Veterans and Addiction
Veterans often cope with stress after returning from multiple deployments. They may also suffer from illnesses and injuries that can contribute to a substance use disorder. Addiction delays an already complex social reintegration process and can have negative repercussions. However, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers treatment plans to support veterans as they recover from substance use disorders.
Many veterans wrestle with stress from deployments to combat zones. The stressful military life coupled with injuries and illnesses puts them at an increased risk for substance use disorders. A growing number of veterans turn to drugs to cope with the pressure of societal reintegration after the military.
Obtain information about services and benefits for members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) community, including serving and retired CAF members and their families.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
When people experience traumatic events, their reactions may last for just a short period of time, while others may experience more long-lasting effects. Why some people are affected more than others has no simple answer.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychological response to the experience of intense traumatic events, particularly those that threaten life. In the majority of people, the symptoms reduce or disappear over the first few months, particularly with the help of caring family members and friends. In a significant minority, however, the symptoms do not seem to resolve quickly and, in some cases, may continue to cause problems for the rest of the person's life.
Obtaining appropriate treatment for PTSD is not always straightforward. Getting help is often frightening; for many, it is a leap into the unknown; but without this first step, progress is not possible. Secondly, it is not always easy to find a professional who understands PTSD and to whom you can relate and trust. Sometimes it may be necessary to try a few different sources of help until you find the right one for you.
For more information about PSTD symptoms, associated problems and available treatments, visit theVeterans Affairs Web site.
If you are concerned about some symptoms that you are experiencing, please talk to your doctor, community health centre, or veterans' organization for advice or professional references. The contacts below are intended to help you find the right resource for you.
Veterans Affairs Canada
VAC is fully committed to serving you and your family and providing you with the pensions and other benefits to which you may be entitled. As a Canadian Forces member or veteran, we will support you in applying for a disability pension. If you were healthy when you were deployed and returned home to Canada with a medical disability - which includes PTSD, you should make an application for a disability pension.
Phone: 1-204-983-2860 or toll free 1-800-368-1594
Veterans Affairs Canada Assistance Service
The VAC Assistance Service has been developed to assist you in overcoming almost every problem that can affect your personal or professional life. A trained counsellor can talk to you about marital and family problems; transitional problems; emotional and psychological problems; substance abuse; financial difficulties and any other type of personal problem. The service is completely confidential and the counsellor can put you in touch with a wide variety of organizations and professionals.