Post Content

Ben Cluff Posted by: Ben Cluff (pictured) and Joe Burch of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services.

With Veteran’s Day coming up, it is a great opportunity to take a minute to reflect on our freedom and the people who have fought, and continue to fight, to protect our rights. Our veterans and active duty service members are brave men and women who have sacrificed time away from their families, their safety, and even their lives. To all of our military and military families, we thank you.

These service members have done so much to support us, but what can we do to help support them? All of this time spent away from family, friends, and the security of home can take a toll and cause physical and mental health side effects, including substance abuse.

If you have Veterans in your life with substance abuse issues, here are ways you can help:

  • Learn as much as you can about what your loved one is going through and how counseling can help. Knowing how substance abuse affects people may help you understand what they may be going through. The more you know, the more you can help.
  • Offer to go to doctor visits with your loved one. You can help keep track of medicine and therapy, and you can be there for support.
  • Tell them you want to listen but that you understand if he or she doesn't feel like talking.
  • Plan substance-free social activities together.
  • Take a walk, go for a bike ride, or do some other physical activity together. Exercise helps clear your mind and elevate mood.
  • Encourage contact with family and close friends. A healthy support system will help someone get through difficult changes and stressful times.
  • Remember, nobody expects you to have all the answers.

For information on Veterans’ Services in Massachusetts, visit www.mass.gov/veterans. Mass Vets Advisor helps Veterans and families find state and federal services and programs. This includes resources for counseling and healthcare, finance, education, employment, and housing. Visit www.massvetsadvisor.org

If you have concerns about loved ones’ drug or alcohol use, visit www.helpline-online.com or call 1-800-327-5050 (TTY: 1-888-448-8321) 7 days a week. You can ask questions in confidence, or get information about prevention or counseling programs in Massachusetts.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Exposure to Radon Increases Your Risk for Lung Cancer posted on Jul 13

Exposure to Radon Increases Your Risk for Lung Cancer

Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless radioactive gas. Radon is created when naturally occurring elements such as uranium and radium in rocks and soil break down during a process called radioactive decay. Once radon is emitted, it migrates upwards to the ground surface through   …Continue Reading Exposure to Radon Increases Your Risk for Lung Cancer

Highlights of the July 12th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Jul 12

This month’s meeting of the PHC featured an implementation update related to a current Determination of Need project, a vote on final regulations, and an informational presentation from DPH staff for Council members. First, the Council received an implementation update from Boston Children’s Hospital on   …Continue Reading Highlights of the July 12th Public Health Council Meeting

Keeping Cool and Staying Healthy During Extreme Heat posted on Jul 12

Keeping Cool and Staying Healthy During Extreme Heat

Temperatures this week in Massachusetts have been relatively normal for this time of year. Even so, we know that most summers in New England will bring about at least some extremely hot days. In fact, extreme heat events are one of the most common causes   …Continue Reading Keeping Cool and Staying Healthy During Extreme Heat