Our veterans are some of the bravest and most honorable men and women in the world. After they’ve done so much to protect our country, it would be ideal that they live peaceful, fulfilled lives once they’re home. But, unfortunately, too many of our veterans come home to find themselves soon struggling with alcohol or drug addiction.

While it can be difficult for average adults to seek treatment for substance abuse, veterans can sometimes be even more reluctant to do so.

Veterans and Substance Abuse

Why are Veterans at a High Risk for Substance Abuse?

Although an individual from any walk of life or background can find themselves struggling with drugs and alcohol, veterans are often more at risk for several reasons.


Veterans and active military members are at a very high risk of experiencing trauma during or after their service. They can experience trauma from combat exposure, sexual assault, or otherwise, causing them to develop PTSD or other mental illnesses and turn to substances in an effort to cope.

Availability of Medication

Military doctors prescribe millions of pain medications each year for veterans who sustain injuries as a result of their service. As time goes on, veterans can become addicted to those medications.

Stigmas About Treatment

Unfortunately, there is still a tremendous amount of stigma surrounding substance abuse in veterans, which can deter those struggling with addiction from seeking treatment.

Encouraging Veterans to Seek Help for Addiction

Whether your military loved one has been struggling with addiction for a few months or a few years, it’s never too late to seek help. You can encourage your loved one to fight their addiction by:

  • Speaking openly about the underlying causes of their substance abuse.

  • Dismissing the stigmas surrounding addiction and assure them it’s not “showing weakness” to get help.

  • Offering to help research mental health counselors and addiction programs that may suit their needs.

Addressing Addiction in North Carolina

At Silver Ridge, we understand the pressure veterans feel as well as the reasons they may turn to drugs or alcohol. Our adult addiction treatment program focuses on the underlying causes of addiction to address addiction as its core.