trauma, as well as physical reactions, such as increased heart rate or sweating. It can be a debilitating illness that prevents people from being able to function in society.

For this reason, addiction treatment for veterans in Orange County, CA is often necessary.

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Mental Health Treatment for Veterans in Orange County, CA

Due to the particular experiences veterans tend to be exposed to, they generally need more PTSD treatment than average.

Many veterans experience intense combat situations and traumatic events, such as witnessing death, engaging in direct combat, or experiencing life-threatening injuries.

Some veterans turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with the stress, pain, or mental health conditions resulting from their service. Substance use disorders can further complicate mental health issues, creating a cycle that requires specialized addiction treatment for veterans in Orange County, CA.

Treating PTSD and Trauma from Military Service

Rehab for veterans with PTSD will often involve a combination of addiction treatment and counseling for trauma. This begins with an assessment so PTSD can be diagnosed and any co-occurring disorders may be identified.

Dual-diagnosis conditions, such as PTSD and alcoholism, are especially complex and need to be treated together. If any dual-diagnosis addictions are identified, a detox will be done to ensure the body is clear of any toxins. After that, medication can suppress cravings and treat withdrawal symptoms.

At the same time, counseling will be done to address root causes.

This may include evidence-based practices such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Helps individuals understand and change thought patterns that lead to harmful reactions and behaviors.
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE): Involves gradually exposing patients to trauma-related memories and stimuli in a safe environment, helping them process and reduce their fear.
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT): Focuses on altering negative beliefs related to the trauma and developing a more balanced perspective.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Involves recalling distressing images while receiving one of several types of bilateral sensory input, such as side-to-side eye movements or hand tapping.

Addiction treatment for Veterans in Orange County, CA will likely focus on therapy for trauma and will focus on an understanding of military culture. There will be a greater emphasis on peer support, like leveraging the experiences of military service to foster a sense of camaraderie that can be particularly healing.

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Addiction Treatment for Veterans in Orange County, CA

Veterans may require specialized addiction treatment due to the unique challenges and experiences they face during and after their service. Serving in the military often exposes individuals to high-stress situations, physical injuries, and traumatic events, such as combat or witnessing loss, which can significantly impact their mental and emotional well-being.

These experiences can lead to the development of mental health disorders, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety, which are often found with substance use and addiction.

Substances that veterans abuse can include:

  • Alcohol: One of the most common substances abused by veterans, often to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Prescription Medications: Particularly opioids prescribed for pain management, but also benzodiazepines for anxiety and insomnia, can lead to dependence and addiction.
  • Illicit Drugs: Including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and cannabis, among others, which may lead to self-medication.
  • Nicotine: Tobacco use and smoking are significantly higher among veterans than the general population, often starting or continuing as a stress relief habit during service.

Understanding the root causes is crucial for providing effective addiction treatment for veterans in Orange County, CA. This involves not only addressing the physical aspects of addiction but also providing comprehensive support for the psychological and emotional challenges veterans face.

Veteran Addiction Treatment Resources

Veterans seeking addiction treatment resources have several options available to support their journey to recovery. The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a comprehensive range of services for veterans struggling with substance use problems. These services address the unique needs of veterans, including those with PTSD, depression, and other related health conditions.

These services are designed to address the unique needs of veterans, including those with PTSD, depression, and other related health conditions.

In addition to the VA, there are various other resources available:

  • Grace After Fire specifically supports women veterans, connecting them to treatment options and resources to aid their transition from military to civilian life​​.
  • Hope for the Warriors provides care management services that include health and wellness programs, peer engagement, and community support networks for service members, veterans, and their families​​.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) focuses on reducing the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities, offering links to mental health resources and treatment​​.

For more personalized treatment options, Help For Our Heroes provides specialized treatment for veterans and first responders dealing with trauma, PTSD, addiction, depression, and co-occurring disorders​​.

To explore these resources further and find the most suitable support, you can visit the respective websites or contact them directly. Each organization offers unique programs and services designed to support the health and well-being of veterans and their families.

Veteran Treatment Program in Orange County, CA at SCBH

If you or a loved one are seeking addiction treatment for veterans in Orange County, CA, South Coast Behavioral Health is here to help. The first step in treating addiction is a medical detox. This means using drugs to manage withdrawal symptoms.

Our medical detox program in California is staffed by caring and compassionate professionals who can provide you with medications to manage your withdrawal symptoms.

At South Coast, we take pride in offering care that is closely tailored to specific issues. To that end, we offer gender-specific detox programs, with medical detox for men in Irvine, CA, and medical detox for women in Huntington Beach, CA.

After detoxing, proper treatment can begin.

Treatment for substance abuse takes place along an entire spectrum of care. Along that entire spectrum are various behavioral therapies, support groups, and the use of medically-assisted treatment (MAT).

These levels of treatment are, in order, as follows:

Residential Treatment in California

After completing medical detox, you’ll receive inpatient treatment in Orange County California. There, you’ll receive medically-assisted treatment and dual diagnosis treatment to deal with any cravings or co-occurring mental health issues you may be battling.

We also offer residential treatment facilities in Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Huntington Beach for those who desire gender-specific treatment. There, patients get round-the-clock medical attention and monitoring while living at the institution full-time.

In addition to individual and group counseling and medication management, you’ll also have access to leisure activities and family support services.

Partial Hospitalization in California

Most clients start substance abuse treatment with South Coast in our residential treatment program. After completing that, many desire something that still provides structure and support, but with extra space and time to oneself. For that, we offer Partial Hospitalization in Newport Beach.

A step down from inpatient care but with more structure than conventional outpatient programs, partial hospitalization offers a good balance for those looking to ease back into normal life. Clients can receive care five to seven days a week for several hours daily, returning to their homes in the evening.

This way, they can recover without putting their daily lives completely on hold, receiving intense therapeutic interventions like group and individual therapy, skill development, and medication management as necessary.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment in California

For those leaving inpatient residential treatment or partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are yet another gradual step forward on the road to recovery.

With a focus on group therapy, individual counseling, and education, clients undergoing Intensive Outpatient Treatment in Newport Beach can meet three to five days a week. Each session lasts three hours.

This level of care requires the least amount of attendance at a facility.

Start Today

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction but wonder how long treatment takes or have other questions, call us at 866-881-1184 or contact us here. Our highly qualified staff will be happy to help give you an idea of what to expect from your addiction recovery timeline, verify your insurance, and assist with any other questions you may have.

Pierce Willans
Kelly McIntyre
Medically Reviewed by Kelly McIntyre, MS, LMFT
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