Coming home after years in the military is a time of drastic change and adjustment for most military veterans. One day, you’re on top of the world, you know your place, and you have a mission. The next moment, you’re placed in the civilian world and you expect yourself to know where to go and what to do. Often, vets must start over in the bottom tier of jobs, even if they have spent years in positions of power. It’s no surprise that so many veterans have trouble coping with the transition. Also the idea of “who am I and what is my purpose? “ becomes reality as you aren’t recognized by your uniform.
How is the Honor Program at Spring Gardens Recovery different than other recovery programs?
The experiences of military veterans are not like the experiences of the everyday population. Traditional doctors and nurses who have little experience with the military simply don’t empathize with the background and the feelings many veterans deal with after combat, injury, and the adjustment back to civilian life. Struggling vets often feel alone in a sea of people who just don’t understand.
This is especially true when veterans are suffering from substance abuse. Put simply, both substance abuse and military experience change the way the mind works; therefore, traditional recovery methods fall short.
Changes in treatment make all the difference.
In a typical clinical setting, a nurse may enter a patient’s room while the patient is sleeping and lightly shake a shoulder or a foot to wake the patient up. For military members who have PTSD, this scenario is a nightmare waiting to happen. Occasionally, PTSD reactions may look like acute psychotic episodes; doctors may prescribe unnecessary medications and put patients under strict lockdown, exacerbating the problem and leaving the actual underlying cause unaddressed. These mistakes only make it harder for veterans to seek help and find treatment that works.
That’s why the Spring Gardens Honor Program focuses on connecting veterans with other veterans. Many of our staff have military experience themselves or have close family members on active duty and can recognize in the moment which techniques will help and which will make things worse.
We place a tremendous amount of emphasis on creating a safe, welcoming environment where communication is vital. Sometimes, all it takes to reach someone is a conversation with a person who cares and understands. Our tight-knit group of military veteran employees, first responders, and other experienced staff welcome veteran patients into the group and offer that feeling of belonging and camaraderie that has been missing since the return to civilian life.
When military staff takes care of military patients, it creates a safe place to discuss feelings and troubles without judgment or fear of misunderstanding.
Veterans need help now more than ever.
The COVID-19 pandemic threw quite a wrench into the system for many veterans retiring from duty in 2020. Instead of the mostly normal world they remembered, many vets came home to an atmosphere of fear, lockdowns, and isolation. Suddenly, they went from being respected members of our nation’s military to forgotten citizens stuck in their homes without a support system.
Anxiety, depression, and substance use have skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic – in all populations. Statistics from delivery services show that more liquor was delivered to private residences than food over the past year. Isolation and lockdown provided the perfect environment for an already tricky situation to spiral completely out of control.
If you need help, contact Spring Gardens today.
There is no need to suffer in silence or fear reaching out for help. Suppose you have avoided traditional recovery programs because you intuitively understood that they wouldn’t be able to help with your specific problems. In that case, that simply means you hadn’t found the right solution yet. The Honor Program for Veterans is that solution.
Contact us today and mention your military background. We will make sure you get the help you need and deserve.
Samantha Nettleton, CCTP, CMHIMP is the Chief Operating Officer and Clinical Director for Spring Gardens Recovery. After completing and receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Human Services (Concentrations in Mental Health & Addiction Counseling), she became licensed for the State of Florida as a Mental Health Counselor. She has also been a recovery coach since 2012. Samantha specializes in Trauma, Personality Disorders, Substance Abuse, Process Addictions, and Other Mental Health Disorders.