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How Tactical Recovery Helps Veterans and First Responders

Veterans and first responders,

The experiences of United States Veterans, first responders, and active military personnel set them apart from the civilian population. These men and women have stood in the face of danger, navigated life-threatening situations, and made sacrifices that leave lasting impacts on their mental and physical well-being. It is these very experiences, filled with high stress and trauma, that necessitate a tailored approach to recovery and support. 

Understanding The Tactical Recovery Program

The Tactical Recovery program acknowledges the unique situations of Veterans, first responders, and active military personnel by offering specialized programs that directly address the aftereffects of such intense careers, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and addiction. These issues are notably more common among these groups than in the general population. 

In 2022, the following statistics were released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

  • High levels of stress were reported by 40 to 70 percent of former service members when transitioning back to civilian life.
  • The number of Veterans with a behavioral health condition was approximately 5.2 million. More than half of them did not receive treatment within the past year.
  • 90 percent of Veterans with a known substance use disorder did not receive treatment within the past year.
  • More than 20 percent of individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder also have a substance use disorder. 

Recognizing the difficulty many Veterans and first responders face in seeking help, often stemming from a culture of self-reliance and an ingrained sense of duty, Tactical Recovery provides a bridge to healing that respects their unique backgrounds. These programs not only offer the tools needed for managing the symptoms of trauma and co-occurring disorders but also create an environment where participants can feel understood and supported by those with similar experiences. By prioritizing the specific needs of these individuals, Tactical Recovery plays a crucial role in facilitating a path to wellness that honors their service and sacrifices.

Reluctance to Get Help

Many Veterans, first responders, and active military personnel may be reluctant to seek help for addiction or mental health issues because they believe that other people don’t understand their situation. Or, they may feel they should have the strength to overcome any difficulty on their own. This misconception is dangerous because mental health disorders and substance use disorders are not signs of weakness. They are disorders of the brain that can be effectively treated. Some Veterans, first responders, and active military personnel may experience feelings of guilt or embarrassment about needing help. They may worry that they are letting themselves or others down if they get help.

Tactical Recovery was carefully designed to address these concerns. The parent company of Anabranch Recovery Center, Summit Behavioral Healthcare, working with PsychArmor, a non-profit preferred training provider and leader for military cultural awareness, created the program to make sure Veterans, active military members, and first responders are in an environment that is trauma-informed and culturally competent.

Tactical Recovery at Anabranch Recovery Center

At Anabranch Recovery Center in Terre Haute, Indiana, the Tactical Recovery program treats all aspects of the individual, body, mind, and spirit. Before moving into the residential treatment facility, each person has an evaluation and, if needed, detoxification. During their stay at Anabranch, individuals will receive a combination of the following treatments based on their specific needs.

  • Trauma therapy, an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that helps people process the causes of their PTSD, such as dangerous, frightening, abusive, or life-threatening experiences. Trauma therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and prolonged exposure (PE).
  • Experiential therapy
  • 12-step work
  • Group, individual, and family counseling
  • Psychiatric services
  • Education on co-occurring disorders and substance use
  • Process groups and group meetings on mindfulness, life skills, and relapse prevention
  • Wellness activities and exercise
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)
  • Veteran-specific small groups every week

After finishing their residential treatment, the staff at Anabranch plans a collaborative discharge with the military command or VA. For support after discharge, a Tactical Recovery Alumni App helps alumni stay connected.

Get the Help You Need With Tactical Recovery

If you are a Veteran, first responder, or active military personnel who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, or both, we can help. In the Tactical Recovery program at Anabranch Recovery Center, our skilled professionals will guide you to recovery. They are committed to providing you with the resources and tools needed to reclaim your life. Now is the time to take the first step towards a healthier, happier life. Contact us today.

About the author

Terry Hurley is a retired educational professional and freelance writer with more than fifty years of experience. A former reading specialist and learning center director, Terry loved her years working with children in the educational field. She has written extensively for print and online publications specializing in education and health issues. For the last six years, her writing focus has been on addiction and mental health issues.

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