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Drug Rehab for Veterans: How it Works

By Matt Biekert on July, 18 2022


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Matt Biekert

Matt was born and raised in North Stonington, Connecticut. He has always been a close-knit family guy. When he is not working you can find him outside, playing sports, being a prankster and enjoying a great laugh. His favorite hobbies are playing golf, photography and travel. Matt had his own struggles with addiction and is very proud to share his story of recovery and his passion for the mission of Acqua. He found his way to Acqua in search of treatment – he was actually our second patient!! He was very excited to join our team on his 1 year sobriety anniversary. He likes to say that he helped open the center (as a patient) and we have never been able to get rid of him! [Editor’s note: we hope we keep him forever.] He began at Acqua by helping create a small, Alumni program, and then transitioned to Outreach and marketing, which is a natural for him because he loves to connect with people from all walks of life who are seeking help. In February 2018, Matt was promoted to Admissions Director; because he is so passionate about his work he never feels like it is a job to help guide people on the path to recovery.

For many service members, deployment helps keep bad habits in check. Zero tolerance policies and the possibility of being dishonorably discharged have led to rates of drug use among service members that are far lower than the general population. However, all that changes after deployment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that “reported rates of illicit drug use increase when active duty personnel leave military service.” Many attempt to self-medicate the wounds of war with drugs or alcohol — and it’s getting worse. According to NIDA, “from 2002 to 2009, cannabis use disorders increased more than 50% among veterans.” In addition, the rate of opioid overdose in veterans skyrocketed from 14% in 2010 to 21% in 2016. If you are one of the many veterans struggling with substance abuse — or you know someone who is — drug rehab for veterans could help. Here’s how it works.

Signs of Addiction in Veterans

Returning from deployment is a jarring experience in itself. How can you tell if your drug use is a problem, or just another unexpected aspect of this transition? Instead of looking at how much you’re using, look at how you’re using — and how it affects your life. 

Is your using causing issues with your family or loved ones? Is it keeping you from building your career or doing the things you love? Are you spending money you don’t have on drugs? Put simply, if your drug use is having negative effects on your life and you keep on using, you could have a problem.

The Disease Model of Addiction

That doesn’t mean that addiction is your fault, or something you could overcome if you tried hard enough. Addiction is a complex, chronic brain disease. It is caused by genetic and lifestyle factors, and like other chronic diseases can be hard to beat. Luckily, drug rehab for veterans can help you identify and heal the root causes of your using so you can get clean and sober for good.

Choosing a Drug Rehab for Veterans

Choosing a drug rehab for veterans can be overwhelming. Do you want to go to residential addiction treatment near home or further afield? Would you prefer a same-sex facility or one that is co-ed? What kinds of treatments or activities are important to you? For veterans, choosing a residential addiction treatment facility with special programming for vets is crucial. The best way to find out about a program is to explore a facility’s website or call.You’ll know from talking to the admissions team if it’s a right fit for you.

What Happens in Drug Rehab for Veterans

When you enter drug rehab, you will have a preliminary conversation with the admissions team about your life, your using, and your goals. This allows the professionals on staff to develop a customized treatment plan that is individual to you. Your treatment plan will be updated throughout your stay based on how you are proceeding. A typical treatment plan may include group therapy, one-on-one counseling, and innovative treatments like EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprogramming), which has proven to be effective for veterans suffering from PTSD and addiction.

There also will be plenty of downtime, including leisure activities like fishing, yoga, or gym time. Before long, you will start to remember the joy of life clean and sober.

Paying for Drug Rehab for Veterans 

Paying for drug rehab is easy if you are a veteran. Acqua Recovery is in network with TRICARE, TriWest, TRICARE East, and many other insurance providers who care for veterans. If you’re interested in learning more, contact our team to verify your benefits and find out if a stay at our sanctuary for healing could be covered by your insurance. You deserve to experience true freedom in recovery, and we’re here to help you get there.

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How to Help a Veteran Find Freedom from Addiction

How to Help a Veteran Find Freedom from Addiction

The friends and family of America’s vets understand all too well what it feels like to be consumed with worry and fear for your loved one. When addiction is the foe your vet is facing, it’s even more painful. Addiction is a cunning, baffling, and powerful adversary. Luckily, no one has to face addiction alone – and that includes military families and the loved ones of vets.

Helping a veteran find freedom from addiction is possible for anyone, and it may be even easier than you think.