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Veteran Drug Rehab in Alaska

A woman patiently listening during a drug therapy session in Alaska

Published: September 5, 2023

A large number of veterans in America are battling substance use disorders. The trauma veterans and active duty service members have experienced, plus many other factors, can lead them to self-medicate or use drugs and alcohol to cope.

Veterans in Alaska who are seeking help with a drug and alcohol addiction have many treatment options available to them. Many of these treatment facilities accept military health insurance, such as TRICARE, private insurance, and VA health benefits.

Some of the treatment services veterans can receive include medically supervised detoxification, inpatient and outpatient treatment, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), numerous counseling and support group options, and other resources.

Learn more about the rates of substance abuse in veterans, programs for veterans in Alaska, addiction treatment centers near you, resources for finding help, and more.

Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Veterans

Veterans and active duty military personnel have often been exposed to situations during their service that are difficult, dangerous, and very traumatic. These experiences can leave veterans with physical and mental wounds that can last a long time.

Mental health issues are a major factor in veterans developing a substance use disorder. Veterans often turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism for their experiences.

Veteran substance abuse rates include:

  • Approximately 11% of veterans who visit a medical center run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the first time have a substance use disorder.
  • Over one million veterans are currently living with a substance use disorder.
  • More than 2 out of 10 veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also have a substance use disorder.
  • Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance.
  • Nearly 27% of veterans who face substance abuse have an addiction to illicit drugs.
  • 13% of veterans who received opioids for pain management went on to develop an opioid use disorder.

Scope Of Veterans In Alaska

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are 71,454 veterans living in Alaska, making up a little over 12% of the adult population of Alaska.

Housing stresses are major factors that can lead to substance abuse. In Alaska, there are 39,375 homes occupied by veterans, 12,784 veterans are living in a home with one or more major problems, and 94 veterans are considered homeless right now.

Knowing that financial problems can also lead to drug and alcohol use, the unemployment rate for veterans in Alaska being 4.8% is very concerning. Unfortunately, 6.1% of the veteran population is living in poverty, which can create a snowball effect of stress.

Veteran Risk Factors For Substance Abuse

Veterans and military service members are inclined towards substance abuse for numerous reasons.

If a veteran or military service member has seen active combat or has experienced a difficult deployment, this can increase the likelihood of developing an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs.

Risk factors for veterans and substance abuse include:

  • Physical and psychological injuries received during war
  • Chronic pain
  • Co-occurring mental disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Disability ratings
  • Homelessness
  • Difficulty reconnecting with friends and family
  • Difficulty finding and maintaining a job

Addiction Treatment Programs For Veterans In Alaska

For veterans seeking substance abuse treatment in Alaska, there are many different treatment options available, including short-term and long-term inpatient programs. There are also many different outpatient programs, such as intensive outpatient and therapy, available.

Other treatment options you may consider include medication-assisted treatment, support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, sober living, and more.

Treatment services you can expect to find in substance abuse programs for veterans include:

  • Medically supervised detox
  • Inpatient/residential treatment programs
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
  • Outpatient programs
  • Methadone therapy
  • Community outreach programs
  • Individual, group, and family counseling options
  • Transitional and halfway houses
  • Sober living
  • Aftercare
  • Special programs for veterans
  • 24 hour hotline

For some veterans, it is easier to let their guard down and receive help if they are surrounded by people who understand the unique experiences that veterans must deal with. There are special programs for veterans, often run by other veterans, available to them in Alaska.

Mental Health & Dual Diagnosis Programs For Alaska Vets

For many veterans with a substance use disorder, there are often mental health issues that they are dealing with as well. Having a mental health issue and a substance abuse issue at the same time is called a co-occurring disorder.

There are special dual diagnosis programs that are designed specifically to treat both the addiction and the underlying mental health issues. When the root of the problem is treated, there is a higher likelihood of a long-lasting recovery.

Mental health/behavioral health disorders that often co-occur with SUDs:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Eating disorders

When you receive help for a co-occurring disorder, the most common types of treatment you may receive include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing (MI), and other evidence-based therapies.

