Effective Strategies for Veterans Coping with Trauma and Addiction

As a veteran, you’ve encountered challenges that most civilians can’t fathom. Your service has likely exposed you to traumatic events and high-stress situations, which can lead to mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse problems. At 12 South Recovery, we recognize the unique struggles that veterans face, and we’re here to provide you with effective strategies for coping with trauma and addiction.

Servicewoman having headache. Curly servicewoman having headache while reminding tough moments

Understanding the Challenge

Veterans often face a combination of physical, emotional, and psychological challenges that can make recovery from addiction particularly complex. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Co-Occurring Disorders: Many veterans struggle with co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD, depression, and substance use disorder. These conditions often feed into each other, creating a vicious cycle that is difficult to break without targeted intervention.
  • Combat-Related Trauma: Exposure to combat can result in profound psychological trauma, leading to symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, and emotional numbing. Coping with these symptoms while also battling addiction can feel overwhelming.
  • Stigma and Shame: There is often a stigma surrounding mental health issues and substance abuse within the military community, which can prevent veterans from seeking help or acknowledging their struggles. Overcoming this stigma is a crucial step in the recovery process.

Specialized Treatment Approaches for Veterans

At 12 South Recovery, we specialize in providing evidence-based treatment for veterans coping with trauma and addiction. Our approach is tailored to address the unique needs of military personnel and veterans, incorporating the following strategies:

  • Trauma-Informed Care: We recognize that trauma lies at the root of many addiction issues among veterans. Our treatment programs are trauma-informed, meaning that we approach each client with an understanding of how past traumas may be influencing their behavior and mental health.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a highly effective therapeutic approach for treating both trauma and addiction. By helping clients identify and challenge negative thought patterns and behaviors, CBT empowers veterans to develop healthier coping mechanisms and break free from the cycle of addiction.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is a specialized form of therapy that has been shown to be particularly effective in treating PTSD and other trauma-related disorders. By targeting traumatic memories and desensitizing the emotional charge associated with them, EMDR can help veterans process their experiences and move forward with their lives.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): For veterans struggling with opioid or alcohol addiction, MAT may be an appropriate option. Medications like buprenorphine and naltrexone can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, making it easier for veterans to focus on their recovery.

Building a Supportive Community

Recovery from trauma and addiction is not something that can be done in isolation. At 12 South Recovery, we emphasize the importance of building a strong support system and connecting with others who understand what you’re going through. Here are some ways we help veterans build community:

  • Group Therapy: Participating in group therapy sessions with other veterans can provide a sense of camaraderie and validation. Sharing experiences and insights with peers who have been through similar challenges can be incredibly healing.
  • Peer Support Groups: In addition to formal therapy groups, we offer informal peer support groups where veterans can connect with one another outside of a clinical setting. These groups provide a safe space for veterans to share their struggles, offer support, and celebrate milestones together.
  • Family Therapy: Rebuilding relationships with loved ones is an important part of the recovery process. Our family therapy sessions help veterans and their families communicate more effectively, address unresolved issues, and rebuild trust and intimacy.
  • Aftercare Planning: Recovery doesn’t end when you complete treatment – it’s an ongoing process that requires continued effort and support. Our team will work with you to develop a comprehensive aftercare plan that includes ongoing therapy, support group involvement, and access to community resources.

The Road to Recovery Starts Here

If you’re a veteran struggling with trauma and addiction, know that you’re not alone. At 12 South Recovery, we’re here to support you every step of the way on your journey to healing. Our experienced team of clinicians and counselors is dedicated to providing you with the personalized care and attention you deserve. Contact us today at 866-257-5551 to learn more about our programs and how we can help you reclaim your life from the grip of addiction.


At 12 South Recovery, we aim to help restore balance to every area of life – treating the mind, body and spirit so our clients are able to find lasting recovery from addiction and other co-occurring disorders. Our unique Treatment Programs aim to address both addiction and the underlying causes.

Contact 12 South Recovery at 866-839-6876 today.

We're here to help.

At Twelve South Recovery, we accept most health insurance.

Get you or your loved one help for addiction or mental health issues today.

CALL 24/7 866-839-6876


Bluecross Blueshield Insurance Icon Cigna Insurance Icon HealthNet Insurance Icon HPHC Insurance Logo Beachstreet Insurance Logo Magellan Health Insurance Logo Multiplan Network Insurance Logo Prime Health Services Insurance Logo Tufts Health Plan Insurance Logo Aetna Insurance Logo Amerihealth Insurance Logo Anthem Insurance Logo Beacon Insurance Logo

National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers

Legitscript Certified Treatment Center California Department of Healthcare Services Logo Accredited By The Joint Comission - Gold Seal Better Business Bureau - Accredited Business