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Veteran Drug Rehab in Iowa

Sad depressed black man at support group meeting for mental health and addiction issues in Iowa drug rehab

Published: August 8, 2023

There are many veterans who are living with substance use disorders, due to the extreme stress, trauma due to service, and many other factors that can contribute to self-medicating.

There are a number of different treatment options for veterans with addiction who are living in Iowa. Many treatments could be partially or completely covered by military insurance like TRICARE or VA health benefits. Private insurance is also usually accepted at most treatment facilities.

Veterans have the option of inpatient or outpatient treatment programs. There are also programs such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) plans and many different counseling options that may be appealing to veterans.

Learn more about veterans rehab programs in Iowa, substance abuse risk factors in veterans, treatment resources, and veterans insurance information.

Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Veterans

Being exposed to situations that are often very dangerous and highly stressful can be risk factors that lead military service members and veterans to develop an addiction.

Hardships such as unemployment and homelessness can also lead to substance abuse, as well as mental health issues that are common among veterans and active duty service members.

Veteran substance abuse rates include:

  • There are approximately 1.1 million veterans who meet the criteria for substance abuse treatment.
  • Veterans living with substance use disorders are more than twice as likely to die by suicide.
  • Male veterans are more likely to have an alcohol abuse problem, which is more than double the risk female veterans face.
  • More than 80% of veterans with a substance use disorder have a problem with alcohol.
  • 27% of veterans with a substance use disorder have an illicit drug addiction.
  • Around 7% of veterans have a problem with both alcohol and illicit drugs.
  • 13% of veterans who received opioids for pain management developed an opioid use disorder.
  • Over 10% of admissions at treatment centers were for heroin.


Scope Of Veterans In Iowa

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are currently 193,861 veterans living in Iowa, making up roughly 8% of the adult population. In Iowa, 80% of veterans are homeowners.

There are other factors in Iowa that may put veterans at risk of a substance use disorder. There is a 3.3% unemployment rate for veterans, which could be stressful to a veteran trying to reintegrate themselves into civilian life.

In addition, 23,076 veterans are living in a home with a major problem of quality, cost, or crowding. There are also 154 veterans who are currently homeless in Iowa.

Veteran Risk Factors For Substance Abuse

Substance use disorders, alcohol abuse in particular, are high among veterans and active service military members for a number of reasons.

For veterans, being exposed to high-risk situations, such as combat and difficult deployments, can significantly increase the likelihood of developing an alcohol or drug addiction.

Other risk factors for developing a substance use disorder can include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychological and physical injuries from time at war
  • Difficulty finding employment, low employment rates for veterans
  • Co-occurring mental disorders
  • Homelessness/major housing issues
  • Difficulty reconnecting with loved ones
  • Disability ratings

Addiction Treatment Programs For Veterans In Iowa

If you or a loved one are a veteran seeking assistance with a substance use disorder, there are many treatment options available to you. The first choice you will need to make is between long-term and short-term treatment.

Other options include medically supervised detox programs, intensive outpatient programs, medication-assisted treatment, and many different therapy and support group options.

Other treatment services and veteran treatment programs can include:

  • Medical detoxification
  • Inpatient/residential treatment programs
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
  • Outpatient programs
  • Transitional housing
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs
  • Buprenorphine and methadone treatment programs
  • Twelve-step groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Sober living programs
  • Aftercare
  • Relapse prevention
  • Domestic violence counseling
  • Individual, group, and family counseling
  • A phone number for a 24-hour hotline

There are also special programs for veterans who are dealing with drug and alcohol addiction.

Veterans often find these programs to be successful, because they are usually run by other veterans, or people who have a lot of experience working with the unique needs of veterans.

Mental Health & Dual Diagnosis Programs For Iowa Vets

For most people with substance abuse issues, addiction is not the only problem they are dealing with. There are often underlying mental illnesses that can cause people to turn to drugs and alcohol.

Having both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder is called a dual diagnosis. There are many dual diagnosis programs available for veterans in Iowa.

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

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

The most common treatments for a dual diagnosis include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). The therapies plus support groups have been found to be very beneficial for veterans.

