By Anna Ciulla
A loved one who returns home from active military service is often not the same person they once were, having witnessed and experienced traumatic events the likes of which can be hard to fathom. This new reality can be difficult to adjust to—not just for the returning service person but for their immediate family, who naturally wonder how they can help their loved one make a smooth and healthy transition back to civilian life.
In this period of re-acclimating to civilian life, it’s important to keep in mind that returning vets are more vulnerable to substance abuse and self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, due to various factors:
Such challenges are daunting but not insurmountable—especially when a returning vet has a supportive family who understands and encourages key components of a clean and healthy lifestyle. They include the following:
Anna Ciulla is the Vice President of Clinical and Medical Services at Beach House Center for Recovery, where she is responsible for designing, implementing and supervising the delivery of the latest evidence-based therapies for treating substance use disorders. Anna has a passion for helping clients with substance use and co-occurring disorders achieve successful long-term recovery.