Does Veteran Affairs Community Care Cover Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers?

Substance abuse and drug addiction can impact just about anyone at any time. That includes veterans. There are many veterans who are seeking assistance with medical issues, particularly those sustained while serving our country overseas. There are also plenty of veterans who are looking for help with substance abuse problems. There are multiple treatment options available, and the cost of treatment might be subsidized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Specifically, many veterans may have heard about the Community Care Program, which can cover the cost of a variety of medical issues.

Does the Department of Veterans Affairs Community Care Program cover the cost of substance abuse and addiction treatment? There are a few key points to keep in mind.

How To Choose A Veteran Drug & Alcohol Rehab Near You

According to information published by the VA, approximately one in 10 veterans returning from overseas combat develop drug and alcohol abuse issues. The trauma of serving in the military overseas, PTSD, and difficulty adjusting to home can contribute to significant mental health concerns, including drug and alcohol abuse.

Even though mental health services can be challenging for people to find, the VA does have resources available to help veterans access the care they need. That is where the Community Care Program can be beneficial.

Are There VA-Approved Rehab Centers?

One of the most important pieces of legislation recently has been the creation of the VA MISSION Act. The goal of this act is to expand services that veterans might otherwise not have been able to access. In 2019, the Veterans Choice Program (VCP) was allowed to sunset, but the MISSION Act provides coverage for veterans who would otherwise have lost protection when the VCP expired.

Veterans are able to be grandfathered into the MISSION Act to continue to receive benefits under the Community Care Program. A few examples of possible substance abuse and addiction treatment that could be covered include detox programs, residential inpatient treatment programs, intensive outpatient treatment programs (or partial hospitalization programs), and outpatient treatment.

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Whether you’re seeking treatment for yourself, a loved one or as a referring physician, we are always available to answer your questions and help connect you with the resources you need.

Veterans and Trauma

One of the reasons why veterans are more prone to developing drug use and alcohol use issues has to do with the trauma to experience while serving overseas. Even among veterans who are not wounded in battle, they are exposed to a tremendous amount of stress created by a high-risk environment.

Sometimes, veterans turn to drugs and alcohol to cope, which can create a dependency issue. Drug addiction and dependency can stem from trauma, and it is critical to rely on a mental health professional who can provide veterans with the care they need.

The Connection Between Addiction and Veterans

Because addiction is such a significant concern among veterans, it is critical to take a closer look at the treatment options available. The VA has recognized that drug and alcohol abuse disorders are significant issues among veterans, and a professional treatment facility can provide veterans with specialized care, tailoring the treatment program to meet their needs.

The VA healthcare network is extensive, and it even provides veterans with dual-diagnosis treatment options for co-occurring disorders. It is wise to start by reaching out to your primary care doctor. You might receive a referral to a VA treatment center that can start the recovery process

Why Are Veterans at Risk?

Veterans are prone to developing a wide variety of medical issues both while they serve overseas and after they come home. Statistics show that veterans are more likely to develop substance abuse and addiction issues when compared to the general population. Some of the reasons why veterans may be at risk of developing substance abuse and addiction issues include:

  • Combat Exposure: Combat exposure is one of the biggest reasons why veterans May develop substance abuse and addiction concerns. Veterans who have been in combat witness things that most of us can scarcely imagine, and the stress of going through such a traumatic experience could cause them to cope with drugs and alcohol.
  • Issues When Coming Home: There are also veterans who develop substance abuse and addiction issues because they have a difficult time adjusting to civilian life. For example, they may struggle to maintain relationships with their family members and friends, or they might have a difficult time finding a job. These ancillary issues could also cause veterans to cope with drugs and alcohol.
  • Chronic Pain: As a result of physical injuries sustained overseas, veterans may be prescribed opioid and narcotic medications. These can be addictive, leading to serious substance abuse concerns.

These are just a few of the many reasons why veterans may develop substance abuse and addiction issues. There are multiple treatment options available, and one option could be the VA’s Community Care Program. 

Connection Between Substance abuse and PTSD

One of the most common mental health issues that veterans develop while serving overseas is post-traumatic stress disorder, usually shortened to PTSD. There is also a direct link between post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse issues. According to information published by the VA, close to half of all people diagnosed with PTSD will also be diagnosed with substance abuse issues at some point during their lives.

Drug and alcohol addiction is common following military service, and it can be more common among people diagnosed with PTSD. The addiction recovery process must be customized to meet the needs of the individual veteran. This could include residential treatment, support groups, medication-assisted treatment, and even cognitive behavioral therapy at a recovery center.

If you or someone you know is looking for an alcohol or drug rehab program specifically for veterans, we’re here to help you. Mental health issues are common among veterans, and we can help you find an addiction treatment center that is right for your needs.

To learn more about our treatment options for veterans and get started, contact our admissions team today.  

Veteran Drug And Alcohol Rehab FAQ

Yes, to receive addiction treatment through your VA insurance benefits, you must first enroll in a health care program. If you haven’t yet registered for VA benefits, now is the time to do so. 

Once you’re enrolled with your VA healthcare plan, you’ll want to contact your medical VA provider to discuss any challenges you’re facing regarding substance abuse and mental health issues. They can help you find a facility in the Community Care Network.

There are many different types of treatment programs available for veterans in Florida, including residential (inpatient), outpatient, and day/night programs (PHP-partial hospitalization programs). Additional programs may include the following:

  • Medically assisted detoxification
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Family therapy 
  • Trauma therapy

The type of treatment plan you receive for drug and alcohol addiction depends on your situation. At Riverside Recovery of Tampa, our team provides individualized plans for our clients. 

Yes, insurance providers such as TRICARE and Optum may provide access to private addiction treatment facilities if the VA is unable to provide space in their program. 

If you’re not sure that treatment is covered under your plan, contact our admissions team to verify your insurance benefits. 

Riverside Recovery of Tampa Is Committed To the Recovery of Our Veterans

Everyone deserves to have access to substance abuse and addiction treatment, including veterans. Veterans are at a greater risk of developing mental health and substance use disorders, and there is an extensive mental health care and substance abuse treatment network available to help veterans obtain the care they need.

We understand that the cost of treatment can be expensive, but we have options available to make it more affordable. We can even help you find a local VA medical center that provides mental health services to help you or your loved one with addiction treatment. 

At Riverside Recovery, we are there for you when you need us the most, and we will provide you with the care you deserve. If you or your loved one is a veteran, we are here to help you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

  1. Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. (2021). Fast facts.

  2. Benefits.gov. (2021). Veterans alcohol and drug dependence rehabilitation program.

  3. NIDA. 2019, October 23. Substance Use and Military Life DrugFacts. Retrieved from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/substance-use-military-life

  4. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs–Treatment of Co-Occurring PTSD and Substance Use Disorder in VA
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Riverside Recovery Editorial Team