There are many military veterans who are struggling with substance abuse yet they often don’t seek treatment due to stigma, shame, and fear of repercussions. In general, the military population has a lower rate of illicit drug use compared to civilians but service members and veterans have higher rates of abusing alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs. In this article, we’ll explain some reasons behind the growing trend of substance abuse among veterans, mental health’s relationship with addiction, and how veterans in Bay County, FL can find the right addiction treatment for their needs.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Addiction Rates Are Rising Among Military Veterans
- 2 Statistics from the VA²:
- 3 Prescription Drugs and Alcohol Use Are On The Rise
- 4 Veteran Rehab Options In Bay County, Florida
- 5 How Much Will Veteran Alcohol and Drug Rehab Cost?
- 6 Does Tricare Insurance Cover Veteran Rehabs?
- 7 Recommended Reading:
- 8 How Long Will A Veteran Rehab Program Be?
- 9 How To Find Veteran Alcohol and Drug Rehabs?
- 10 About Our Veteran Drug Rehab Program
- 11 Sources
- 12 ¹ “How Common Is PTSD in Veterans?” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Accessed 14 Oct. 2018. ² “Substance Abuse in Veterans.” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Accessed 14 Oct. 2018. ³ “Substance Abuse in the Military.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. Mar. 2013.
Why Addiction Rates Are Rising Among Military Veterans
Military life brings with it unique physical, emotional, and mental challenges which can increase the possibility of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder (SUD) in services members and veterans. PTSD is caused when you experience trauma such as combat or sexual. According to VA reports, over 11 percent of veterans who have seen combat experience PTSD.¹
Statistics from the VA²:
- More than 2 of 10 veterans with PTSD also have SUD
- Almost 1 out of every 3 veterans seeking treatment for SUD also has PTSD
- War veterans with PTSD and alcohol problems tend to be binge drinkers; binges may be in response to bad memories of combat trauma
- In the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, about 1 in 10 returning soldiers seen in VA have a problem with alcohol or other drugs
- The number of veterans who smoke (nicotine) is almost double for those with PTSD (about 6 of 10) versus those without a PTSD diagnosis (3 of 10)
PTSD and SUD are often intertwined which is why it’s imperative that veteran alcohol and drug rehabs offer treatment programs that can treat both of these disorders.
Prescription Drugs and Alcohol Use Are On The Rise
Although illicit drug use is lower in the military (likely due to the military’s strict zero-tolerance policy), the same can’t be said for prescription drug abuse and alcohol use which is higher among the military than civilians. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 11 percent of service members reported misusing prescription drugs in 2008, up from 2 percent in 2002 and 4 percent in 2005.³ Most of the prescription drugs that are misused by service members are opioid pain medications.
Possible explanations behind the increasing rate of drug abuse can be due to the greater availability of these medications and increases in prescriptions. Other contributing factors can be the combat-related injuries and strains from moving and carrying heavy equipment during multiple deployments.
Alcohol rates are on the rise as well. About 47 percent of active duty service members reported binge drinking in 2008 – an increase from 35 percent in 1998. In 2008, 20 percent of military personnel reported binge drinking every week in the past month and the rate increased to 27 percent for those with high combat exposure.
The Institute of Medicine(IOM Report) issued a report in 2012 for the Department of Defense with recommendations to address service members’ substance abuse:
Increase the use of evidence-based prevention and treatment interventions
Expand access to care
Broaden insurance coverage to include effective outpatient treatments
Better equip healthcare providers to recognize and screen for substance use problems so they can refer patients to appropriate, evidence-based treatment when needed
Measures that limit access to alcohol on bases
According to the IOM report, addressing the military’s substance abuse issues will require increasing confidentiality and shifting its culture that stigmatizes and punishes services members that struggle with PTSD, SUD, and other health issues.
Veteran Rehab Options In Bay County, Florida
There are many types of rehab options for veterans such as:
- Detoxification: Helps you with the management of withdrawal symptoms or detoxification and may be appropriate if you’re experiencing acute phases of substance use withdrawal. This level of care requires the personnel and facilities of a hospital or a Substance Use Disorder Rehabilitation Facility (SUDRF).
- Residential Treatment: If you have a significant impairment that interferes with normal functioning and you’re unable to function in the community with solely outpatient services. With residential treatment, you may not need the services of a hospital full-time but may find that residential treatment centers are able to provide a more structured therapeutic environment with 24-hour services.
- Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): This level of care is suitable if you have a significant impairment from substance abuse that interferes with normal functioning. PHP is often the next step after you’ve gone through detoxification, residential treatment, or if you’re unable to maintain a healthy lifestyle in a lower level of outpatient care. Services may be provided during the day, evening, night, or weekend and you typically reside in a recovery residence for additional support.
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): For veterans that have a substance abuse disorder who need stabilization, symptom reduction, or prevention of relapse. Veterans can transition to IOP after completing a higher level of care, like PHP, or if regular outpatient care is not appropriate. Services may be provided during the day, evening, night, or weekend and you may reside in a recovery residence for added support or live at home.
- Outpatient (OP): Outpatient treatment includes individual, family, or group psychotherapy. You can transition to OP after completing a higher level of care like PHP or IOP.
When examining your rehab options, you should see if the rehab is able to treat co-occurring disorders (like PTSD, SUD, depression, anxiety, etc.) and whether effective treatments are practiced like cognitive behavioral therapy. Another thing to look for is if the rehab’s staff is trained in trauma-informed care.
How Much Will Veteran Alcohol and Drug Rehab Cost?
Rehab costs will vary depending on what type of treatment services you receive, where you go, and how much insurance covers. Fortunately, insurances have greatly improved with how much they will cover rehab costs compared to just years ago. More and more rehabs are also offering financing options and some even give military discounts. Treatment costs are an understandable concern but don’t let costs prevent you from reaching out to alcohol and drug rehabs who are often willing to work out payment.
Does Tricare Insurance Cover Veteran Rehabs?
Tricare insurance covers a lot of the treatment options that we discussed earlier but its coverage does contain limits on the type and duration of rehab services that will be fully funded. Tricare may cover all expenses related to treatment for substance abuse but it’s also possible that you’ll have to cover some of the rehab costs.
Please contact us to confirm what treatment services Tricare will cover at our veteran rehab program at Rally Point. When you call, we’ll collect certain information from you to help determine the type, scope, and duration of treatment services that Tricare will cover for you or a family member.
Rally Points accepts the following TRICARE insurance plans:
- TRICARE Prime
- TRICARE Prime Remote
- TRICARE Prime Overseas
- TRICARE Prime Remote Overseas
- TRICARE Select
- TRICARE Select Overseas
- TRICARE For Life
- TRICARE Reserve Select
- TRICARE Retired Reserve
- TRICARE Young Adult
- US Family Health Plan
How Long Will A Veteran Rehab Program Be?
Like rehab costs, the duration of the treatment program will vary depending on the pre-assessment, level of care required, type of therapy, and other factors. When you call or meet with us, we’ll discuss the rehab program options that will best suit you or a family member’s treatment needs.
How To Find Veteran Alcohol and Drug Rehabs?
There are a number of ways to find rehabs for veterans by:
- Asking a family doctor or other medical professional for a recommendation
- Contacting Tricare for in-network providers and out-of-network options
- Browsing the VA’s online directories for PTSD and SUD programs
Checking out online resources such as the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers’ directory or the accredited providers listed on CARF International and The Joint Commission websites
Although these are great starting points, you should always do thorough research, read reviews, and if possible, schedule an in-person tour or meeting. Furthermore, be cautious of Internet-based commercial directories, generic websites, ads offering free treatment placement, websites that offer unsolicited referrals, or unverifiable rankings because unfortunately, there are some disreputable and shady rehabs that care more about money than helping their clients.
About Our Veteran Drug Rehab Program
As a TRICARE provider, we’re proud to serve those who have served us. Rally Point is a state licensed and Joint Commission accredited alcohol and drug rehab located southeast of Bay County, FL in Palm Beach, FL. Going to another part of the state is able to provide much-needed distance to help you focus on yourself and get away from the people, places, and things that can trigger a relapse.
We have a staff that is trained in trauma-informed care, cognitive behavioral therapy, co-occurring disorders treatment, and more. Our staff has several veterans which allow us to connect with our veteran clients on a more personal, deeper level. Contact us on our 24/7 confidential hotline at (888) 797-2559 or take our online assessment to get started on your personalized rehab program.
Rally Point Palm Beach Rehab
1130 Elizabeth Avenue
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401