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Veteran Drug Rehab in New York

Closeup hands of soldier in military uniform in New York rehab center

Published: June 22, 2023

Veterans may develop substance use disorders during or after their service. These addictions may include co-occurring mental health disorders like PTSD.

Addiction treatment programs in New York can take many forms for veterans, including inpatient care, outpatient treatment, and other types of accredited health care in a treatment center.

Most addiction treatment facilities will accept TRICARE and VA benefits, as well as private insurance, to help those with addiction recovery from this health concern.

Learn more about veterans rehab programs in New York, health insurance programs rehab centers accept, and more.

Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Veterans

Veteran drug abuse rates show that many active and retired military service members need health services to manage addictions.

Veteran substance abuse rates include:

  • Male veterans are more than twice as likely to experience a substance use disorder than women.
  • About 65% of all veterans who enter addiction treatment report that alcohol is their primary addiction.
  • Around 10% of all veterans report abusing heroin, while 4% report abusing opioids, such as prescription medications.
  • Nearly 25% of all veterans have reported abusing illicit drugs, including alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, and heroin.
  • Just about 25% of all veterans in treatment for drug abuse have a prescription for opioids related to pain problems.
  • Every year, around 3.8 million prescriptions for opioid pain medications are written for veterans with chronic pain problems.
  • Nearly 10% of all veterans report that they feel regular extreme pain that they self-medicate with alcohol and drugs.
  • About 50% of all veterans getting addiction treatment abuse marijuana, with another 6% using cocaine.

Scope Of Veterans In New York

According to the United States Census Bureau, there are currently 912,499 veterans living in New York State. Just 5.6% of these veterans are female, or under 45,000 New York residents.

Of these veterans, the unemployment rate is 5.8%, and around 2,542 veterans are homeless in the state. Over 33% are from the Vietnam War, while nearly 30% are peacetime veterans.

Since one in every ten veterans is diagnosed with a drug addiction, that means about 91,249 veterans in the state may have an addiction. The number may even be higher.

That’s because many addiction cases go unreported. due to mental illness, PTSD, and homelessness. Veteran addiction risk is also higher and more devastating.

Veteran Risk Factors For Substance Abuse

Active service and retired military members may be at a higher risk of addiction due to several factors related to their lifestyle and career. These factors may vary based on the veteran.

For instance, veterans outside of New York City, such as in Rochester or Buffalo, may have less access to high-quality treatment facilities. This fact may make recovery more challenging.

Other risk factors for veterans and substance abuse include:

  • Homelessness and depression after leaving the service
  • Devastating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms
  • Chronic pain that may make self-medication appealing
  • Troubles connecting with loved ones or integrating with civilian society
  • High unemployment rates or employers unwilling to hire veterans
  • Disability due to injuries sustained during war or service
  • Co-occurring mental health disorders caused by service
  • Physical and emotional problems caused by war

Thankfully, addiction treatment programs can help veterans manage these emotional and physical challenges and regain their sobriety.

Addiction Treatment Programs For Veterans In New York

Treatment for addiction takes many forms, including outpatient care, inpatient treatment, and more. These services include multiple modalities that focus on your needs as a person.

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

  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Medical detoxification with replacement drugs
  • Inpatient programs that include residential support
  • Outpatient care that lets you live outside the facility
  • Veteran-specific care that focuses on your unique needs
  • Cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapies (CBT and DBT)
  • Individual, family, and group therapy options
  • Methadone replacement programs
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)
  • Peer support groups
  • Case management options
  • Eye movement therapy
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
  • Adventure therapy
  • Professional therapy
  • Holistic, mindfulness, and yoga treatments
  • Sex, gambling, and video game addiction treatment
  • Relapse prevention training programs
  • Aftercare, including housing support

Attending specialized veterans programs can help you get treatment from professionals who understand your needs. It may also provide you with support alongside fellow military members.

Mental Health & Dual Diagnosis Programs For New York Vets

Mental health concerns, such as co-occurring disorders, may affect many New York veterans. These conditions can worsen or deepen addictive behaviors.

Dual diagnosis treatments can help manage many of these concerns and help an individual manage long-term behavioral concerns.

Mental health/behavioral health disorders that may co-occur with substance abuse in veterans include:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic disorders
  • Bipolar disorder and other mood conditions
  • Eating disorders
  • Trauma and PTSD a
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Compulsive behavior disorders
  • ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Depression and suicidal ideation

Treatment for these concerns include multiple options, including cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavioral therapies (CBT and DBT) and relapse prevention.

Veterans may also receive medications, like antidepressants, anti-anxiety, and withdrawal-management medicines.

Alternative therapies may include yoga therapy, mindfulness treatments, and even acupuncture that may provide some benefits for veterans with an addiction.

Where Can You Find Veterans Rehab Programs In New York?

Veterans interested in recovering from addiction have many resources they can use to streamline this process. They’ll help you find a program anywhere in the state.

