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Opioid Use Disorder In The Military
Drug abuse, especially opioid use disorder, is common among people in high-stress careers, including in the military. Being a member of the armed services means much hard work, little sleep, and strenuous exercise. While some situations where combat may be deployed, life can be tense and nerve-racking. At other times, while on a base far from home, there may be hours or days filled with nothing to do. It’s not surprising that some people decide to use substances to relax or feel emotionally or physically better.
People in the military are also more likely to experience trauma and PTSD, and may misuse substances to self-medicate.
Opioid Use and Chronic Pain
People in the military are exposed to rigorous trials to get the job. Then, they continue to push for physical fitness. Heavy lifting, hours of walking or running, and other activities can make a person prone to injury. These injuries are often long-term. Over 40% of the U.S. infantry reported chronic pain (defined as pain lasting over three months) after deployment.
It seems that prescription opioids are commonly prescribed for chronic pain like this. 15% of veterans reported using opioids in the past months. While not every person who uses opioids will become addicted, up to 12% of opioid users develop opioid use disorder.
Treatment Options For Soldiers And Veterans
Opioid use disorder is considered to be a disability once you seek treatment for it. Because of this, the Justice Department is now suing various branches of the military for dishonorably discharging people with opioid use disorder and then refusing to offer addiction treatment benefits.
Mental health parity laws say that insurers must offer treatment for mental disorders. These treatments should be considered as valid as any other doctor appointment, and providers cannot charge more than additional copayments for specialists.
Check with the VA Office to see the benefits available to you or your family. If you have private insurance or Medicaid, they can help you access addiction treatment services.
Getting Help for Opioid Use Disorder
We offer help for opioid use disorder to people from all walks of life. Medication-Assisted Treatment is considered the gold standard for opioid users. Learn more about how we can help you start your road to recovery. Please reach out at 910-295-7246.
If you are in need of help, please call us at: 910-295-7246 or message us.