Updated: September 17, 2019
In 2015, 1 in 15 veterans had a substance use disorder, and they are more likely than civilians to have substance abuse problems with alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs. According to a study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), around 3.7% of service members before the Vietnam war reported substance abuse, but recently, 12.7% of members who have served since 2001 reported drug abuse, more than tripling the pre-Vietnam rate.
While other segments of the population might turn to substance abuse for a variety of reasons, veterans often turn to substances like alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs when suffering from difficulties like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and homelessness.
The good news is that if you are a veteran who struggles with substance abuse, you can receive a variety of services for free from the VA including help detoxing, treatment in facilities, individual or group therapy, medications, and other services.
We compiled information to walk you through each step of the process – from learning about substance abuse treatment programs to accessing treatment. We also provide additional resources, hotlines, and funding programs to supplement or help make treatment possible.