Substance Abuse Still a Concern as Disabling Condition for Veterans

Disabled veterans suffering from mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may also be likely to suffer from substance abuse and addiction. This is according to reviews of veterans collecting disability benefits in Texas, where it is estimated that one out of every five disabled veterans who passed away between 2003 and 2011 died from drug overdoses.

Most of the drug use among disabled veterans involves prescription medications, often ones prescribed to them during service or after discharge to treat a service-connected disability. Another study shows that binge drinking is another concern among disabled veterans, with rates of alcohol abuse on the rise since 2005.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers several methods of treatment and support for disabled veterans tackling substance abuse issues. Treatment of substance abuse is both a physical and mental process, where the veteran must go through the process of detox and also cease the addictive behaviors that would cause him or her to return to drug use.

In cases where a service-connected disability is leading to medication abuse, doctors will need to evaluate treatment for both the condition and the substance abuse to determine if changes need to be made. In many cases, another mental disorder such as PTSD is diagnosed as the root cause for the veteran’s need for drug and alcohol use. When this disorder is diagnosed as a service-connected disability, the veteran may qualify for veterans’ disability benefits.

Veterans and their families have the right to apply for veterans disability benefits when substance abuse and addiction become a health and safety concern. Applying for benefits can be done at any time after a servicemember has received a discharge other than dishonorable and can prove the disability is connected to military service.

The Law Offices of Veterans Help Group can help disabled veterans file for disability benefits and appeal decisions against their case. Contact us today 1-855-855-8992.