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Path to Recovery: How Veterans Overcome Addiction and Rebuild Their Lives

Home » Blog » Path to Recovery: How Veterans Overcome Addiction and Rebuild Their Lives

Addiction is a pressing issue among veterans, affecting many as they transition from military service to civilian life. This period can be fraught with psychological and emotional challenges, leading some veterans to turn to substance abuse. However, with the right support and resources, veterans can overcome addiction and rebuild their lives. This article explores the factors contributing to addiction in veterans, the resources available, and inspiring success stories of veterans who have triumphed over their struggles.

The Challenge of Transition 

The shift from military to civilian life can be overwhelming, often accompanied by several significant challenges. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is common among veterans, manifesting as anxiety, flashbacks, and depression due to service experiences. This often leads to self-medication with drugs or alcohol. Chronic pain from service-related injuries is another factor, frequently resulting in the misuse of prescription painkillers.

Additionally, social isolation plays a critical role. Many veterans feel disconnected from their civilian peers, leading to loneliness and depression, which can contribute to substance abuse. These challenges highlight the need for targeted support and intervention to help veterans navigate this difficult transition.

Prevalence of Substance Abuse Among Veterans

– Alcohol Use Disorder: Approximately 1 in 4 veterans report binge drinking, with higher rates among those with PTSD. 

– Prescription Drug Misuse: Nearly 11% of veterans have misused prescription drugs, primarily opioids, due to chronic pain. 

– Illicit Drug Use: About 3% of veterans report using illicit drugs, with cannabis being the most commonly used.

PTSD and Addiction

– PTSD Prevalence: Around 11-20% of veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF) have PTSD.

– Co-occurring Disorders: Veterans with PTSD are 2-4 times more likely to have substance use disorders than those without PTSD.

Treatment and Recovery:

– VA Substance Abuse Treatment Programs:** The VA reports that over 40,000 veterans receive substance abuse treatment annually.

– Success Rates: Veterans who participate in VA treatment programs have higher recovery rates, with over 60% reporting significant improvement.

Economic Impact

– Cost of Addiction: Substance abuse among veterans costs the VA over $1 billion annually in treatment and related healthcare expenses.

– Employment and Productivity: Veterans with untreated addiction issues are more likely to experience unemployment and reduced productivity, further impacting their reintegration into civilian life. 

These statistics underscore the urgent need for comprehensive support systems tailored to the unique challenges faced by veterans struggling with addiction.

Available Resources for Veterans 

Recognizing the unique needs of veterans, several organizations provide specialized support to help them manage addiction. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers comprehensive substance abuse treatment programs, including inpatient and outpatient services, counseling, and medication-assisted treatment. These programs are tailored to address the specific challenges faced by veterans. 

Veterans Treatment Courts provide an alternative to incarceration for veterans charged with non-violent offenses, focusing on rehabilitation instead. Peer support groups, such as those offered by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion, provide a platform for veterans to share experiences and support each other’s recovery. These resources are vital in helping veterans overcome addiction and build healthier lives.

Stories of Triumph

The success stories of veterans who have managed their addiction are powerful examples of resilience and hope. After serving in Iraq, John struggled with PTSD and alcohol abuse. With the help of the VA’s counseling services and a supportive peer group, John has been sober for five years. He now mentors other veterans, guiding them on their recovery journeys.

Similarly, Maria, injured in Afghanistan, became dependent on prescription painkillers. Through the Veterans Treatment Court program, she received treatment instead of jail time. Today, Maria is pain-free and pursuing a degree in social work to help others facing similar challenges. These stories exemplify the potential for recovery and renewal among veterans. 

Managing addiction is a lifelong journey, but veterans are not alone. With access to the right resources and a supportive community, they can overcome addiction and build fulfilling lives. Society owes it to these brave individuals to provide the support they need, recognizing their sacrifices and honoring their resilience.

