Men and women who served in the military tend to suffer higher rates of substance abuse and addiction compared with the general population. An estimated 11% of veterans presenting for first-time care within the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system have a substance use disorder, reports Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation. Fortunately, today’s veterans have many options when it comes to addiction treatment; the key is knowing where to look. Here are resources for veterans who need help finding drug and alcohol rehab treatment for substance abuse disorders.
Why Do Veterans Suffer High Addiction Rates?
The VA reports that nearly one in every three veterans who seek treatment for substance use disorders also have PTSD. PTSD is a mental health disorder that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying, shocking, or dangerous event, such as combat in war. Many people who are exposed to such events can overcome their trauma naturally with time, or with help from therapists with whom they can talk and discuss healthy coping methods. Those who have difficulty recovering from their trauma are often diagnosed with PTSD.
Flashbacks, paranoia, and insomnia are some of the many PTSD symptoms that can be extremely difficult to cope with. Veterans with PTSD may drink alcohol or use drugs in an effort to cope with and escape symptoms of PTSD or another mental health disorder. Over time, regular use of drugs and alcohol can lead to dependence and addiction, which requires professional treatment at a drug rehab center.
There are many other factors that can trigger substance use disorders in veterans, such as retirement, divorce, relocation, and the loss of a loved one. Veterans who experience one or more of these life changes may be highly susceptible to addiction — especially those who also have PTSD.
How Veterans Can Get Help for Substance Use Disorders
Many veterans are eligible to receive benefits that give them access to free or low-cost addiction treatment at a drug rehab center. Drug detox, alcohol detox, dual diagnosis treatment, and inpatient residential rehab are some of many addiction treatment programs covered by TRICARE, and a number of other health insurers. Veterans with health insurance plans can contact their providers directly to learn more about their benefits for addiction treatment, or fill out a free insurance verification form to have a drug rehab center confirm their benefits for them.
Here are other resources for veterans with substance use disorders:
- Screening for drug and alcohol abuse. VA offers veterans a free, brief, anonymous, and confidential assessment that reveals whether they have symptoms of a substance use disorder so they can move forward with seeking treatment if needed.
- VA addiction treatment locator. This interactive map allows veterans to click on their state to find local VA drug rehab programs that address substance abuse and behavioral health issues.
- Local Recovery Coordinators (LRCs) Locator Tool. LRCs help veterans find resources for drug and alcohol addiction, and assist with arranging these services.
- Benefits.gov. This online resource helps veterans find federal benefits they may be eligible for in the U.S. Click “Start,” then fill out the questionnaire to find benefits for addiction treatment.
- We Honor Veterans. This resource provides veterans with the VA’s general benefit information hotline and links to treatment programs for veterans with substance use disorders.
- Service Members, Veterans, and their Families Technical Assistance (SMVF TA) Center. This resource provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides veterans and their families with information about addiction and behavioral health services.
America’s Rehab Campuses offers a wide range of addiction treatment services to veterans who need help recovering from addiction and/or PTSD and other mental health disorders. Contact us today at 833-272-7342 to speak with a treatment consultant and learn more about your available treatment options.