“We can all help prevent suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Call 1-800-273-8255.”

Veterans who sacrifice their lives to defend our country often come back home from combat with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many veterans with PTSD go untreated and turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their condition. They often become dependent on or addicted to drugs and alcohol, which puts them at high risk of overdose or death. Sadly, many veterans who do not seek help for PTSD die by suicide.

According to the National Veterans Foundation (2016), “Substance abuse may be an attempt to self-medicate or to deal with problematic symptoms of mental or physical disorders or injuries.” Our service men and women can experience horrific situations in combat. They see gruesome scenes, get shot at, receive physical wounds, and see colleagues die.

When service ends and service men and women come home, certain sights, smells, and sounds can trigger veterans with PTSD. A loud noise, such as fireworks, can elevate the symptoms of PTSD. Service men and women with PTSD re-live tragedies through vivid memories of their experiences and they have a hard time adjusting to normal civilian life.

Service dogs are used for veterans with PTSD. Service dogs are proven to help veterans cope with the symptoms of PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD are lack of interest, detachment, appetite loss, disruptive sleep patterns, and difficulty concentrating. Some service dogs are trained for nightmare and anxiety interruption. They recognize symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks, and nightmares, such as heavy breathing, restlessness when sleeping, twitching, clenched fists, and rocking back and forth. The service dog also acts as a loyal companion for the veteran with PTSD.

Veterans with PTSD need to seek help from a mental health professional. Without help, a veteran with PTSD is at high risk of hurting his or herself. Drugs and alcohol are very counterproductive and harmful to a person’s wellbeing. When a person is living with PTSD  drugs and alcohol can be an easy fix, but also very deadly.

If you or a loved one struggles with addiction and a co-occurring mental health condition, get help now. Nexus Recovery Services specializes in addiction treatment and encompasses holistic therapy for the mind, body, and soul with a focus on staying active and connected to nature. Our mission is to provide tools and support for every client’s seamless transition into a meaningful and fulfilling life of sobriety. We offer a free and confidential consultation. Call us to get started: 310-881-9151

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