VISTAS Trauma, Grief, Disaster, and Crisis Counseling

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Counseling Addicted Veterans: What to Know and How to Help

Cynthia A. Briggs and Stephanie Reneson


Addiction can manifest in any client population. Thus community-based counselors in all areas of specialization must be prepared to address addiction issues as they arise in their clients. Addiction is a powerful illness capable of destroying lives, particularly as permanent sobriety may take multiple attempts. For most addicted individuals, asking for help is a difficult task. Stigma and shame are hindrances to finding assistance. In addition, losing credibility, rank, family, and friends are grave concerns. These concerns are particularly problematic for addicted veterans of the Armed Forces (Campbell, 2008). Veterans, especially those who have been deployed, are often left with emotional and psychological wounds treated by “self-medication” or excessive alcohol and/or drug use (Hazelden Foundation, 2007).

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