Where Can You Find Veterans Rehab Programs In Alaska?

If you or a loved one are looking for an alcohol or drug addiction rehab facility in Alaska, you can find many through the Alaska VA healthcare system. Another way to find drug and alcohol rehab centers is by looking in major cities such as Anchorage.

Resources for locating substance abuse treatment facilities for veterans in Alaska include:

  • SAMHSA — The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a completely thorough and searchable database of mental health treatment facilities and alcohol and drug abuse centers in each state, as well as other resources.
  • U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs database of substance abuse and mental health treatment centers offers specialized veterans programs directly through the VA healthcare system.

Qualities To Look For In Alaska Veterans Rehab Programs

When you or a loved one are looking for a substance abuse recovery program in Alaska, it is important that any treatment provider you look into provides quality care.

If you are a veteran, you may be interested and more relaxed in an environment that is controlled and run by other people who understand your specific experiences. These programs have been specifically designed to help with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.

More signs of a quality rehab program include:

  • Accreditations, typically through the Joint Commission or CARF
  • Certifications
  • Positive client reviews and testimonials
  • High success rate
  • Evidence-based treatment programs
  • Low doctor-to-patient/staff-to-client ratios
  • Specialized programs for veterans

Health Insurance Coverage For Alaska Veterans Drug Rehab

Affordability should never be a barrier to recovery for veterans who are in need of help with a drug or alcohol addiction. Veterans should know that there are many treatment programs that cover most, if not all, of the cost of substance abuse treatment.

Many substance abuse treatment centers accept military insurances such as TRICARE, VA health benefits, private health insurance, and some offer payment assistance options as well.


TRICARE is a type of military insurance that is exclusively for military veterans and active duty service members. It works much the same way that Medicaid and Medicare do for the civilian population.

The amount of coverage a veteran will receive will depend on their unique case and circumstances, and other factors.

VA Health Benefits

For people who are eligible for VA health benefits, your substance abuse treatment expenses may be covered by your VA health benefits.

The amount of coverage a veteran receives is decided individually, and there are many factors that go into determining how much of your expense will be covered.

Private Insurance Plans

For veterans who choose to seek recovery in a luxury or private alcohol and drug rehab center, they may find that their military insurance or VA health benefits are not accepted.

These types of substance abuse centers often accept most major private health insurances, and usually provide self-pay options. Many treatment centers provide payment assistance through options such as sliding-fee scales and financing.

Barriers To Addiction Recovery For Alaska Veterans

Unfortunately, there are many different obstacles that veterans face when seeking help for a drug or alcohol addiction.

Some of the barriers that veterans in Alaska may face when seeking help include:

  • Lack of support from friends and family
  • Lack of funding or financial support
  • Lack of adequate mental health care
  • The stigma of seeking help
  • The long waitlists for treatment

Fortunately, many organizations know of these barriers and were designed to help veterans overcome these obstacles by providing much-needed resources and support.

Resources For Alaska Veterans

The following organizations provide resources for veterans to assist with job placement, education assistance, homelessness, mental health, physical health, insurance, understanding your VA benefits, financial assistance, and more.

Alaska veterans have access to the following resources:

  • Alaska Office of Veterans Affairs — provides assistance with veterans benefits, a veterans crisis line, resources for mental health care and physical health care, suicide prevention, education counseling, housing assistance, employment aid, and many other resources.
  • Anchorage Vet Center — The Anchorage Vet Center provides mental health resources for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, grief, couples and marriage counseling, women veterans care, and many more resources.
  • The Alaska Coalition for Veterans and Military Families — The Alaska Coalition for Veterans and Military Families offers many resources for veterans and their families, including assistance with medical care, mental health care, employment, housing, transportation, and many other resources.

Find Alaska Veterans Substance Abuse Treatment

If you or a loved one are ready to take the journey to recovery, there are many resources and treatments available to help you when you are ready.

Call our helpline today to speak with a recovery specialist who will help you find an alcohol and drug rehab center in your area.

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