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Does Veteran Affairs Cover Alcohol And Drug Rehab Centers?

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Substance use treatment for Veterans Near Me

While struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) can make you feel alone, many veterans have problems with using illicit substances, as well as abusing prescription medicines.1

About 1 in 10 US veterans meet the criteria to be diagnosed with SUD, while 11%-20% of veterans experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). About 2 in 10 Veterans who struggle with PTSD also have SUD.2,3,4

Veteran Administration offers support by providing substance abuse treatment for veterans who are eligible for the program. These veterans’ substance abuse programs are available to individuals who have:1

  • A VA primary care provider.
  • Have served in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), or Operation New Dawn (OND).
  • Served in a combat zone.
  • Became homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless.

How Can Veterans Enroll Into a VA Drug Rehab Center?

Veterans who are struggling with SUD might want to access Veterans Administration rehabilitation programs to get help for their struggles. If you are eligible, there are a few things you can do to get admitted into the Veterans Administration drug rehab program.1 

If you have VA health care, this process is rather simple. In general, you need to contact your VA primary care provider and inform them about your substance abuse. The provider might help you get screened for SUD and other related issues, such as PTSD, and then offer you an adequate Veterans rehab program.1

If you don’t have VA health care, but you have served in a combat zone, or have served in OEF, OIF, and OND, you might want to contact the VA medical center in your area and speak to them about Veterans Administration rehabilitation programs that are available to you.1

Similarly, if you are a veteran who is either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, you should still contact the VA center near you. VA offers several homelessness programs, and you might be eligible for some of them. All calls are free and entirely confidential to protect your identity.1

Why Do Veterans Use Drugs and Alcohol?

Unfortunately, veterans and substance abuse often go hand in hand. In fact, the rates of SUD in military veterans continue to rise. Annually, more than 7% of veterans report having a SUD.2,5

SUDs in Veterans are associated with many environmental and psychological factors, such as:2

  • PTSD. 
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Relationship problems.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Combat stress.

Veterans experience a long period of readjustment once they leave the military. This leaves them with unique mental health challenges. Not just that, but many veterans have experienced trauma or hospitalization, which is another factor that may lead to higher chances of SUD development.2

A great number of people, veterans included, feel like they cannot cope with certain mental health struggles such as PTSD, resorting to substance abuse. Some even try to self-medicate but end with SUD instead.2

Veterans and Mental Health

Many veterans struggle with their mental health. More than 35% of returned Afghanistan and Iraq veterans who receive VA health care have been diagnosed with some mental health disorder. The most prevalent one is PTSD.7

About 1 in 3 veterans who are eligible for treatment at some of the veterans’ addiction treatment centers also have PTSD. PTSD leads to many distressful symptoms, such as flashbacks, upsetting memories, insomnia, and depression. Further on, this can lead to the development of SUD.4,8

Another common mental health issue veterans face is traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Veterans with TBI often end abusing prescription opioids they are given to deal with their trauma.9

How Does Substance Abuse and PTSD Affect Veterans?

According to data from most VA inpatient substance abuse programs, as well as centers for inpatient rehab treatment for veterans, there is a large correlation between SUD and PTSD. Approximately 2 of 10 veterans with PTSD also have SUD.4

It’s common for war veterans with PTSD and alcohol problems to binge drink. Many patients who get administered into a Veterans Administration alcohol treatment program are binge drinkers. This is especially true for veterans who have had high levels of combat exposure.4,2

Veterans can be highly affected by SUD and PTSD. Both of these disorders make them feel estranged from the people around them. PTSD can especially make this harder, as it can lead to strong negative feelings about something that might seem ordinary to others. For PTSD sufferers, many things can lead to flashbacks of the traumatic event.10

While people wonder if veterans are getting the help they need, many of them are also struggling with the stigma of treatment. They might feel ashamed because they think that getting treatment at the VA drug rehabilitation center is a sign of weakness, which is why they don’t get treatment on time. This can lead to them ruining their family and professional relationships.11

How Veterans Can Get Help for PTSD?

There are several Veterans Administration rehabilitation programs that are available for Veterans struggling with both SUD and PTSD. Veterans can also use military benefits to get integrated SUD and PTSD treatment. You can contact your local VA treatment center or the VA Mental Health Department to see what benefits you are eligible for.12

Veterans addiction treatment centers are available for all eligible veterans. Many of them will help you deal with co-occurring disorders. They work with some of the best PTSD treatment centers for veterans, as well.12

Veterans Administration rehabs offer various treatments. Some include medication, while others focus on psychological aspects.12

What Are the Addiction Treatment Options for Veterans?

Veterans can ask for help in one of the many treatment centers all across the U.S. There are sponsored Veterans’ Administration alcohol treatment programs, as well as Veterans’ Administration drug rehab programs available. Contact your local VA rehab center to see if you are eligible.13

You might also be able to get rehab for veterans using Tricare. Tricare can help you cover both VA inpatient rehab and intensive outpatient programs. They also work with several veteran detox centers, so they can cover every part of your treatment.13,14

Also, there are many private drug and alcohol rehab centers that offer drug rehab for veterans.15 If you’re on the lookout for professional veteran alcohol treatment or drug rehab center, American Addiction Centers can provide you with advanced dual diagnosis treatment for both PTSD and SUD. The AAC Salute to Recovery Program for Veterans is dedicated to helping veterans and first responders receive the help they deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions