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Many veterans are susceptible to
the problems of alcohol consumption and drug abuse. A health behavior survey conducted by the department of defense presented that there is a decrease in the use of illegal drugs, however ,
heavy alcohol consumption and prescription drug abuse have been increased. The use of alcohol and drugs
cause various complications such as pain, traumatic brain injury, and
post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, there are setbacks and issues in
the civilian life of the veterans, which
include financial issues, marital issues (divorces), and loss of jobs. It has
been estimated that around 25-30% veterans returning from war have drugs and
alcohol problem. A study conducted by the department of defense concluded that the rates of drug abuse are higher in
veterans (11.7%) than civilians (4.4%) (Blodgett et al., 2015).

Moreover, the most common disorder
diagnosed within the army personnel that returned from Afghanistan and Iraq was
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study of the United States
department of health and human services determined that around thirty percent individuals
were diagnosed with chemical dependency, anxiety, depression, and PTSD (Theodoroff
et al., 2015). The purpose of this paper is to discuss a proposal for new
legislation for mental health and chemical dependency among veterans and discusses
how current legislation effects mental health and chemical dependency among
veteran advocacy. Furthermore, analysis of methods to influence legislation and
overcoming obstacles in the process are also discussed.

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Veterans are required to receive confidential
and effective mental health amenities without distress of harming their careers
or facing other detrimental significances. Congress must change strategies to reassure
more veterans to seek required care for mental health. The proposed policy
supports the process of identification of visions and principles regarding the
mental wellbeing and health of ex-service community including veterans (Theodoroff
et al., 2015). It provides necessary details in order to set the context for
the delivery of psychological well-being
amenities as well as to address the needs and essentials of ex-military
officers and veterans for the next decade. It also presents the person-centred method to direct mental health
programs and policies with a detailed
implementation strategy (Purtle, 2016). The goals for mental well-being
and healthcare are supported by three basic doctrines, which include prevention,
recovery, and optimism.

The objective of the first
principle (prevention) is the reduction of the occurrence of psychological
health issues and chemical dependency among the veteran community. Also, this requires initial interventions, implementation
of plans, provision of services, and treatment to prevent or reduce the negative
effects of the mental disorders caused by alcohol consumption or drug abuse (Theodoroff
et al., 2015). In this regard, the proposed policy focuses on self-management,
self-care, and education. Likewise, it is important to come up with approaches that
alter behaviors associated with poor
health. Moreover, the individuals suffering from mental health disorders such
as PTSD, anxiety, addiction to alcohol and drugs must be encouraged to seek
help and support. This can be achieved by eliminating barriers, reducing
stigma, establishing resilience on the community,
family, and individual basis, as well as increasing social connectedness (Koo
& Maguen, 2014). The second basic principle highlights the importance of
recovery, which identifies that many clients of the department of veteran affairs are experiencing concerns related to
mental health, which in turn, requires intervention, treatment, and management
(Purtle, 2016).

The idea behind the “recovery”
phase is different from the conventional philosophy of cure since it focuses on
creating prospects to live individually fulfilling as well as meaningful lives
regardless of the incidence of symptoms. Therefore, this important principle
includes meaningful engagements such as volunteering or employment, rehabilitation,
which is personalized and objective-oriented, as well as an improved culture of
recovery among the providers of mental health care
for veterans (Koo & Maguen, 2014). The third significant aspect of the new
proposed policy is optimism, which enhances the mental health of veterans and improves their quality of life. In addition, it
identifies the personal capacities of the individuals to maintain and improve
the mental and physical fitness. The primary objective is to achieve the
highest possible levels of mental wellbeing. Optimization includes the creation
of resilient factors in the absence of the disorders in order to improve social
support, a better sense of self-empowerment, and increased health (Purtle,

Moreover, the current legislation
for mental health and chemical dependency among the veterans allow them to access
care in nursing homes, medical units, and hospitals. The legislation states veterans
are honorable citizens who must get
access to the evaluations and treatments in different healthcare facilities in
the United States. According to Koo & Maguen (2014), the current
legislation also put stress on the department of veteran affairs to focus on study
material and resources in order to determine the effects of combat on the
mental health of individuals. In addition (H.R. 918 legislation) requires the
department of veteran affairs to facilitate the patients by evaluating or
assessing their mental health statuses and provide necessary treatment
services. This bill also requires the veteran affairs to perform essential
measures to find out the individuals at risks of developing chemical dependencies that ultimately lead to suicide. Moreover, Theodoroff et al
(2015) highlighted that the legislation (H.R. 918) correspondingly obliges the
veteran affairs to create or form a formal “service character” process of
determination, activating assessments of the “character of discharge” regarding
the potential eligibilities of veteran affairs welfares.

According to Grob (2014), one of
the barriers is the stigma associated with management of mental health. This is
the reason many people are not inclined towards receiving treatment or counseling services for their psychological
well-being. The stigma surrounding the mental disorders is the primary barrier
or obstacles to war veterans in the United States in order to receive the
quality psychological care they deserve. In order to reduce the
self-perceptions regarding stigma, many scholars suggest that it is important
to identify the viewpoints of individuals by conducting motivational interviews
and alter the attitudes of people in seeking support. Counselling through the internet is proven to be good in reducing the
self-stigma, increasing intentions to get involved in the treatment process in
order to decrease the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD among the
veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. Some of the evidence-based
strategies such as awareness campaigns, outreach, and education are helpful in
reducing the veteran stigma regarding mental health
care. National and local health campaigns are potentially effective and
applicable in educating war veterans and implementing positive change.





health illness is increasing among the war veterans returning from Afghanistan
and Iraq, as well as other parts of the world. The main reason for mental disorders among the veteran
community is their approach or inclination towards chemical/substance abuse and
alcohol consumption. Most veterans are involved in consuming alcohol or abusing
drugs in order to get rid of the trauma or undesirable incidence during the
war. The population of veterans getting mental health disorders such as
depression, anxiety, and PTSD is increasing. The current legislation is
beneficial in providing a number of substantial health, support, and
rehabilitation services to the war veterans. However, there is a need for new legislation that would significantly
address the problems of veterans. This paper presented the new legislative
proposal for war veterans suffering from mental health illnesses and are
dependent on chemicals/alcohol and drugs. There are various obstacles in the successful execution of the legislation and
policy with the one most significant and highlighted is the stigma towards
mental health care. Legislators, administrators,
healthcare professionals, and governmental bodies need to work in collaboration
to successfully implement the new points of the legislation to benefit the war



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