Rehab for veterans

When it comes to safeguarding our country, veterans have made unparalleled sacrifices. They risk their lives, leave their loved ones behind and endure unimaginable hardships to protect our freedoms. As a society, we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude and yet, despite their bravery and selflessness, many veterans face daunting challenges upon returning home. Among these challenges is a high prevalence of substance use and addiction, making reintegrating into society and living a fulfilling post-military life extremely difficult. Fortunately, rehab for veterans at professional rehab clinics like Recovery Lighthouse can help veterans overcome their addiction issues and build a bright future.

Rehab for veterans - veteran in rehab

What is veterans rehab?

Veterans rehab is a specialised form of addiction treatment that caters to the unique needs of former military personnel. These programmes address veterans’ specific challenges and offer tailored treatment plans to maximise recovery success.

Veterans rehab offers a wide range of benefits that can significantly improve an individual’s quality of life. Some of these benefits include:

  • Comprehensive, targeted treatment for addiction
  • Support from a community of fellow veterans and understanding professionals
  • Learning healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress and triggers
  • Treatment for co-occurring mental health issues
  • Improved physical health and well-being
  • Enhanced relationships with family and friends
  • Rebuilding a sense of purpose and identity outside the military

What types of rehab for veterans are available?

At Recovery Lighthouse, we integrate all veterans into our universal addiction treatment programme, encouraging group therapy with people of all backgrounds going through the same process. This offers a safe space for everyone to open up about the trauma that led them to addiction and build recovery connections.

Some of the different types of veterans rehab available at Recovery Lighthouse include:

Alcohol rehab for veterans…

Alcohol abuse is prevalent among veterans, with 67% of men and 49% of women in the UK military classified as problem drinkers. This contrasts sharply with the general population, where only 38% of men and 16% of women are considered problem drinkers. Veterans’ alcohol rehab programmes provide specialised care to address the unique factors contributing to alcohol addiction among veterans so they can learn to manage the underlying issues and maintain sobriety.

Drug rehab for veterans…

Drug addiction is another significant issue among veterans, with 5.2% reporting drug dependence compared to only 3.5% of civilians. There is a zero-tolerance drug policy in the UK military, so many serving armed forces personnel get used to hiding their use which can continue after they leave the military. Drug rehab for veterans focuses on the specific factors that may contribute to substance abuse in this community and offers targeted treatment to help individuals achieve lasting recovery.

Behavioural addiction rehab for veterans…

Behavioural addictions, such as gambling, sex or internet addiction, can also impact veterans who may turn to these behaviours for temporary relief from negative thoughts or feelings or to replace the adrenaline rush of combat. Veteran rehab programmes catering to these issues can help veterans break free from the destructive patterns perpetuating addiction and regain control over their lives.

What causes addiction among veterans?

While each person’s path to addiction is unique, common factors contribute to high levels of substance abuse and addiction among veterans. Some of these include:


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that affects 7.4% of British veterans (compared to 4% of the civilian population) which develops after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Veterans are particularly susceptible to PTSD due to the nature of their service, including combat exposure and witnessing casualties. PTSD can manifest in various ways, such as nightmares, flashbacks, and heightened anxiety. To cope with these symptoms, veterans may turn to substances as a form of self-medication, ultimately leading to addiction.

Drinking culture in the military…

The military has a long-standing culture of heavy drinking, often used to bond with peers or relieve stress. This “work hard, play hard” environment can encourage excessive alcohol consumption and normalise unhealthy drinking habits. When transitioning back to civilian life, veterans may continue these habits, causing or exacerbating alcohol addiction.

Difficulties reassimilating into society…

After completing their service, many veterans face challenges reintegrating into civilian life. For example, they may struggle to find meaningful employment, adapt to a new routine or relate to friends and family who have not shared their experiences. This difficulty adjusting to a new way of life can lead to frustration and a sense of disconnection, which may contribute to substance abuse.

Chronic pain or injury…

Some veterans suffer from chronic pain or injuries as a result of their military service. In an effort to manage the pain, they may be prescribed powerful painkillers such as opioids. However, prolonged use of these medications can lead to physical dependence and addiction. Additionally, some veterans may self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs to cope with the pain,
increasing the risk of addiction.

Loneliness and isolation…

Veterans often leave behind a close-knit community of peers when they exit the military, leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation. These feelings can exacerbate mental health issues and increase the risk taking substances for comfort or to cope with emotional pain.

The stigma surrounding mental health and addiction…

In the military, mental health issues and addiction can have a significant stigma. This may lead veterans to avoid seeking help for fear of not fitting into the “macho subculture” or being perceived as weak or unfit for duty. The reluctance to seek support can exacerbate mental health and addiction issues, making it more challenging to break free from the cycle of addiction.

How to choose a veterans rehab

When selecting a veterans rehab, it’s essential to find a programme that offers the following:

1. Immediate admission…

Quick access to treatment can be crucial to successful recovery. Recovery Lighthouse offers immediate admission to ensure veterans receive the help they need without delay.

2. Non-judgemental, compassionate staff…

The staff at Recovery Lighthouse understand the unique challenges veterans face and provide supportive, non-judgemental care that promotes healing and growth.

3. An immersive recovery environment…

Recovery Lighthouse offers an immersive environment where veterans can focus solely on their recovery, free from the distractions and triggers of daily life.

4. Individualised care…

Each veteran’s journey is unique. Recovery Lighthouse provides treatment tailored to meet the individual needs of each client.

5. Dual diagnosis treatment…

Many veterans struggle with co-occurring mental health issues, such as PTSD or depression. Recovery Lighthouse can tackle your addiction whilst helping you overcome your mental health concerns.

How to get started

If you or a loved one is a veteran struggling with addiction, don’t wait longer to seek help. Instead, contact Recovery Lighthouse today to learn more about our rehab programmes and take the first step towards a brighter, more hopeful future. Remember, recovery is possible; you deserve the chance to live your best life free from addiction.