Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a medical condition that can affect one’s physical, neurological, and/ or emotional functioning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a traumatic brain injury is “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” There are a number of different factors that could lead to a TBI, such as playing in contact sports, being involved in a car accident, falling and striking one’s head, and more. The U.S Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) specifically explains: “military service members and Veterans are also at risk of brain injury from explosions experienced during combat or training exercises.” The symptoms that manifest as a result of a TBI will vary significantly, as they depend on the type of injury, the severity of the injury, as well as the area of the brain that was injured.
Statistics and Facts
While the in the past, vague statistics surrounding Veterans and traumatic brain injuries seemed to be sufficient, due to more expansive diagnostics and increased vigilance there are currently more accurate statistics on military and TBI rates. The following statistics, provided by a variety of sources, clearly denote the prevalence of TBIs in the Veteran population in America:
- More than 313,816 reported service members have sustained a TBI in training or combat.
- More than 185,000 Veterans who use VA for their healthcare have been diagnosed with at least one TBI
- An estimated 22% of all combat casualties from conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are brain injuries, compared to 12% of Vietnam related combat casualties.
- The VA reports 60% to 80% of soldiers who have other blast injuries may also have TBIs.
The U.S. Department of Defense accurately describes TBIs as one of the invisible wounds of war. The symptoms associated with a TBI could appear immediately and dissipate rather quickly, they could develop several days or weeks after, some symptoms could evolve over time, and some symptoms may persist. In order to obtain the most effective treatment, it is essential for a Veteran to be thoroughly evaluated and for his or her TBI to be properly classified.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to substance abuse and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcome to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.