With a Promise of a New Beginning

For those struggling with addiction, Hathaway Recovery offers a beacon of hope. Their dedication to renewing and rebuilding lives is evident in their comprehensive approach to treatment and care. With a promise of a new beginning, Hathaway Recovery extends its helping hand to those in need. Their Admission Department provides confidential assistance and can be reached at (909) 971-3333, offering a pathway to recovery and a chance to embark on a transformative journey towards a healthier, fulfilling life.

The integration of personalized care, as exemplified by Hathaway Recovery, with an understanding of the social determinants of health, represents the future of effective addiction treatment. It’s a holistic approach that addresses not only the clinical aspects of addiction but also the environmental and personal factors that influence each individual’s path to recovery. By combining these elements, addiction treatment becomes more than a medical intervention; it becomes a journey toward personal empowerment and a new beginning.


  • Excellent treatment center. Hathaway put on the road to recovery, I been sober 2 years today! Thank you Dena and staff members!

    Mike M.
  • Hathaway has saved my family. Before we found Hathaway my daughter was suffering with addiction however once we came to this facility the staff took her in and she felt comfortable and by a couple months she was ready to come back home fully recovered. Thank you Hathaway Recovery for saving her and thank you for the wonderful staff.

    Gabby H.
  • First I’ll start by saying that, this facility is absolutely beautiful! A couple years ago my husband Tony attended Hathaway Recovery in Claremont Ca. While Tony was in residential he received every care needed for a successful recovery. Also, he was able to enjoy the home gym at the beautiful Hathaway home, it’s basketball court, pool and etc. which made his stay even more pleasant. I am forever grateful for the man Tony has become ever since his completion. He has two years clean under his belt and many more to come because of the amazing facility. Thanks again Hathaway Recovery and Staff, Keep Continuing Changing Lives, God Bless Diane and Tony

    Diane K.
  • I came to Hathaway Recovery on court orders stemming from charges due to not taking medications for my mental health. I was fearful of what my future held and what that would look like. I have never been to a dual diagnosis treatment program before, and I didn’t know what to expect. I really didn’t think I had a substance abuse problem but after about 3-4 weeks of group therapy and the counselors here at this facility, I finally realized substance abuse influenced me to not be able to take care of my mental health. With the help of Hathaway Recovery’s team, I was able to build a strong foundation for my recovery that is vital to me and my family. The clinical staff, therapist, case managers, and counselors included, were honest, caring, and really helped me gain the knowledge I needed to build this recovery program and lifestyle. I am forever grateful for the treatment at Hathaway Recovery.

    Transition A.
  • My brother has been addicted for years. All our family gave up on him. Recently, he completed an inpatient residential program at Hathaway Recovery. This place is blessed and so helpful. It’s very luxurious, you feel like you are on vacation at a beautiful resort. Hathaway Recovery staff is very helpful, understanding and supportive. They all helped him to recover and to become a human again and enjoy his life. This place also supports family members and teaches them how to deal with aftercare to prevent relapse. Hathaway Recovery is the place for those who are struggling with addiction. Thank you for everything!

    Beauty D.
  • As a Trauma Informed Therapist I was contracted by Dina , the Owner to provide additional Trauma Informed Counseling. She indicated that she was seeking additional clinical services because her client population were enthusiastic about their recovery and she wanted to provide quality care. Working with Hathaway has been magical. This program does not separate addiction and mental health trauma into separate treatments, This program blends together the understanding that addicts have childhood trauma and have habitually used drugs or alcohol to dull their inner pain., Hathaway Recovery provides highly individual services for each client, including bilingual counseling. This is a program that I am proud to be a part of. Susan Pennington, LCSW – Trauma Informed Counseling Services.

    Susan P.
  • Hathaway Recovery Center is the real deal. They helped me find myself when I was completely lost. After I lost the mother of my child due to a tragic accident. The therapists and counselors truly cared. We made a relationship with each other that was unbreakable. The other clients were awesome roommates and true to me. The house managers were great and the living situations were awesome. If I ever even think about slipping up I’ll be returning. Today I have over one year clean.

