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Veteran Drug Rehab in South Dakota

Sad depressed woman at support group meeting for mental health and addiction issues in South Dakota rehab center

Published: September 4, 2023

Veterans living in South Dakota face many challenges. The trauma they may experience while serving and the difficulties of living as a civilian create a storm of obstacles. Sometimes, this can lead veterans to use substances to cope.

Getting an accurate dual diagnosis may seem impossible if you’re struggling with mental health issues and substance abuse. Add to that the stigmas that may keep you from asking for help or even hunting down a phone number, and it’s easy to feel defeated before you begin.

Thankfully, there are plenty of options for veterans to get help, and the programs are often specifically designed for veterans and may be covered by VA benefits or TRICARE.

Substance Abuse In Veterans

Substance abuse is common among veterans. The stress of deployment, war, and separation from loved ones builds. Veterans often return home with PTSD and struggle to process everything they’ve experienced.

Here are some facts on drug and alcohol abuse among veterans:

  • Over 20% of veterans dealing with PTSD are also fighting SUD.
  • Millions of veterans battle SUD and mental illnesses, with one in three dealing with serious mental illness.
  • Most veterans (75%) dealing with a SUD abuse alcohol.
  • Marijuana is the most common illicit drug misused, followed by psychotherapeutic drugs, methamphetamines, cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, and heroin.
  • Approximately 494,000 veterans misused opioids in 2020, mainly prescription pain relievers like hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine.
  • Over 10% of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan seen at the VA are struggling with alcohol and other substance abuse.

Scope Of Veterans In South Dakota

Over 50,000 vets live in South Dakota, which has a population of over 900,000.

Other facts on South Dakota veterans:

  • The unemployment rate for veterans in South Dakota is 3.5%, slightly higher than the national average of 2.8%.
  • Forty-three veterans who live in the state are homeless.
  • Only 2% of people in South Dakota are or have been treated for substance abuse as of 2021.

Veteran Risk Factors For Drug And Alcohol Addiction

The effects of active duty assignments continue to affect veterans long after their service has ended. Deployments can be high-stress, and the horrors of war can leave invisible scars in addition to visible injuries.

Veterans often turn to alcohol and other substances as a result of their PTSD, making PTSD a risk factor for substance use. Risk factors are things which make a veteran more likely to misuse drugs or alcohol and develop a substance use disorder.

Outside of PTSD, other risk factors for substance abuse in veterans include:

  • Physical health issues (such as combat injuries)
  • Relationship issues
  • Experiencing housing issues
  • Co-occurring mental health issues
  • Job troubles, such as difficulty finding a job after returning to civilian life

Addiction Treatment Programs For Veterans In South Dakota

There are extensive treatment options for veterans who are looking to recover from addiction, including hospitalization. The biggest thing to remember is that many veterans deal with similar issues.

Depending on the severity of your situation, you may choose to participate in inpatient or outpatient treatment programs. You have options for detox, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and even helplines you can call.

Insurance may cover group therapy, counseling services, full or partial hospitalization, or time at alcohol or drug rehab centers.

You will be assessed through various screenings to help shape a treatment program that will fit your needs. As a veteran, you have unique experiences that should be treated by professionals trained to provide appropriate aftercare.

Mental Health & Dual Diagnosis Programs For South Dakota Vets

Over 20% of PTSD diagnoses in veterans include a co-occurring disorder involving substance abuse, and over 30% of veterans treated for SUD are also diagnosed with PTSD. The recommended treatment for a dual diagnosis is behavioral therapy for both conditions.

Treatment for PTSD can be:

  • Prolonged Exposure (PE)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Treatment for SUD can be:

  • Contingency management
  • Relapse prevention
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure (COPE) or targeting symptoms like anger and sleeplessness has also been effective in treating co-occurring disorders in veterans.

Where Can You Find Veterans Rehab Programs In South Dakota?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs lists two facilities in South Dakota for the treatment of SUD:

If you don’t live near one of the options listed above, you can use these tools to find treatment closer to home:

Qualities To Look For In South Dakota Veterans Rehab Programs

There are several hurdles to overcome when seeking treatment — the quality of a veteran rehab program should not be one of them.

You want to know that the treatment facility you choose will invest in your recovery, and that often means investing in the appropriate training and accreditation.
The SAMHSA website lists accredited facilities, and you can also research patient reviews and whether a treatment center in South Dakota uses evidence-based programs to care for patients.

Ideally, facilities will also have a low staff-to-client ratio, allowing staff members to focus on providing excellent services to all patients.

Health Insurance Coverage For South Dakota Veterans Drug Rehab

Veterans who need help dealing with SUD have several payment options in South Dakota. TRICARE is like Medicare or Medicaid but strictly for certain military personnel and their families.

VA Health Benefits are available to most veterans, though coverage type may vary. Private insurance is also an option for some programs.


TRICARE is insurance for active duty military, National Guard and Reservists, retired military, and Medal of Honor recipients and their families, survivors, and former spouses.

Military personnel are automatically entered as Sponsors and must manually enter their family members.

Which recovery services will be covered by TRICARE depends on your individual benefits, so speak with your insurance representative to learn more.

VA Health Benefits

Eligibility for most medical care differs depending on whether a veteran began serving before or after September 7, 1980. For VA services, veterans must enroll, which places them in priority groups.

Treatments are administered based on the availability of services and a group’s placement on the priority list.

Of course, a veteran must also have been honorably discharged from the military to be eligible for VA medical care. Amount of coverage through the VA depends on your level of healthcare benefits.

Private Insurance Plans

If you can’t find a treatment program near you that military insurance covers, you may be able to cover some or all of the cost through private insurance. South Dakota does not offer state health insurance benefits specifically for veterans.

You can also take advantage of care through self-pay.

Barriers To Addiction Recovery For South Dakota Veterans

It’s hard to ask for help. And it’s more complicated when you have to fight through the stigma and hesitations to locate a program to help you overcome addiction and trauma.

If your group at the VA is on a lower priority tier, you may wait longer for treatment. You may also face longer wait times to ensure the facility accepts whatever insurance you use and vice versa.

Fortunately, plenty of resources are available to help you down the difficult road of treatment once you’re ready.

Resources For South Dakota Veterans

Different organizations in the state of South Dakota can help veterans with housing issues, finding substance abuse treatment, employment services, and more.

Here are some top resources for veterans in South Dakota:

Find South Dakota Veterans Substance Abuse Treatment

Life for veterans in South Dakota facing SUD can be better. You don’t have to face this issue on your own, and many resources are available to you.

Reach out through our helpline to be connected to treatment options and to find out how to move forward on the path to sober living.

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