Fighting Their Own Battle: Families of Veterans with Substance Use Problem

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Adfam, in collaboration with the University of York, and funded by the Forces in Mind Trust, has published a research report outlining the experiences and needs of families of veterans with substance use problems (FVSUs), along with a new model of support specifically for FVSUs.

Some of the key findings:

  • Families of veterans with substance use problems were unlikely to seek or be offered help for themselves, even if a veteran engages with support.
  • Alcohol was the primary substance use problem for veterans and was linked with the availability of alcohol
  • Substance use was linked with the challenges of integrating back into civilian life, ongoing struggles to cope with service experiences, being unable to break the pattern of excessive drinking and not being able to ask for help.
  • A perceived ‘culture of silence’ within the Armed Forces also illustrated how the experiences of families of veterans with substance use problems may differ from non-veteran families and can influence the decision of whether to seek help.


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