Although substance abuse treatment is not remotely lacking in the United States, drug and alcohol rehab aimed specifically towards veterans has gone crucially underdeveloped by those in the addiction industry for decades- that is, until quite recently. With the help of increasingly-progressive and shifting societal views on mental health and addiction treatment, veterans are finally beginning to receive the help they deserve for any existing mental and emotional anguish.
Changes have begun to emerge in the healthcare domain for those who have served in the United States military and armed forces. A growing number of American drug and alcohol rehabs and other mental healthcare providers are beginning to widely accept Tricare Health plans for those seeking recovery from mental illness and addiction disorders. In addition, Tricare is beginning to also extend their services to accommodate more modern and holistic approaches to recovery for their forever-fighting members. These services reach beyond what has been traditionally covered for veterans (such as physical health exams) and are now encompassing increasing coverage for mental health services.
The extension and creation of Tricare drug and Tricare alcohol rehab programs designed specifically for veterans (or at least programs that offer services that cater to these individuals), and the expansion in their accessibility and affordability, is an enormous step forward in the world of healthcare for those who have bravely served in our armed forces.
Tricare is, according to their website, is “the health care program for uniformed service members, retirees, and their families around the world” and their aim as a business entity is to provide the best health coverage possible to their members- all of whom are individuals that have served in the United States armed forces as well as their relatives. Tricare’s services include traditional physical health coverage, dental coverage, vision coverage, and other special services that include substance abuse and mental health treatment. Tricare’s self-proclaimed vision is to “Be a world-class health care system that supports the military mission by fostering, protecting, sustaining and restoring health.” Supporting this vision, multiple facilities have been working specifically on the comprehensive treatment that is needed for veterans to reach stability in their mental health and overall lives.
Tricare mentions that their services may cover options for inpatient services, intensive outpatient programs, emergency visits, medically-assisted treatment, mental health therapeutic services (such as cognitive behavioral therapy, or talk therapy), office-based opioid treatment programs, and outpatient services. All of these modalities of professional mental health and addiction treatment have been statistically proven as beneficial.
Tricare drug rehab can provide comprehensive services to veterans that will assist them in creating and attaining a new way of life that is void of their substance of choice. Most rehabs that specialize in treating veterans involve multiple levels of care that range from most intensive to least invasive. Tricare alcohol and drug rehabs may assist veterans in medically-assisted detoxifications services that are necessary for the veteran’s safety.
Someone with experience in war is especially vulnerable to developing mental illnesses and addictions because of experiences that can inevitably coincide with their service. The National Institute for Drug abuse mentions that “Those with multiple deployments, combat exposure, and related injuries are at greatest risk of developing substance use problems. They are more apt to engage in new-onset heavy weekly drinking and binge drinking, to suffer alcohol- and drug-related problems, and start smoking or relapse to smoking. Like civilians, they risk addiction to opioid pain medicines prescribed after an injury. NIDA continues to examine the trends in substance use in specific populations, including military personnel, and search for better methods for preventing and treating substance use disorders that are specific to these populations.”
Veterans suffer from a myriad of mental illnesses that relate directly, or were exacerbated by, their time serving in the armed forces. Choosing the right facility to attend is crucial for veterans who need exceptional recovery. Addiction treatment that is aimed specifically at veterans who have served in the armed forces can prove incredibly beneficial. In rehab, veterans will have access to an ever-growing amount of mental health and addiction services that will help them attain a higher quality of life. Substance abuse can be a vicious killer in veterans. Residential, partial hospitalization, and outpatient services that have become increasingly covered by insurance companies such as Tricare have contributed to the lessening psychological consequences for their veterans. During a veteran’s stay in rehab, they may participate in therapeutic process groups, receive medical treatment for their mental illnesses (such as antidepressant medications), and follow a pervasive plan for continuous treatment.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (also known as PTSD) is one of the most prominent co-occurring disorders alongside substance abuse and other congruent mental health conditions. Post-Traumatic Stress disorder can cause difficult symptoms such as- and perhaps most noticeably- intrusive flashbacks and reminders of the distressing event that caused their particular mental health ailment. Veterans can become “frozen” in a moment that has long-passed, even after years of reintegration in society. Additional indicators of PTSD include an increase in overall negative thoughts and emotions and avoidance of environments, events, people, thoughts, and situations that remind the sufferer of their traumatic event.
US news has mentioned that as many as 12 in 100 veterans from the Gulf War and 15 out of every 100 veterans from the Vietnam war are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Often, for those who have served in the armed forces, mental health conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Substance Abuse, Anxiety, Depression, and a myriad of other debilitating conditions can manifest in individuals. These conditions are not uncommon- nor without warrant. Serving in the armed forces can prove to be extremely testing to someone’s state of mind.
In order for someone to recover from their addiction, substance abuse, and other mental health conditions, it is crucial to establish a comprehensive plan of treatment and follow it diligently. Fortunately, for the hefty amount of veterans in our country, opportunities for vastly-covered mental health and addiction treatments by Tricare are finally (and rightfully) expanding.