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Veteran Drug Rehab in Hawaii

Depressed man at support group meeting for mental health and addiction issues in Hawaii rehab center

Published: August 10, 2023

Military veterans have often been exposed to situations that the average civilian would not be able to understand or comprehend — many of them violent or traumatic.

Such exposure, along with other factors like chronic pain, homelessness, or a lack of access to proper medical and mental health care, can lead veterans to seek drugs or alcohol as a means of coping or self-medicating.

Because substance abuse and addiction are so common amongst veterans, many treatment facilities, including some in Hawaii, offer programs specialized for veterans and their unique needs.

Veterans can often have the costs of these special programs mostly, if not completely, covered by their military health insurance or VA benefits.

Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Veterans

Veterans can have experiences during service, war, or deployment that leave them permanently injured or disabled both physically and mentally.

In many instances, substance abuse in veterans begins as a valid prescription for pain management, but becomes a problem after prolonged use or misuse.

Veteran substance abuse and mental illness rates include:

  • Approximately 24% of veterans in the VA health care system have a prescription for opioids due to chronic pain.
  • Between 55% and 60% of veterans report using alcohol in the past month, with 7.5% reporting heavy use.
  • Up to 30% of veterans report using tobacco products on a regular basis.
  • Veterans who have a substance use disorder are 3 to 4 times more likely to also have a co-occurring diagnosis of depression or PTSD.
  • Veterans make up more than 20% of all suicides in the United States.
  • About 30% of military suicides involved some form of drug or alcohol use.

Scope Of Veterans In Hawaii

According to the most recent census and data compiled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are approximately 112,000 veterans living in Hawaii currently.

This means there is a large population of veterans in Hawaii that is potentially vulnerable to substance abuse, unemployment, homelessness, and other challenges faced by veterans.

With 1 in 10 veterans developing a substance use disorder at some point during their life, this is a group of people who deserves full and comprehensive support.

Veteran Risk Factors For Substance Abuse

Veterans are at an increased risk for addiction and substance abuse when compared to the civilian population, especially in those who experienced war or who witnessed violence or death.

A veteran is even more at risk for substance abuse and addiction if they have a history of abusing drugs or alcohol as a young adult before their service began.

Risk factors for veterans and substance abuse can include:

  • Deployment-related stress and trauma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Chronic pain
  • Difficulty transitioning to civilian life
  • Lack of access to mental health care
  • Social isolation
  • Unemployment
  • History of drug use

Addiction Treatment Programs For Veterans In Hawaii

No two substance abuse treatment programs are exactly the same, although many of them do offer similar services or treatment options.

In Hawaii you can expect to find both inpatient and outpatient treatment options available for veterans, depending on the severity of their addiction and how treatment fits into their daily life.

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

  • Outpatient and intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
  • Medical or observational detox
  • Short-term and long-term residential treatment
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Methadone treatment
  • Aftercare
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Holistic therapies
  • Relapse prevention
  • Vocational training and assistance
  • Anger management classes
  • Transitional and sober living homes

Inpatient treatment is usually considered the most effective form of addiction treatment with the best long-term results, however, leaving home for care is not always possible or realistic.

Veterans should consider their needs and what is best for their individual situation, whether that is outpatient detoxification and medication-assisted treatment or a full-service residential center.

Mental Health & Dual Diagnosis Programs For Hawaii Vets

Because mental health disorders are common in both veterans and in people who battle substance abuse, it is essential to address these issues during addiction treatment for veterans.

Mental health/behavioral health disorders that often co-occur with substance use include:

  • Mild to severe depression
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Agoraphobia

Co-occurring disorders are often best addressed through multiple types of individual therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

These types of therapy have been shown to be especially effective when treating substance abuse, and are often used in combination with group therapy and family therapy.

Additionally, prescription medications are often used in dual diagnosis treatment, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.

Where Can You Find Veterans Rehab Programs In Hawaii?

You can find veterans rehab programs in Hawaii at veterans medical centers, major hospitals, and private offices, and often in major cities like Honolulu, Hilo, Maui, and Kailua.

Resources for locating veterans rehab programs in Hawaii include:

Qualities To Look For In Hawaii Veterans Rehab Programs

Beyond simply making the decision to seek professional help for addiction, it is important that anyone doing so also chooses the right substance abuse program for their needs.

Signs of a quality drug and alcohol rehab program include:

  • Accreditation on a national level, such as with the Joint Commission
  • Positive reviews from past clients
  • Evidence-based treatments
  • Awards and accolades
  • High ratings on social media
  • Memberships and certifications

Not all veterans will prefer a specialized program for military service members, but many of them may feel most comfortable and at ease while surrounded by their peers.

Health Insurance Coverage For Hawaii Veterans Drug Rehab

It is never a good idea to delay or cancel addiction treatment for fear of the related financial costs.

Regardless of a veteran’s financial situation or the type of insurance or benefits they have, many rehab centers may be willing to work with them to offer them access to quality treatment.

TRICARE

TRICARE is a form of military insurance provided to both service members and their families, and is available to both active-duty service members and retired veterans.

TRICARE is essentially a form of Medicaid or Medicare that is specifically for veterans, and offers similar coverage and services.

VA Health Benefits

Many alcohol and drug rehab centers also accept VA benefits as a form of payment, especially those which are specialized for veterans and military service members.

The amount of coverage these benefits provide can vary from veteran to veteran, and the veteran must also not have received a dishonorable discharge in order to be eligible.

Private Insurance Plans

Veterans are always able to use private health insurance when paying for addiction treatment, if they have it.

Some rehab centers also offer other forms of payment assistance, such as payment plans and sliding fee scales, to ensure everyone has access to affordable treatment.

Barriers To Addiction Recovery For Hawaii Veterans

Sadly, veterans may face a lot of barriers when considering seeking addiction treatment, some of them self-imposed while others are out of their control.

Some of the barriers that veterans face when seeking recovery programs include:

  • Stigma surrounding addiction and mental health
  • Lack of awareness of available resources
  • Limited access to mental health care
  • Logistical barriers such as transportation or scheduling
  • Co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Inadequate support systems
  • Cultural and gender barriers
  • Trust issues with healthcare providers

Specialized treatment programs for veterans were created with these barriers in mind, and to allow for them to be addressed in environments that are welcoming and understanding.

Resources For Hawaii Veterans

The following are resources that are available to veterans in Hawaii on both a national and local level.

Hawaii veterans have access to the following resources:

  • Veterans Crisis Line: This is a crisis phone number and helpline sponsored by the VA that is free, confidential, and available 24/7 to assist those in need or distress.
  • State of Hawaii Office of Veterans’ Services: This VA office provides outreach and a variety of assistive resources to veterans, including helping them to file VA claims for health and disability benefits.
  • Bridging the Gap Hawaii: Veterans can call on this organization, which is dedicated to ending homelessness across Hawaii, for safe and affordable housing help.

Find Substance Abuse Treatment For Hawaii Veterans

If you are a veteran, or have a loved one who is, and are in need of help for substance abuse, reach out to our helpline for guidance or assistance in locating a treatment center in Hawaii.

It is never too late to be free of addiction, and all veterans deserve to live a life that is healthy and happy. Call now to learn more about veteran treatment options near you.

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