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Veteran Drug Rehab in Washington

Portrait of black soldier woman having therapy meeting with psychologist in Washington

Published: July 25, 2023

Washington is home to hundreds of thousands of veterans. Unfortunately, veterans in Washington and across the U.S. face unique challenges, including high rates of substance abuse.

Trauma, co-occurring mental health disorders, and other factors can cause veterans to abuse drugs and alcohol. Fortunately, Washington is home to many treatment centers that can help veterans with substance use disorders (SUD).

Treatment might include detoxification, inpatient rehab, or outpatient care. Veterans may be able to cover the cost of treatment with military health insurance or VA benefits.

Learn about veterans rehab programs in Washington, forms of health insurance veterans can use to cover the cost of treatment, resources for veterans in the state, and more.

Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Veterans

In Washington and elsewhere, rates of substance abuse are higher among veterans than for the general population.

Homelessness, financial struggles, chronic pain, and more can all contribute to the prevalence of substance abuse in veterans.

These statistics shed light on the way substance abuse affects retired military members:

  • Among veterans with substance abuse, about 1 in 4 deals with illicit drug use while 4 in 5 veterans have an alcohol use disorder.
  • Just over 7% of veterans with substance use disorders abuse both drugs and alchol.
  • About 6.2% of veterans over the age of 18, or 1.3 million people, have a substance use disorder.
  • Over 15% of veterans, or 3.1 million people, have a mental illness.
  • Over 1/3 of veterans with a substance use disorder also has a mental illness.
  • Almost 600,000 veterans misused opioids, including either heroin or prescription drugs, in 2019.
  • Almost 10% of veterans aged 26-49 had a mental illness as of 2019.

Scope Of Veterans In Washington

There are over 580,000 veterans in Washington as of the 2020 Census, and 8.6% of veterans in Washington are female, compared with 7.3% elsewhere.

There are 26 VA facilities in Washington where veterans can go to collect benefits and resources.

Almost 40% of Washington’s veterans served during the Vietnam era. Another 24% served during peacetime only.

Less than 25% of Washington veterans use VA health care, which is lower than the national average of 29%.

Nearly 40% of Washington veterans are 65 years of age or older.

Veteran Risk Factors For Substance Abuse

Veterans have higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse for a number of reasons. The conditions that lead veterans to abuse substances are called risk factors.

Risk factors that contribute to substance abuse among veterans include:

  • Homelessness
  • High rates of disability
  • Mental health disorders
  • Low employment rates and trouble finding work
  • Physical and psychological trauma sustained during service
  • Chronic pain
  • Behavioral health issues
  • Trouble connecting with family and friends after returning home from deployment

Addiction Treatment Programs For Veterans In Washington

Veterans looking for substance abuse treatment services in Washington will have a wide range of options for rehab.

Rehab programs may include inpatient care, outpatient treatment, or detox. They can be short-term or long-term.

There are also special programs available just for veterans seeking substance abuse treatment.

Some treatment programs and services for veterans include:

  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) or partial hospitalization (PHP) programs
  • Special programs for young adults
  • Special programs for veterans
  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Telehealth services
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) using methadone or buprenorphine
  • 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Alcohol rehab
  • Opioid treatment
  • Relapse prevention
  • Sober living homes

Mental Health & Dual Diagnosis Programs For Washington Vets

Co-occurring disorders, also called dual diagnoses, occur when someone has both a substance use disorder and a mental or behavioral health disorder.

Co-occurring disorders are common among veterans. Treating them requires a special understanding of how each disorder can influence the other, and how to approach the situation as a whole.

Mental and behavioral health disorders that co-occur with SUD in veterans include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Panic disorders

Where Can You Find Veterans Rehab Programs In Washington?

If you are looking for a treatment facility that cares for veterans with substance use disorders, there are some reputable places you can go to find the best programs.

Some veterans drug rehab centers are offered through the VA, while others are simply private rehab centers that have programs for veterans.

Whether you live in Seattle, Tacoma, or elsewhere in Washington, you won’t be too far from an accredited rehab center with a veterans-specific program.

Find mental health services and rehab programs for veterans using the following online resources:

Qualities To Look For In Washington Veterans Rehab Programs

There are many options for substance abuse treatment and it can be overwhelming to try to figure out the best rehab program for you.

Some treatment centers use more evidence-based practices and have higher success rates than others. Knowing what to look for in a rehab program is important.

The following attributes are signs of a quality rehab facility:

  • Accreditations from the Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • High staff-to-patient ratios
  • Low relapse rates in alumni
  • Professional memberships and certifications
  • High Google rating
  • Use of evidence-based treatment practices
  • Positive client testimonials
  • Availability of specialized veterans programs

Health Insurance Coverage For Washington Veterans Drug Rehab

Like other aspects of the healthcare system, rehab is expensive. For veterans, there are ways to pay for treatment that can ease the financial burden.

You might be able to use military insurance like TRICARE or VA benefits to pay for rehab. Other times, your private health insurance plan can cover rehab in Washington. Some rehab centers might offer a sliding fee scale or other payment options.


TRICARE is a health insurance plan available to military service members, veterans, and their families.

Everyone covered by TRICARE has different coverage based on a number of factors, so be sure that your rehab program is within your coverage limits.

VA Health Benefits

If you have health benefits through the VA, you might be able to find a rehab program at a VA medical center or elsewhere that offers covered programs.

VA benefits also vary and they might pay for some or all of your treatment.

Private Insurance Plans

Private health insurance plans or government-subsidized plans like Medicaid and Medicare can be used to pay for treatment at most rehab centers in Washington.

Check with the rehab center to see whether they take your insurance.

Barriers To Addiction Recovery For Washington Veterans

Veterans face unique challenges that may make it difficult for them to find or receive substance abuse treatment, even when they need help.

Waitlists for veterans programs, a lack of support from loved ones, and stigma among military members and veterans about mental healthcare can act as barriers to treatment.

There are many resources available for veterans in Washington that can help them to access rehab or other assistance that they might need.

Resources For Washington Veterans

Washington veterans in search of transitional housing, homelessness support, substance abuse treatment, or other services can look to the following organizations for help.

The top resources for veterans in Washington include:

Find Washington Veterans Substance Abuse Treatment

If you or a loved one is a Washington veteran looking to overcome drug or alcohol dependency, you are not alone, and there are rehab centers that can help you.

Call our helpline today to learn about the best veterans rehab centers near you and to talk with a specialist about where to find treatment.

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