Considerations When Choosing Addiction Treatment for Veterans

Considerations When Choosing Addiction Treatment for Veterans

Sadly, the heroes that keep our country safe pay the ultimate price to do so, if not with their lives, then often with their mental and physical health. Studies show that veterans are significantly more likely to develop mental health and substance abuse disorders, which often go hand-in-hand.

Seeking addiction treatment is the first step in helping veterans develop healthy coping skills and reclaim their lives. Here are some important considerations when choosing an addiction treatment program for yourself or a loved one who served.

Professional Experience With Veterans

Veterans often face concurrent mental health disorders that are closely ingrained in their addiction. When seeking addiction treatment for veterans, it’s essential to find an option specializing in a multi-faceted approach to address underlying issues.

PTSD is a pervasive issue among veterans. There’s a strong correlation between PTSD and the development of substance use disorders. Some studies estimate that people with PTSD are 14 times more likely to experience addiction compared to those without.

Look for a treatment specialist who knows how to help veterans and connect them with their peers. Programs that offer several treatment methodologies can be tremendously beneficial for this group.

VA and Insurance Coverage

Unfortunately, addiction treatment can be expensive for veterans who are already facing financial turmoil. The VA can offer support resources, including financial support, to veterans who apply through them for aid. Yet, this approach isn’t suitable for all veterans. Eligibility can be rife with bureaucratic red tape, and some veterans prefer a fresh start with minimal connections to the VA office.

Many health insurance providers offer coverage for treatment programs. Evaluate your health coverage (or that of your loved one) to determine available options. Aging veterans with Medicare can also seek coverage for addiction treatment programs.

Inpatient and Outpatient Options

Inpatient programs are an immersive experience that helps veterans focus solely on their recovery. Outpatient programs take place in the community and allow individuals to seek treatment without completely disrupting their daily lives.

There’s no right or wrong answer when choosing an inpatient or outpatient program; each has advantages and disadvantages. However, weighing those pros and cons against the individual’s unique situation and needs is important.

Family Support Options

Addiction and mental health disorders don’t just impact the individual; they affect the family support system as well. Looking for a program that offers family support or provides resources and assistance is essential, especially for veterans with young children.

Activities and Amenities

Look at the other activities and offerings each treatment provider offers beyond traditional therapies and medical interventions. Engaging in mindfulness activities (like meditation), exercise, or art therapies can also benefit veterans as they find their way back to health.

Ongoing Support Options

Finally, look ahead to what comes after. Consider a treatment program that takes a scaled approach and offers additional resources or support plans after the initial placement is over. This consideration is vital for veterans transitioning from an inpatient program back into the world.

Remember these key factors when choosing the right veteran addiction treatment program.


Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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