Veteran Helps Others Fight PTSD Through Lifeline

BRENTWOOD, Tenn., - They served our country - many putting their lives on the line. 

This Veterans Day, American Addiction Centers in Brentwood is offering a chance for veterans to receive a different life-saving service.

The centers is giving away 30 days of free inpatient care to five veterans in need of treatment.

"Anytime you serve, combat it changes you," Treatment Consultant Jay Russell said.

Russell comes from a military family and served in the Air Force for four years translating and analyzing messages in Iraq. He said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) transitioning out of the military and now helps others fight the disorder.

"We have this battle that we are waging now and we still need to make me sure we deal with that because it's destroying our country," Russell said.

American Addiction Centers offers the First Responder Lifeline program which addresses the needs of veterans and first responders like PTSD, anxiety and depression.

"It's real hard if you haven't been a veteran. If you haven't been overseas you don't understand but I do," he said.

In honor of Veterans Day, five veterans who call the first-responder lifeline this weekend will receive a free month of inpatient care. 

"I don't care if we got 5 in, I don't care if we got 30 in, if we got 40 in, if they call, we will help them," he said.

He knows getting help early can reduce the chances veterans turn to abusing drugs or alcohol.  
He says not handling PTSD triggers these addictive habits.

"I took an oath for my country to defend against enemies foreign and domestic. This is the biggest domestic enemy we have," he said.

The phone line for veterans or first-responders to call is 1-888-902-VETS. It will always be answered by a veteran or first responder.

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