Military members serve the country unselfishly as they travel to unfamiliar places to defend freedom. Military life brings challenges, including stress and uncertainty.
The Stress of Being Left Behind
Military families also sacrifice when they remain behind. Loneliness, financial problems and daily responsibilities contribute to the stress of being left behind. When Army wives and other military spouses feel stressed, they may make choices that reflect poor coping strategies. Sadly, some turn to addictive substances to deal with the pressures of having a loved one serving in dangerous parts of the world for long periods.
Alcohol May Be Used to Cope
Studies indicate that binge drinking is common among female military spouses and tends to be associated with deployments that last more than two months. Military wives left behind may use alcohol to cope. Those who already drink may consume alcohol more frequently. Others may find that a beer or a glass of wine relaxes them. However, similar to other mind-altering substances, when an individual uses alcohol to cope, occasional alcohol use can turn into chemical dependency.
In addition to a loved one’s deployment, other issues may compound a military spouse’s stress. Depression and past traumas are other risk factors for a military spouse’s drinking behaviors.
Learning to Cope in Healthy Ways Starts at Home
Military spouses must be encouraged to seek help when they feel overwhelmed by a loved one’s extended deployment. The military community offers supportive initiatives focusing on helping spouses and families while loved ones serve in faraway places. Military spouses must also fit self-care into their schedules. Whenever possible, taking time to relax while children are napping or at school offers the opportunity to rest the body and mind.
Activities like exercising and taking a daily walk are stress relievers a military spouse can look forward to and a way to relieve stress. Families in the general population can typically depend on relatives to help with child care and other responsibilities. Connecting with support groups on base can also fill the void of not living near immediate family members.
Soldiers & Stress – Find Healthy Outlets Other Than Drug Abuse
There are healthy outlets and solutions other than drug abuse for military members and their spouses who feel that drug abuse is the only answer to stress. Seeking treatment is key to avoiding problems that come with drug abuse. Seeking mental health services and joining a support group are healthy alternatives to drinking or drug use.
Considerations & Soldiers Needing Alcohol Addiction Therapy
Regardless of how prepared a military family feels before deployment, it’s always best to have a support system when times get tough. Soldiers at risk for addiction can’t afford to ignore their problems. Before social drinking with the team turns into reliance on alcohol to get through the day, service members and their loved ones need to know where to seek help and understand there’s no reason to feel ashamed.
About Summit Detox
When you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, it can take a toll on the family. There’s no need to suffer alone. Summit Detox offers recovery programs that help individuals achieve a healthy, substance-free life. It takes courage to admit that drinking or drug use is a problem, but we’re here to guide you through recovery. Call Summit Detox at (888) 995-5265 to speak to one of our compassionate and professional staff and take the first step in your recovery journey.