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VetChange.org- Help for Combat Vets Who Are Drinking Too Much

By , February 13, 2012 2:42 pm

Every day I’m amazed when I find another source of support for our returning combat vets.

VetChange is a website for OIF and OEF veterans who are concerned about their drinking.  Here’s info from their site:

If you’re a returning veteran who is having problems related to drinking, you’re not alone. Many returning veterans have increased their drinking since returning from deployment and are wondering if it’s time to make some changes. If you’d like to cut down or stop drinking by using a self-management, confidential program on the web, we may have a solution for you.

The website notes that research studies over the past 30 years show that people can often reduce risky drinking on their own, and sometimes with help from written materials that describe some ways of doing this.

VetChange is a self-management program on the Web that can help you decide if you want to change your drinking (to cut down or stop) and assist you in making these changes of you’re ready to do so. It may also help you reduce combat-related stress which may be affecting your drinking. This research is designed to find out how well VetChange helps people meet these goals.

VetChange assures its users that participation and responses will be kept confidential. You only need to provide your email address. Another advantage of using the program, is that after you have completed surveys, you will be compensated with online gift cards.

Sounds like a win/win situation for all, and a good resource for those who need it. Check it out at:

http://www.vetchange.org/home

 

Veterans Crisis Line Provides Confidential Help to Veterans & Families – VA Introduces Text Messaging to Expand Efforts to Prevent Suicide

By , February 8, 2012 10:06 pm

Dear readers:

Here’s another great resource for you:

The Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding its efforts to prevent suicide through several new initiatives that increase the availability of services for Veterans, Service Members and their families. Now, in addition to the Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255 and Press 1) and online chat, Veterans and Service Members in crisis—and their friends and families—may text free of charge to 83-8255 to receive confidential, personal and immediate support. The text service is available, like the Veterans Crisis Line and online chat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and connects a user with a specially trained VA professional.

Visit the National Resource Directory for more information about programs and organizations dedicated to preventing suicide.

http://www.nationalresourcedirectory.gov

 

 

 

Part Three: Just What is a Dry Drunk?

By , February 3, 2012 6:10 pm

After the Al-Anon meeting where I first heard the term dry drunk, I began to investigate what it meant. When I had first been led to start attending meetings, I actually believed that overindulgence in alcohol was an alcoholic’s major problem.

I was so uninformed, that I thought if a person quit overindulging, then all the attendant problems would magically fall away. Boy, was I in for a surprise. Mike, my former boyfriend of 9 months, hadn’t had a drink in over 5 years. Yet his behavior was unpredictable, extremely cold, and too often, angry.

Much of his anger was related to his time in Vietnam. He had shared with me that he’d gotten very good at killing. I think he bore a lot of shame over that. To make matters worse, his family were all drinkers. When he finally hit bottom and went to AA, he had to abstain from being around his family. It was all so very sad.

Yet I wasn’t willing to subject myself to an angry person again (combat vet or not)  for the long haul. I had enough of my own baggage to deal with at the time.

Here are some thoughts from an article on Dry Drunk Syndrome by Buddy T.  from the About.com website:

“Unfortunately when many former drinkers go through the grieving process over the loss of their old friend, the bottle, some never get past the anger stage … whether they realized it or not, they began the stages of grieving—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—the same stages people go through when they have a great loss in their lives or have been told they have a terminal illness.”

Learning about the many aspects of alcoholism has opened my eyes to the harsh realities someone with an addictive personality, or predisposition to becoming alcoholic, must face.

As I heard many times in meetings, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”I’m so grateful that I do not have the problem myself. I have much empathy for those who do.

To learn more about the Dry Drunk Syndrome, read the complete article at:

http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/info/a/aa081397.htm

 

 

 

 

 

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