Veterans Day, November 11, is a time to commemorate the service of our country’s nearly 22 million veterans. Many of these men and women have been shot at, seen a buddy wounded or killed, suffered with life-threatening injuries and/or experienced other unimaginable traumas. Many now cope with unprecedented emotional, mental and physical challenges. Research tells us that alcohol and other drug abuse is much more common among members of the armed forces than the general population. Here are some of the factors contributing to the higher rate of substance use: The intense stresses of combat. Those with high combat exposure often increase alcohol use and binge drinking. • High correlation between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use: Over 10 percent of returning vets are diagnosed with PTSD each year—and more than half of them have alcohol use problems. Unique military culture. Zero tolerance policies, fear of stigma and a tendency among some to glamorize drinking may discourage many from seeking treatment. Partnering with the U.S. Navy to support recovery At the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, we are honored each time one of our nation’s veterans walks through our doors for treatment. Clinicians with special expertise help vets work through their unique challenges. Many are veterans themselves. The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation has long encouraged patients to follow up primary addiction treatment with an ongoing recovery program. The research shows conclusively that continuing care dramatically improves the chances of maintaining sobriety. But if you are on active duty on a Navy vessel halfway around the world—or stationed at a Navy base in Asia, Europe or the Middle East—it’s almost impossible to attend regular meetings or check in with your recovery coach. That’s why we partnered with the Navy in 2010 to create Navy MORE® (My Ongoing Recovery Experience), a web-based recovery support program available free of charge to all U.S. Navy, Marine and other military personnel, family members and veterans who have completed treatment through the U.S. Navy Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program. MORE can be accessed anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. Navy MORE provides a variety of recovery and support tools available 24/7, including personal recovery coaching, online support groups and encouragement to set and reach personal commitments each week. Since 2010, more than 4,000 military personnel have accessed the program annually. Get more information and view a video that describes Navy MORE at HazeldenBettyFord.org/NavyMORE. Want to help veterans struggling against addiction? Thursday, November 12 is Give to the Max Day: even the smallest gift can help a patient who cannot afford the cost of care. You can schedule your gift now at givemn.org.