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Veteran Drug Rehab in Virginia

Close up of psychotherapist holding hands with soldier during counseling at her office in Virginia

Published: July 24, 2023

According to a recent study, veterans make up over 10% of the population in Virginia. Unfortunately, due to a number of factors, veterans in Virginia and elsewhere tend to have high rates of substance abuse.

The stress and trauma of deployment, common issues like homelessness that veterans face, and co-occurring mental health disorders are all common risk factors that make veterans more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

Fortunately, there are treatment options available for veterans in Virginia who are seeking help. Veterans benefits like VA or TRICARE can help with covering the cost of treatment.

Find out more about specialized veterans rehab programs, resources for veterans in Virginia, and veterans health insurance for drug rehab.

Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Veterans

Veterans tend to see higher rates of substance use disorders than the general population, mostly due to a number of factors. Financial hardship, trauma, and difficulty relating to others can all contribute to substance abuse among veterans.

The following statistics highlight the prevalence of substance abuse in veterans:

  • About 10% of veterans who are returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have a drinking or drug use issue.
  • Veterans are both more likely to drink and more likely to drink heavily than non-veterans.
  • Veterans make up more than 10% of the homeless population in the U.S., and about 7 out of every 10 homeless veterans have a substance use disorder.
  • Of all veterans who enter drug and alcohol rehab, about 65% say that alcohol is the substance they abuse most. This is more than double the rate of the general population.
  • More than 20% of veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also have a substance use disorder.

Scope Of Veterans In Virginia

There are more than 780,000 veterans living in the state of Virginia. Only Alaska has more veterans per capita than Virginia.

Veterans of the gulf war are the largest demographic in Virginia. About 107,000 of Virginia’s veterans are women, or about 12%, which is much higher than the national average of just over 7%.

About 2.3 billion dollars of federal benefits go to helping Virginia veterans each year. The state has 3 VA medical centers, 17 outpatient clinics, 2 state veterans homes, and 23 state benefits offices.

Veteran Risk Factors For Substance Abuse

Both active-duty and retired military veterans tend to be drawn to drug and alcohol use at higher rates than the general population. A number of risk factors are to blame.

Military service can be a high-stress environment and reintegration into civilian life can be difficult.

Risk factors for substance abuse among veterans include:

  • High rates of disability
  • Trouble reconnecting with friends and family after deployment
  • High rates of homelessness
  • Chronic pain
  • Co-occurring mental and behavioral disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Physical injuries and psychological trauma
  • Low employment rates

Addiction Treatment Programs For Veterans In Virginia

Veterans looking for a drug or alcohol treatment center in Virginia will quickly find that there are a lot of options to choose from.

One of the first choices you will need to make is what level of care you need. Addiction specialists can help you make this decision. Depending on your situation, you might enter detoxification, inpatient care, or outpatient treatment.

There are different levels of care within outpatient treatment, including partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs. You might also need to find a sober living arrangement.

Common elements of addiction treatment include detox, group therapy, individual and behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), relapse prevention education, and more.

It is also important to note that some treatment facilities offer special rehab programs just for veterans. Whether you need residential treatment or outpatient care, you should be able to find a rehab facility that offers a veterans treatment program.

Mental Health & Dual Diagnosis Programs For Virginia Vets

Dual diagnoses, also called co-occurring disorders, are common among veterans. A dual diagnosis occurs when someone has both a substance use disorder and a mental health or behavioral health issue.

Treatment programs specifically designed for people with dual diagnoses are available across the state. These programs use treatment methods such as medications and behavioral therapy to address both the addiction and the mental health concerns.

Mental health disorders found alongside substance use disorders in veterans include:

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

Addiction treatment centers that offer co-occurring disorder treatment understand how to treat each diagnosis separately while also treating the whole person.

Where Can You Find Veterans Rehab Programs In Virginia?

Rehab programs that are specifically designed for retired service members are available at various locations in Virginia. VA health centers, major hospitals, and some private and nonprofit alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers might offer veterans programs.

You can look up veterans rehab programs in Virginia using the following resources:

Qualities To Look For In Virginia Veterans Rehab Programs

If you or a loved one is looking for a veterans rehab program in Virginia, you should know what to look for and what to avoid. The best treatment centers have certain quality markers that distinguish them from the rest.

If you are a veteran, you may want to consider finding a program that is specifically designed for retired military service members.

Use the following signs of quality in your search for a treatment center:

  • Accreditation through either the Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • High staff-to-patient ratios
  • High success rates (low rates of relapse among alumni)
  • Positive client testimonials
  • High Google rating
  • Certifications and professional memberships
  • Use of evidence-based treatment practices
  • Specialized veterans’ programs offered

Health Insurance Coverage For Virginia Veterans Drug Rehab

When searching for substance abuse treatment, veterans should never have to worry about the cost of treatment as a barrier to receiving the help they need.

Most drug or alcohol rehab programs for veterans should be covered by TRICARE, VA benefits, or a private Virginia insurance plan.


TRICARE is a type of health insurance that is only offered to military service members, retired military, and their families.

This insurance is similar to Medicaid or Medicare in that it usually has very low or zero out-of-pocket costs. Coverage varies from person to person based on a number of factors.

VA Health Benefits

People who have VA health care coverage should be able to access certain rehab programs in Virginia that allow them to pay for treatment using their VA benefits.

Each veteran is approved for different benefits from the VA and coverage does vary. You can pay for short-term or long-term care with VA benefits.

Private Insurance Plans

Some rehab centers in Virginia only accept private insurance plans. If you are a veteran with private insurance, you can still get treatment covered at a variety of care centers.

Some of the most common health insurance plans in Virginia include:

  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of VA
  • Aetna
  • CareFirst
  • Cigna
  • Innovation Health Plan
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Optima Health Plan
  • Oscar Insurance Company
  • UnitedHealthcare

Barriers To Addiction Recovery For Virginia Veterans

Seeking and finding drug and alcohol rehab is not always easy for veterans. Veterans face many unique barriers that can make it difficult for them to find the care they need.

Waitlists at veterans’ treatment centers, lack of support from loved ones, stigma around receiving treatment, and other factors can all prevent veterans from getting the help they need.

There are, however, plenty of resources available for veterans in Virginia.

Resources For Virginia Veterans

Although veterans face unique challenges, they also have many resources at their disposal. Assistance with homelessness, financial need, employment, insurance, and other services are available in many areas of the state including Richmond, Virginia Beach, and more.

Virginia veterans can find help via the following resources:

  • Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) — The DVS offers a wide array of resources to veterans including housing support, financial assistance, healthcare clinics, family services, and more. There are locations across the state that can be easily found on the website homepage.
  • Virginia Veterans Services Foundation — This foundation works in partnership with state and federal resources to provide services when federal or state funding is not available. They operate on charitable donations and provide a wide array of services including employment help, veterans cemeteries, and care centers.
  • Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (VADARS) — VADARS provides disability services, employment help, and more resources to elders in the state, including senior veterans.

Find Substance Abuse Treatment For Virginia Veterans

If you or a loved one are a veteran in Virginia and you are in need of substance abuse treatment, you are not alone and there are places you can go to get help.

Call our helpline today to learn more about veterans addiction treatment programs in Virginia and to talk to a treatment specialist about the best rehab centers near you.

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