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When Veterans return home after serving their country, they often face a unique set of challenges, including the potential struggle with substance use or mental health disorders such as PTSD. Recognizing the signs of such struggles is crucial for timely intervention and support. Involving the family in a Veteran’s addiction recovery program can be a powerful component in fostering healing and resilience

Signs That a Veteran May Be Struggling with Substance Use or Mental Health

It’s essential to understand the signs that a Veteran may be grappling with a substance use or mental health disorder. Common indicators include:

  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Increased irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Decline in personal hygiene
  • Having financial or legal issues
  • Increased tolerance

Additionally, issues such as trouble concentrating, sudden weight changes, and expressions of hopelessness or despair can be warning signs. Recognizing these signs early on can be crucial for initiating the necessary support and intervention. 

Understanding Why Family Support is Essential

The journey to recovery is often complicated, and having a solid support system is necessary. Often, family can play a pivotal role in providing emotional, practical, and motivational support. The family bond can provide a foundation for trust and understanding, creating a safe space for open communication. Involving the family in a Veteran’s recovery program contributes significantly to their overall well-being.

Family support is essential for several reasons:

  • Emotional connection. The family holds a unique emotional connection with the Veteran. Their understanding and empathy can provide comfort and encouragement during challenging times.
  • Increased accountability. Involving the family creates a sense of accountability. Knowing that loved ones are actively engaged in the recovery process motivates the Veteran to stay committed to their journey.
  • Holistic healing. Recovery is not just an individual endeavor; it takes a collective effort. The family’s involvement allows for a holistic approach, addressing not only the symptoms but also the underlying causes of addiction, including family dynamics.
  • Reduced stigma. Family support helps combat the stigma associated with substance use and mental health disorders. By openly addressing these issues within the family, Veterans can feel more accepted and understood.

Ways Families Can Show Support

Supporting a Veteran in their recovery journey requires a thoughtful and empathetic approach. Here are some practical ways for families to show support:

  • Education. Understanding the nature of addiction and mental health disorders is crucial. Families can educate themselves about these issues by attending workshops or seeking information from reputable sources.
  • Establish communication. Establishing open and honest communication is key. Encourage the Veteran to express their feelings, concerns, and goals and actively listen without judgment.
  • Participation in counseling. Family counseling sessions can provide a safe space for both the Veteran and their family members to address underlying issues, improve communication, and strengthen relationships.
  • Setting boundaries. Establishing healthy boundaries is essential. Families can work together to define and respect each other’s boundaries, creating a supportive and structured environment for the Veteran’s recovery.
  • Attending support groups. Participating in support groups, whether specifically for families or alongside the Veteran, can offer a sense of community and shared experiences.

Learn about Our Tactical Recovery Program

Transitioning from serving in the military to returning home is not always easy. At Twin Lakes Recovery Center in Monroe, Georgia, we understand the challenges faced by Veterans. Our Tactical Recovery Program is designed for Veterans and first responders who struggle with substance use or mental health disorders and focuses on detox and residential treatments. Our program includes small group therapy, 12-step support, animal-assisted therapy, trauma-informed care, sports, and more. 

In addition, we offer a Family Recovery Program where families can learn about addiction and co-occurring behavioral health disorders and meet other families experiencing similar struggles. The program provides insight into ways to support loved ones when they return home from treatment and provides them with community resources to help them establish their own network of support.

To learn more about Twin Lakes Recovery Center’s Tactical Recovery and Family Recovery Programs and how they can meet your unique needs, please contact us today.