Heavy Alcohol Use and Prescription Drug Abuse is Taking a Toll on American Military Troops Returning Home From Iraq and Afghanistan (Bradford Health Services)

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Our Nation’s military is facing significant behavioral challenges due to long term operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to a Department of Defense Health Behavior Survey, prescription drug abuse and heavy alcohol use is on the rise among military, veterans and their families. Bradford Health Services is pleased to support those in the military that protect us.

Today, I am honored to work with military bases to provide our soldiers with the help they need. ~ Mr. Joe Elston

The month of November marks two distinctive days of remembrance, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Day. It can be said Veteran’s Day encompasses them both. On Veteran’s Day we pause to give honor and recognition to the men and women who served in our military. Protecting the freedoms and the citizens of this country can take a toll on the individual service member and their families. Bradford Health Services is pleased to support those in the military that protect us.

“Many service members have been deployed multiple times and are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, loss of fallen comrades, broken marriages, injuries and substance abuse. A growing number of soldiers are attempting to self medicate in an effort to ease the burden of nightmares, anxiety and pain. It is important to not only treat the substance addiction, but these issues as well. The most common substances these patients abuse are alcohol and opiates," says Dr. Michael Wilkerson, Medical Director of Bradford Health Services ~ Warrior.

Dr. Wilkerson utilizes a “team approach” to address many aspects of the service member’s life during the course of the treatment program. When soldiers leave residential treatment they are scheduled an appointment with the Army Substance Abuse Program at their base. They are encouraged to get a sponsor, attend 12-Step Programs and utilize additional resources in their area.

“Bradford Health is truly humbled and honored for the opportunity to work with the men and women who protect our country on a daily basis. Since the Military Personnel Program began, several high-ranking military officers from Washington D.C. have come to visit our facility and award our staff medals of appreciation," said Dr. Wilkerson.

Joe Elston, Military Liaison for Bradford Health Services and former active duty soldier and reservist has witnessed first-hand the negative impact combat can have on soldiers. Elston said, “Being in the military we understand that we are our brother's and sister's keeper. After 9-11 I returned to active duty for almost two years, and served with soldiers who had substance abuse issues such as heavy drinking and addiction to prescription painkillers containing opiates. Following my service, I came back to work at Bradford because of the treatment services that are available to help soldiers recover from substance abuse and also address other behavioral issues they might have. Today, I am grateful to be able to work with military bases to provide our soldiers with the help they need.”

About Bradford Health Services:
Bradford is about helping people and families achieve recovery in a responsive and compassionate manner. We respect the complex needs of all those who come into contact with our treatment team. We believe that honesty, openness, and willingness are not only keys to recovery, but are also keys to being a responsible corporate citizen and healthcare organization. For more information, call 1-888-577-0012.

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Angela McCord
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