Drug and alcohol rehab centers offer various treatment methods tailored to the unique needs of active military members and veterans. Rehab treatment methods such as physical rehabilitation, different behavioral therapies, and bilateral stimulation can help military members better manage stress and anxiety, cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and learn healthy coping skills. These techniques provide physical and psychological support to foster resilience in military members and veterans, helping them overcome traumatic memories and emotions associated with military service.
What is Resilience?
Resilience is an essential psychological characteristic that enables individuals to recover and move forward from difficult or traumatic events. It combines physical, mental, and emotional strength, allowing individuals to confront and endure difficult times, cope with change, and find successful solutions. Active military members and veterans need resilience to effectively face and recover from the significant stressors associated with military service.
Resilience is essential for managing stress, adapting to challenging situations, and developing coping skills to overcome adversity. For active military members and veterans, maintaining a positive outlook, building relationships, and creating a sense of purpose is essential for addiction recovery. Resilience is fundamental to a healthy and prosperous life in long-term recovery.
Types of Therapies Used in Rehab Centers
Therapy is an integral part of the recovery process in rehab centers. It applies various techniques to help patients cope with the challenges of overcoming a substance use disorder (SUD). Therapies used in addiction treatment programs include individual therapy, group therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.
Individual therapy involves one-on-one sessions with a therapist to work through addiction-related issues. Group therapy provides a safe space for individuals to discuss their addiction and recovery with their peers. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) are both forms of therapy that focus on changing unhealthy thoughts and behavioral patterns.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses an eight-phase approach to treat mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other emotional distress. These therapies are particularly beneficial for active military members and veterans struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders, also known as dual diagnosis treatment in drug rehab.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on changing the thought patterns and behaviors contributing to mental health issues. CBT is an effective rehab treatment for military members and veterans to identify and modify negative thoughts and beliefs to create more adaptive, positive behaviors. CBT is a behavioral therapy that helps promote resilience while improving mental and emotional health.
Through CBT treatments, active military members and veterans can learn to identify cognitive distortions and assess the accuracy of their thoughts. This helps them create healthier coping strategies and better manage the everyday stressors of the military lifestyle. CBT also teaches skills to manage emotions and reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health conditions. Additionally, CBT techniques help increase self-esteem, improve problem-solving skills, and create more positive interactions and relationships.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is another behavioral therapy used in drug and alcohol rehab that helps patients gain skills through mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. It is particularly effective for active military members and veterans, as it focuses on developing skills to help them better cope with the stress and trauma of military service. DBT uses mindfulness and emotion regulation techniques to help patients learn how to tolerate distress better and stay present at the moment.
As a result, CBT helps to develop strategies for managing intense emotions, such as recognizing triggers, developing healthier coping strategies, and acquiring more effective communication skills. DBT treatments help military service members and veterans identify and challenge maladaptive thought patterns while learning how to identify better and express their feelings. This can increase the service member’s ability to effectively regulate their emotions and manage the stress of the military environment. Altogether, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an effective tool for drug and alcohol rehab, military members and veterans, and anyone struggling to cope with intense or traumatic emotions.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based psychotherapy technique to help patients process and manage emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), through bilateral stimulation. Drug rehab centers apply this treatment to help patients struggling with addiction gain insight and develop adaptive coping skills. During EMDR sessions, the therapist uses guided eye movements to help the patient manage emotional distress and reduce the intensity of traumatic memories. Bilateral stimulation helps patients learn to manage their emotions more healthily, ultimately improving their mental health and helping them stay away from substances.
EMDR for active military members and veterans in drug and alcohol rehab is a valuable treatment for healing emotional and physical trauma. Military service members experience trauma in various ways—through combat exposure, witnessing or experiencing violence, physical injuries, etc. Each session combines elements of cognitive-behavioral and exposure therapies, mindfulness, and body-centered practices. Not to mention, EMDR also reduces cravings, decreases anxiety and depression, and increases confidence and self-esteem.
How Rehab Center Treatments Help Military Members
The trauma that military members experience can lead to physical and psychological symptoms, such as flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, depression, and hypervigilance. The experience of trauma can impact a service member’s ability to maintain relationships, perform daily tasks, and carry out their military duties. When not receiving treatment, many often turn to drinking alcohol or using drugs to cope with physical and emotional trauma. For this purpose, there are several different treatment options and methods for active members and veterans to receive the treatment they need to recover from substance use disorders (SUDs), co-occurring disorders, or mental health disorders.
The stigma associated with substance abuse and the military affects service members in more ways than one. Since seeking help for trauma and addiction is considered a weakness in military culture, service members often avoid seeking the support needed to recover.
Drug and alcohol rehab offers military members and veterans numerous benefits that help them in and out of combat. It increases their self-awareness and understanding, allowing them to manage their stress and emotions better. Through addiction treatment, they can strengthen their ability to cope with difficult situations, heal from trauma and substance abuse, and build resilience. Military members and veterans need to be proactive in seeking treatments and taking time for self-care, as the benefits of these activities are pretty significant for their recovery journey.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2023. Co-Occurring Disorders and Other Health Conditions.
- Rock Recovery Center. Dual Diagnosis Treatment.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2022. Substance Use Treatment for Veterans.
- Rock Recovery Center, 2023. Reducing the Stigma of Substance Abuse for Veterans.