Other proven treatments for co-occurring disorders include prescription medications like benzodiazepines for anxiety, depression, and PTSD. There are also alternative therapies that have been found to be helpful.

Where Can You Find Veterans Rehab Programs In Iowa?

Substance abuse treatment programs are often provided through VA health centers and major hospital systems. Alcohol and drug rehab centers can also be found in major cities, such as Davenport, Des Moines, Iowa City, and Sioux City.

There are also online resources available to make searching for a treatment program easier.

Online resources for locating alcohol and drug abuse treatment programs in Iowa:

  • SAMHSA — The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has recovery resources grouped by state. You can easily find rehab centers for substance abuse and mental health issues here.
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs — Offers an online database for veterans to help them find health care and substance abuse treatment directly through the VA.

Qualities To Look For In Iowa Veterans Rehab Programs

When you or someone you love are looking into rehab facilities, it is important to make sure that whichever treatment program you choose is reputable and of high quality.

If you are a veteran, it may be important for you to look for special programs for veterans. These programs are often run by other veterans, or people who understand the unique needs that veterans have.

Other signs of a quality rehab program:

  • Accreditations, usually with the Joint Commission or CARF
  • Certifications
  • Positive client reviews and testimonials
  • High success rates
  • Evidence-based therapies
  • Low doctor-to-patient ratios, or staff-to-client ratios
  • Specialized programs for veterans

Health Insurance Coverage For Iowa Veterans Drug Rehab

The cost of drug and alcohol rehab services should never be a barrier to getting the help you need. Many substance abuse treatment programs offer payment options such as self-pay, private insurance, military insurance, and VA health benefits.

Veterans may find that most of, if not all, of their substance abuse treatment costs may be covered by their insurance and VA benefits.


TRICARE is a type of insurance for active duty military service members and veterans. It works much the same way that Medicare and Medicaid do, but is exclusive to those who have served in the military.

The amount of coverage a veteran may receive through TRICARE will depend on the individual veteran, and numerous other factors have to be considered.

VA Health Benefits

If you or a loved one are eligible for health benefits through the VA, you may have most, if not all, of your addiction treatment expenses covered. Veterans may find that many VA hospital inpatient and outpatient treatment programs may be covered.

The amount of benefits a veteran may receive will be determined on a case-by-case basis, and there are multiple factors that must be taken into account.

Private Insurance Plans

If you choose to receive substance abuse treatment from a private or luxury rehab facility, you may find that you are unable to use your military insurance or VA health benefits.

These types of treatment facilities often accept only private health insurances and self-pay options. They may offer payment on a sliding fee scale depending on your income, and many financing options may be available.

Barriers To Addiction Recovery For Iowa Veterans

Unfortunately, even though resources may be available to veterans who need help with a substance abuse disorder, there may be barriers to accepting those resources.

Some of the barriers that veterans may face when seeking addiction treatment include:

  • The stigma of seeking help
  • Long waitlists for treatment
  • Lack of adequate mental health care
  • Lack of financial resources and funding
  • Lack of support from loved ones

The good news is there are resources in Iowa specifically designed to help get over these kinds of barriers. Veterans should always be able to receive the care they need.

Resources For Iowa Veterans

The following organizations are available to veterans in Iowa. They can assist with housing, employment, education assistance, financial assistance, health care, and more.

Iowa veterans have access to the following resources:

  • Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs — This is the official website for the Iowa VA. They have many resources for veterans, grouped by county. Resources include financial assistance, medical services, housing, and employment help.
  • Des Moines VA medical center — This campus provides specialty medical care, such as cancer care, diabetes care, mental health care, treatment for spinal cord injuries, suicide prevention, and many other health conditions.
  • Iowa Workforce — This organization helps veterans, transitioning military service members, and their families train for and find quality employment in Iowa.

Find Iowa Veterans Substance Abuse Treatment

If you or a loved one are ready to begin your journey to recovery, it is important that you know you are not alone. There are resources readily available for you when you decide to end your substance abuse.

Call our helpline today and speak to an addiction treatment specialist who can help you find a drug and alcohol dependency treatment facility near you.


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