Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Programs Offered by the VA
Like much of their medical care, VA mental health care is tailored to military culture and equipped with professionals specifically devoted to the emotional well-being of veterans. Listed in this article are just a few of the drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs available to veterans through the VA. Many of these organizations and programs are going to guarantee the following services:
- First-time screening for alcohol or tobacco use in all VA care locations
- Short outpatient counseling
- Intensive outpatient treatment
- Residential (line-in) care
- Medical detoxification
- Continuing care and relapse prevention
- Marriage and family counseling
- Self-help groups
- Drug substitution therapies
- Cutting-edge medication to subdue cravings
Confidential Online Screening
The VA provides a confidential online assessment for those who think they have a substance addiction. The screening is provided by the VA through MyHealth.
Veterans Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Program
This program is offered by the VA through the Veterans Health Administration. Available to alcohol and drug dependent veterans, it provides all sorts of rehabilitation like detoxification and psychiatric care. To participate in this program, you’ll need to be enrolled in VA Health Care.
Mental Health Care Handbook
To navigate the many rehabilitation and self-help resources available, the VA published The Guide to VA Mental Health Services for Veterans and Families. This handbook helps veterans and their families identify and locate mental health programs that fit their needs. It lists several VA mental health care providers who coordinate with each other to provide the best service possible.
VA-Recommended Self-Help Resources
The VA recommends certain self-help books and websites for help with substance abuse. These include:
- Rethinking Drinking: Alcohol and Your Health
- Stay Quit Coach (app)
- SMART Recovery: Self-Management and Recovery Training
- Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change.
The VA’s OEND Program
Seeing the effects of opioid abuse in veterans, the VA developed a preventative OEND (Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution) program. In this program, veterans are trained to help one another by recognizing and responding to an opioid overdose with the proper use of naloxone.
MakeTheConnection.net is an online resource where veterans who have recovered from addictions share their stories to inspire others. The site provides video testimonials of various types of therapy and their effectiveness. It also has information about non-VA health care providers and what they offer.
Veterans enrolled in VA Health Care and struggling with nicotine addiction can call the smoking quitline at 1-855-QUITE-VET. The line is operational Monday through Friday and closed on federal holidays. Those who call can speak with a Quit VET counselor who will customize a quit plan suited to their needs. Quit VET counselors help veterans learn to formulate a plan for quitting and take preventative measures against relapse. Counselors also consistently follow up to make sure motivation and morale is high.
Veterans can also text VET to 47848 to begin participating in SmokefreeVET. This text messaging program provides daily encouragement, reminders, and pointers for veterans who are trying to quit smoking.
VA Rehabilitation Methodology
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders (CBT-SUD) is widely used by VA mental health professionals in addition to Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET).
CBT-SUD is a psychotherapy that helps people become aware of their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Self-awareness has proved vital to full recovery from substance abuse. With it, people can identify patterns in their thoughts and make preventative mental changes as a result.
MI and MET are both concerned with eliminating ambivalence and increasing a person’s motivation to change. Counselors who practice MI or MET will encourage veterans to talk openly about their substance abuse and eventually narrow the conversation to focus on thoughts or feelings that need changing. Counselors help their clients realize how important change really is. After motivation is realized, it’s kept alive by realistic goals and careful planning.
A Better Life for Veterans
Substance abusers can attest to the misery of living life as a slave to addiction. There are many different challenges of life that, if left unaided, can enslave a person. Financial uncertainty is one of these. Talk to one of our certified loan officers today to learn how we can help provide future financial certainty for you and your family.