Resources for locating veterans rehab programs in New York include:

  • SAMHSA  — Veterans may use SAMHSA’s facility finder tool to identify veteran treatment centers in New York, including dual diagnosis, behavioral health, and residential treatment care.
  • New York State Division of Veterans’ Services  — Veterans can use this website to search for VA addiction centers near them, including facilities specific to their needs.
  • Substance Use Disorder Program  — The VA provides a useful tool that helps veterans identify VA-approved addiction treatment programs in New York and beyond.

Each of these resources provides different benefits, with SAMHSA providing a nationwide search, while the VA focuses only on veteran-based care.

Qualities To Look For In New York Veterans Rehab Programs

Successful rehab programs in New York state focus on several qualities that make them effective. Veterans interested in treatment should carefully check into each of these amenities.

Signs of a quality rehab program include:

  • Certifications from various licensing boards, including New York State
  • Accreditations through groups like SAMHSA, CARF, or the Joint Commission
  • Specialized programs suitable for veterans
  • Balanced patient-to-therapist ratios that provide more individualized care
  • Verified success rates from groups like the Better Business Bureau
  • Positive client reviews and testimonials after treatment
  • Evidence-based care that focuses on your specific needs
  • Holistic treatment that focuses on you as a person

Reaching out and researching different drug rehab centers, like Bath VA Medical Center, can help New York veterans decide what treatment program to attend.

Health Insurance Coverage For New York Veterans Drug Rehab

Veterans receiving addiction treatment for co-occurring disorders and other concerns should never struggle to pay for detox, inpatient programs, outpatient care, or medical center treatment.

Multiple insurance options can help cover a veteran’s care, including service-based policies and private insurance. TRICARE, VA benefits, and more can help make your treatment affordable.


Whether an active or retired military member, TRICARE insurance can help you. It is available only to military members and works like Medicare or Medicaid.

Many residential treatment programs in New York accept TRICARE for veterans. Coverage levels may vary depending on your policy and your needs.

VA Health Benefits

VA health insurance can help you pay for drug rehab centers and other treatment services.

Talk with your VA insurance agent to learn whether drug or alcohol rehab is covered for you. Most plans provide options for drug and alcohol treatment to help veterans recover.

Private Insurance Plans

Private health insurance plans can help veterans afford luxury rehab with treatment like case management, adventure therapy, gender-based treatment, and comfortable amenities.

New York private insurance includes State Farm, BlueCross Blue Shield, Cigna, and UnitedHealthcare.

Barriers To Addiction Recovery For New York Veterans

Even with the help of New York’s Department of Veterans Affairs, many active and retired military members may experience barriers to their treatment.

Whether they can’t find appropriate contact information or struggle with the concept of dependency treatment, these issues can make recovery more challenging.

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

  • Waiting for access to a rehab center, as some facilities may have waitlists
  • Inability to raise money or find insurance to cover addiction therapy
  • Poor-quality mental health care in treatment facilities near you
  • No support from loved ones or misunderstanding about your needs
  • Lack of attention from veterans groups in your area
  • Stigma from people in your community that make treatment hard to accept

Thankfully, there are resources that can help New York veterans, including group therapy, primary care support, referrals, and hotline phone number options to call.

Understanding these resources can help you find medical advice, better plan your military insurance, know whether you qualify for Medicare, and find an inpatient or outpatient program.

Resources For New York Veterans

New York veterans may turn to multiple resources to improve their lives in many ways. These resources cover not only addiction and mental health concerns but much more.

Use the following resources if you or a loved one are a veteran in New York experiencing homelessness, job struggles, mental health disorder, or addiction.

New York veterans have access to the following resources:

  • Housing and Support Services  — Veterans in New York experiencing homelessness can use this resource to find temporary housing and support.
  • New York State Office of Mental Health  — Veterans experiencing mental health disorders can reach out to this office to learn more about care options that work for them.
  • Office of Addiction Services and Supports  — New York State provides comprehensive addiction services and support systems for veterans and other residents who need it.
  • Employee Assistance Program  — Anyone looking for a job in New York can use this service to expand their search and improve their chances of finding a new career.
  • New York State Division of Veterans’ Services  — This program helps veterans in New York with multiple services, including mental health and behavioral health support.
  • Women Veterans Support  — Any woman veteran in New York State may use this resource to help with sexual trauma, addiction, and mental health concerns.
  • Discharge Upgrades — This service helps New York veterans improve their discharge, including finding VA benefits to identify a job and living situation after leaving service.

Veterans who need help with treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), or dual diagnosis care may find these resources useful.

Check each option to see whether they apply to your unique treatment needs. You can also help your loved one by connecting them with individuals within these organizations.

Find New York Veterans Substance Abuse Treatment

If you or a loved one are a New York veteran that needs short-term or long-term treatment for addiction, help is available in various treatment options and special programs.

Call us to learn more about substance abuse treatment for veterans, including your treatment plan types, how VA health care can help you, and available support groups.

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