    Jimmie R.
  • After searching many rehabs and after spending so much money to useless facilities we finally found Hathaway . From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank all the staff and all the residents that made my sons recovery easier from beginning to end.

    Gayane A.
  • Hathaway truly saved my life. I am so grateful to have had an opportunity to go there. I came in at absolute rock bottom, 9 rehabs later and countless sober livings. I can tell you that this treatment center is different then every other one I’ve ever been to.

    Justin J.
  • After running into some trouble with the law, a substance abuse counselor suggested that I check myself into Hathaway Recovery. Hathaway Recovery helped me get my life back together one step at a time. Through discipline, routine, and structure, I can honestly say that this treatment center has helped me tremendously! The staff are very helpful and caring to each person’s needs, and helped me to realize the beauty of living a sober life.

    Josh M.
  • Hathaway Recovery stuff saw potential In me when I couldn’t. They showed me a new way of life, a better life. Coming to Hathaway recovery is the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m beyond grateful for everything the program has done for me!

    Gilberto F.
  • Finally, Hathaway is a Treatment Center that offers a holistic approach to addiction. This center offers a safe place, community and a network to grow with throughout your recovery process. They make you feel that you are NOT alone. The leadership has been in your shoes!!! Hathaway Recovery is more than just a temporary fix, it is a foundation, a movement, a family to be a part of.

    Anthony P.
  • One of the best places I have been too! They really know how to treat you and very professional!

    Ashley A.
  • Hathaway Recovery and their staff have been nothing but supportive and understanding throughout our family member’s journey. I truly appreciate all the staff and their hard work. The communication has been great and has provided us a really positive experience. I would highly recommend this facility to anyone looking for a rehabilitation center for themselves or a loved one. Thank you Hathaway Recovery!

    Lilit H.
  • Hathaway Recovery is a very solid, very friendly place. My boyfriend decided to go here and has spent a significant amount of time at the recovery house. They are very good at bringing clients to meetings and on fun outings occasionally! Hathaway is committed to their clients’ recovery and their sobriety and to helping them in any way possible. They go above and beyond for the clients and I definitely would recommend considering Hathaway for your sobriety/recovery.

  • Hathaway is a warm caring treatment oriented environment to receive help from various addictions and behavioral problematic issues. The location itself is serene and safe.. I enjoyed the both staff/professional’s and patient’s… It has many services available, a very unique place… I recommend anyone to come and receive long-term treatment here at Hathaway…

  • Hathaway Recovery is a very solid, very friendly place. My boyfriend decided to go here and has spent a significant amount of time at the recovery house. They are very good at bringing clients to meetings and on fun outings occasionally! Hathaway is committed to their clients’ recovery and their sobriety and to helping them in any way possible. They go above and beyond for the clients and I definitely would recommend considering Hathaway for your sobriety/recovery.

  • “There was no longer any doubt in my mind that I was in the right place for my drug abuse treatment, “Of all the rehabs I could have chosen, I am glad I picked The Hathaway Recovery Support hope respect and care is what i was offered thanks for everything Hathaway recovery you are the best

  • Hathaway Recovery is an awesome place the whole staff has been so helpful they are very professional and very nice Hathaway recovery is a great place to get your addiction treated my brother is doing very well there and we are so glad they were very understanding and willing to help him.

  • A very welcoming environment and kind hearted staff that really took care of my relative and cleaned him up. Thanks Hathaway recovery.

  • When your loved one is sick and needs help you look for the best and I found the best for my son thank you for everything you did for him.


    Hathaway Recovery is an exclusive addiction rehab treatment center in California offering healing recovery from all substances. We’re proud to provide a great combination for drug, alcohol, psychiatric and psychological recovery treatment backed by experts in the addiction treatment field. Our drug and alcohol rehab is built on the cornerstone of care and compassion and accommodates clients and their families from all backgrounds to educate, inform, and create change around substance use disorder. In a secluded mountain hill luxury resort, our facility offers a therapeutic environment and array of clinical modalities to help individuals and their families. Our staff are also multilingual to address the needs of clients from anywhere in the world.

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