To Love Her is To Help Her

Memorial Day at New Directions for WomenAs a drug and alcohol rehab facility, we have to be aware of the trends that could affect the health of our communities. Memorial Day is a remembrance of the many men and women who have lost their lives in the defense of our nation, our allies, and in sharing the American dreams of life, liberty and the right to the pursuit of happiness across the globe. With the great risks and sacrifices the members of our military have made for the ideals we hold so dear, it comes as no surprise that the American people stand behind their military and it would be unheard of for a politician who wouldn’t have a speech about supporting our troops. Yet many of our returning soldiers are dying from preventable or treatable conditions, and we should be doing more as a nation to care for our soldiers.

Our troops undergo some of the most grueling and desperate circumstances, with many returning home suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among other injuries. PTSD is a condition born from extremely stressful circumstances, such as armed warfare, car accidents, or other forms of horror or close encounters with death.

California has the highest population of any state in the US, and therefore we contribute greatly to the military, both financially and with our sons and daughters who choose to serve. As an Orange County women’s rehab, this means we have to be explicitly aware of the needs of our returning women soldiers, and the civilian women who have husbands, sons, and fathers returning home from war. With the alarming rates of PTSD among active-combat veterans, it’s important to understand just how comorbid PTSD and substance abuse disorders are.

NDFW Memorial DayAccording to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (the VA), 20% of veterans with PTSD are also dependent on a substance. The number of veterans who are addicted to cigarettes and nicotine double in populations with PTSD. Among that, many soldiers with PTSD have excessive alcohol use, to numb the permeating fears, anxiety, and mental strain that come with the condition. Among the general population, substance abuse deaths “have doubled since 2000”. The military has a strict policy against drug use, which is why the use of illegal substances among service members is exponentially less than among civilians. Nonetheless, prescription painkillers, such as opioids, are an unfortunate necessity for many people in military service who are exposed to brutal environments, heavy equipment, and physically challenging roles. Considering the interplay of all these factors in active military service, we should be more proactive in offering addiction care to these veterans upon their arrival back home.

The quality of care provided by the VA has been a running topic of debate for candidates in recent elections, with many feeling that our soldiers returning home are receiving care that is inadequate or slow. Horrifying cases have come out, such as one veteran who spent 14 years on the waitlist to even be eligible for care. As such, private organizations can sometimes be necessary for soldiers undergoing the transition from active duty.

As women flock to the branches of the US military, we should be prepared to offer them specialized upon their return as well. Many of the women who serve in the military have chosen to put aside child-rearing and family life for the service of their nation. As they return home, many may want to commit to their family, and will need programs that offer them a safe, simple and easy transition to civilian life, free from environmental triggers and stressors.

Home Memorial DayA safe care home provides the perfect opportunity for women who are returning from active duty and might be dealing with addiction related to their service. Rehab programs for pregnant women, such as New Directions for Women, are perfect for women looking to remove stress from their lives and learn techniques for relaxation, organic cooking, and mindfulness to improve their own health and that of their babies. Our program caters to women who might have lived in difficult home-life circumstances and are designed to offer a home environment that is supportive and free from certain stimulations that might bring up past traumas. Coupled with our heavy reliance on community care and building sisterhoods with fellow recovering women, we offer military women a wonderful opportunity to find their New Directions back at home.

If you or someone you know is looking for a drug and alcohol rehab for pregnant mothers, please give us a call at (888) 786-0509.