October 1, 2023
What Can Be Done to Help Veterans Addicted to the Drug
It’s heartbreaking that many of our veterans are still suffering from war-related injuries and mental disorders long after they returned home from their deployment in conflict zones overseas. Sadly, this is reflected in the staggering rate of opioid misuse, which is nearly twice as high as for non-veterans, according to the VA.
Many of these veterans turned to opioids for comfort and to ease the chronic physical and mental pain they were experiencing due to the trauma and injuries they suffered during their deployment. More often than not, opioid use can quickly result in addiction and dangerous side effects like overdose.
Veteran Car Donations is here to shed light on the prevalence of opioid use among veterans, the reasons why many of them become hooked on the drug, its harmful effects, and the things we can do to help free them from opioid addiction.
How Common Is Opioid Misuse Among U.S. Veterans?
According to the VA, veterans are at higher risk of experiencing chronic pain than those who haven’t served in the military, which explains their frequent use of opioid medications. In 2019, 21% of veterans who received VA healthcare were prescribed opioids, compared to 6% of the general U.S. population.
What’s more, the VA revealed that vets are twice as likely as non-veterans to die from an accidental opioid overdose. This serves as a stark reminder of the seriousness of opioid misuse among our retired service members and the importance of finding solutions to this complex issue.
Why Do Veterans Resort to Taking Opioids?
Chronic pain is one of the biggest factors that contribute to opioid misuse among veterans. Hundreds of thousands of them suffer from chronic conditions like arthritis, migraines, and back pain as well as injuries sustained during their deployment in conflict zones.
There are other factors at play, too. Here are some of them:
- PTSD and other mental health issues
Many of our former service members experience mental health conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression after coming home from deployment. These issues can be difficult to manage, prompting the vulnerable ones to cope by self-medicating with opioids.
- Prescription medication
There are certain instances where vets have been prescribed opioids for medical conditions unrelated to their military service, such as surgeries or injuries sustained during their post-service life.
- Lack of alternative treatment options
Not all of our former military members have access to alternative pain management techniques such as physical therapy or acupuncture. That’s why they become dependent on opioids instead.
- Cultural acceptance
As opioid use continues to be widely accepted in the veteran community, many no longer find themselves feeling ashamed or guilty of getting into the habit. Veterans may feel more comfortable using the drug once they see that it’s not considered taboo anymore.
What Are the Solutions to Opioid Misuse?
Opioid misuse among veterans can be treated and prevented. Here are some of the most effective strategies:
- Alternative pain management techniques
One of the most effective ways to reduce opioid use among veterans is to offer alternative pain management techniques, such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage, and meditation. These approaches can be particularly helpful for those who are hesitant to take opioids due to concerns about addiction or side effects.
- Medication-assisted treatment
For veterans who have already developed opioid use disorder, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may be the perfect solution. MAT involves the use of medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Combined with behavioral therapy and counseling, it can significantly increase the chances of successful recovery.
- Mental health support
Given the high prevalence of mental health issues among veterans, providing mental health support can also help prevent and treat opioid misuse. We’re talking about counseling, therapy, and support groups specifically designed for veterans with mental health conditions.
- Education and training
Another way to combat opioid misuse is to educate and train healthcare providers and veterans. Healthcare providers need to know the risks of opioid medications and the importance of considering alternative pain management techniques. Veterans should also be well aware of the dangers that go with opioid use, and more importantly, the urgency to seek help as soon as they start to develop an addiction.
- Improved access to care
Ensuring that veterans have access to quality healthcare and pain management resources can also help prevent opioid misuse. This includes providing timely and effective treatment for injuries sustained during service, as well as mental health care for conditions such as PTSD.
Here’s a Simple Way to Make a Difference in the Lives of Our Veterans
The VA is primarily responsible for assisting our former service members in seeking treatment for substance abuse. Many organizations and charities are also devoted to assisting and promoting the welfare of our veterans. Veteran Car Donations is one of them.
Together with our nonprofit partners, we work tirelessly to help former U.S. service members overcome the tough challenges they face, including opioid addiction.
However, we cannot succeed in our mission without the support of our donors. You can help us support more veterans in need by donating to us any vehicle you can spare.
We’ll have your car auctioned off, with the proceeds distributed to our IRS-certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit partners. These charities are dedicated to improving the lives of our veterans who are homeless, unable to find jobs, and suffering from disabilities as well as other serious afflictions, including opioid addiction and mental health disorders.
Our charity partners use the funding we give them to provide deserving veterans with housing and financial assistance, employment and livelihood opportunities, family support, free quality health care and medical treatment, psychotherapy services, and other services meant to improve their living conditions.
You will also benefit from your charitable contribution. We’ll quickly haul off your unwanted vehicle at a date, time, and place of your preference at absolutely no cost to you. Rest assured that we can collect your donation anywhere in the country.
You’ll also get to enjoy our quick and convenient donation process where you don’t have to do any paperwork.
On top of that, your charitable contribution will entitle you to claim the maximum tax deduction in the next tax season.
Perhaps more important than all those material rewards, you’ll find utmost satisfaction in knowing that your act of charity will be used to help uplift the lives of the suffering veterans in your community.
We accept almost all types of vehicles, and we’re not picky when it comes to their ages or conditions.
Check out our FAQs page for more information on our donation program. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call us through our 24/7 toll-free hotline at 877-594-5822 or you may send us a message here.
Do Something Extraordinary for Our Heroes Today!
Team up with us and become a life-changer for the needy veterans in your area. Your car donation will surely help create a brighter future for them. Call Veteran Car Donations at 877-594-5822 or fill out our secure online donation form now!