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Veteran Drug Rehab in Colorado

Young soldier communicating with female doctor at Colorado rehab center

Published: August 1, 2023

If you or a veteran you love are facing the hard reality of drug and alcohol addiction, you may be wondering how to start recovery. Fortunately, there are many options in Colorado for veterans seeking help.

Veterans in the state can access medical detox programs, inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and dual diagnosis and trauma-specific care.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is an organization that assists veterans with gaining access to resources they need.

They may be able to assist with the cost of care at a rehab facility and get you a referral. Or, you may be able to use TRICARE or another form of insurance.

Find out more here about rehab programs for veterans in Colorado, the forms of insurance these programs accept, and how veterans can access resources to find addiction help.

Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Veterans

Due to the nature of their services, veterans are at a greater risk for alcohol and drug addiction than civilians.

Physical injuries can lead to benzodiazepine or opioid addiction from the pain medication prescribed, and mental health issues can lead to self-medicating. Veterans may also turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with stressors.

Returning home to civilian life can be a difficult transition for some veterans, and unfortunately unemployment, homelessness, and substance abuse often result.

Substance abuse statistics in veterans include:

  • 65% of veterans who enter a rehab treatment center report doing so for alcohol, nearly double the rate of the general population.
  • Alcohol use disorders are the most prevalent of substance use disorders among military personnel.
  • More than 10% of veterans entering rehab do so for heroin addiction.
  • Overall opioid overdose rates of veterans increased to 21% from 14% in 2019.
  • Male veterans have a higher substance abuse rate than those of the general population.
  • 50% of military personnel believe seeking help for mental health issues would negatively affect their military career.

Scope Of Veterans In Colorado

The Department of Veterans Affairs reports there are currently 395,097 veterans who live in Colorado, making up 10.1% of the state’s population. 

Statistics for veterans living in Colorado:

  • 76.1% of veterans in Colorado are currently homeowners. 
  • There are 1,044 veterans in Colorado who are homeless.
  • 65,747 veterans in Colorado currently live in a house with major problems, such as quality, cost, or crowding. 
  • 6.1% of Colorado veterans live in poverty.
  • 7.5% of veterans are facing or currently living with unemployment.
  • 25.4% of veterans in Colorado have a service-connected disability rating.

Veteran Risk Factors For Substance Abuse

Men and women who have served in the military are at a greater risk for developing a substance use disorder, due to the major stresses and trauma they face. The risk increases if they have been deployed and have seen action.

Binge drinking and alcoholism have been on the rise in the military, with men having a higher alcohol use rate.

Factors that make veterans more susceptible to substance abuse:

  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Co-occurring mental illnesses
  • Homelessness and poverty
  • Unemployment or trouble maintaining a job
  • Difficulties re-entering the general population
  • Injuries received in the line of duty
  • Chronic pain
  • Disability ratings

Addiction Treatment Programs For Veterans In Colorado

If you or a loved one are a veteran seeking a substance abuse treatment facility in Colorado, you have options. The first step in your recovery journey, after finding the right drug and alcohol rehab center for you, is usually medical detoxification.

Each alcohol and drug treatment center will have different options in the programs and methods of treatment they offer.

Some of the programs and therapies you can expect to find include:

  • Medical detoxification
  • Inpatient programs, both short-term and long-term
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
  • Outpatient programs
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) such as with methadone
  • Trauma-informed care and therapy
  • 12-step programs
  • Peer support
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Relapse prevention
  • Aftercare

Veterans should also be aware that there are programs designed to help veterans with struggles that are unique to those who have served in the military.

Mental Health & Dual Diagnosis Programs For Colorado Vets

It is common for veterans to face not only addiction problems, but also mental health issues. This condition is called a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders.

Most addiction treatment centers also offer therapy and counseling to address the root issues.

Common mental health disorders that co-occur with substance abuse disorders:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (PTSD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Mood disorders
  • Bipolar Disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Panic disorders
  • Eating disorders

Treatment for these co-occurring disorders often includes cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and motivational therapy.

Therapists will also often encourage group therapy, individual therapy, family therapy, and trauma therapy for veterans.

Where Can You Find Veterans Rehab Programs In Colorado?

If you or a loved one are a veteran seeking substance abuse treatment in Colorado, you may be looking for a place to start. The good news is there are ways to look for the right treatment facility online.

Online resources for locating a rehab facility for veterans in Colorado:

  • SAMHSA —The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Service has resources for locating a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center in your area. They have a national hotline and can inform you of the type of programs available.
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs — offers a searchable database of treatment center locations specifically for veterans, and offers information on how veterans can find insurance and payment assistance.

Qualities To Look For In Colorado Veterans Rehab Programs

When you are looking for an alcohol and drug rehab center, it is helpful to know what to look for. There are many treatment options to choose from, including inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.

But there are certain markers of treatment facilities that offer high-quality, effective care for addiction.

Qualities of the best rehab programs may include:

  • Accreditation, such as through the Joint Commission and CARF
  • Certification
  • Favorable reviews
  • High staff-to-client ratio
  • Evidence-based treatments
  • Peer support
  • Amenities
  • Location
  • Specialized programs for veterans
  • Payment options

Health Insurance Coverage For Colorado Veterans Drug Rehab

Cost is often a major concern for veterans seeking treatment services in Colorado. Many are not aware that their health insurance and VA benefits could cover treatment for their substance use disorder.

Most treatment centers will accept Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, TRICARE, and VA benefits.


TRICARE is a type of insurance that is exclusively for active duty military members and veterans.

Your level of coverage will depend on your specific benefits and plan, so reach out to your TRICARE representative to learn what’s covered for substance abuse treatment.

VA Health Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs is in charge of VA health benefits, which can include inpatient and outpatient care.

Substance abuse treatment can often be covered at an alcohol and drug abuse center or at a VA medical center. Reach out to your VA rep to find out how to enter a rehab program.

Private Insurance Plans

Drug and alcohol treatment centers will often accept most major private insurance plans. Those treatment centers that do not accept insurance will often have finance programs and self-pay plans.

Barriers To Addiction Recovery For Colorado Veterans

Unfortunately, while drug addiction and healthcare services may be available for all veterans, there are often barriers for veterans seeking help.

Barriers preventing addiction recovery for veterans can include:

  • The stigma attached to seeking help for mental health and substance abuse problems
  • No availability or the length of the waitlists
  • Lack of financial support, and not being aware of the available benefits
  • Not having the support of family and friends
  • Not having adequate mental health care
  • A lack of transportation or location of health services

Yet there are many resources available to veterans which can help you overcome these obstacles and get the care you need to enter lasting recovery.

Resources For Colorado Veterans

If you or a loved one are a veteran seeking assistance in Colorado, you have choices available. Resources in the state can help with employment, housing, mental health care, substance abuse, and general health and wellness.

Here are some of the most prominent resources for veterans in Colorado:

Find Colorado Veterans Substance Abuse Treatment

If you or a loved one are a veteran seeking the road to addiction recovery, there is hope. Colorado has many resources available for people who are ready to end their substance abuse.

When you are ready to take the next step, call our hotline phone number to speak with one of our addiction specialists today.

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