RI Establishes Drug Court For Veterans with PTSD & TBI

Many soldiers return home after enduring a large amount of trauma, which can result in negative physical and psychological repercussions. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are commonly found in veterans, but many fail to seek help for the condition.

When the emotional burden of war begins to take its toll on veterans, many turn to drugs to cope with the stress. In an effort to provide rehabilitation resources to veterans who find themselves in trouble with the law, Kent County, Rhode Island plans to create a new drug court. With a $1.9 million federal grant, the drug rehab program will give offenders the chance to get clean in place of jail time, according to the Providence Journal.

Currently, the drug court is commencing a trial run. Approximately 80,000 veterans live in Rhode Island, and up to 40 percent of the soldiers who had been deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq suffer from PTSD. Although it is not uncommon for individuals to turn to drugs to cope with stress, very few drug courts are established to help offenders with mental illnesses.

More than 7 million Americans suffer from PTSD every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Drug rehab programs can help veterans who have turned to illicit substance abuse to manage their stress.