veteran addiction treatment

The VA & Drug Rehab: Paying for Addiction Treatment


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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.

The VA can be an incredible resource for veterans in need of all kinds of support. But does the VA pay for addiction treatment? Learn more about what you can expect when you decide to ask for help for addiction from the VA — for yourself or for a loved one.

What is the VA? 

The VA (technically known as the Veterans Benefits Association) really got its start long before the USA was even a country. In 1636, the American colonies passed a law ensuring support for soldiers who fought against the Indians at the Plymouth Colony in what would become Massachusetts. From there, the country continued to support veterans of other skirmishes and the Civil War. 

Of course, World War 1 created a huge new influx of veterans in need of support. The VA as we know it today was founded in 1930, twelve years after the end of World War 1 and 28 years after the end of the Spanish-American War. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the organization by executive order, highlighting its importance from the highest level. In 1989, President Ronald Reagan elevated the organization to a Cabinet-level executive department, creating the modern VA.

Today, the VA provides a wide range of support for veterans: disability benefits, post-service education or training, employment benefits, pension, housing assistance, life insurance, burials and memorials, and health insurance and medical services. 

Most benefits are solely for veterans themselves, but there are some benefits available for spouses, dependents, survivors, and caretakers of veterans as well.

The VA & Drug Rehab

All veterans have a customized health care benefits package that is shaped by the nature of their service and any wounds acquired in service. However, mental health services at the VA including PTSD and addiction treatment are considered a basic service that is available to most veterans. In fact, more than 1.7 million veterans utilized mental health or addiction services through the VA last year alone.

To take advantage of these services, veterans must start by making an appointment with their primary care provider. They will administer a short screening and recommend next steps for possible treatment, including referral to a mental health care provider or an addiction treatment facility. It’s also possible to access care through the VA’s telehealth program, or — for combat veterans — to visit a VetCenter for help.

Paying for Rehab with TRICARE

The VA does offer some same-day mental health services, but any veteran knows that wait times for care are a big problem for the organization. 

If you want help on your own timeline and at a facility of your choosing, you might want to take a different route. Paying for rehab with TRICARE is also an option for veterans and military families. 

TRICARE is supplementary insurance that fills in the gaps of VA benefits. TRICARE (including its subsidiaries, TriWest, TRICARE East, etc.) operates much like a private insurance provider in that they contract with individual addiction treatment providers to offer services to their clients at affordable prices. Acqua Recovery is proud to be in network with TRICARE, TriWest, TRICARE East, Humana Military, and most other major insurance providers. Call us or verify your benefits online to find out how your insurance will cover residential addiction treatment.

Get Help for Addiction & PTSD

Residential addiction treatment for veterans is designed to stop the cycle of addiction by healing the wounds of war. Our robust clinical program takes a trauma-informed, dual-diagnosis approach to treatment, which means we treat PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other mental and behavioral health disorders as well as substance use disorder. The goal of this treatment is not just to help our vets to find recovery from addiction. Rather, we offer them a path towards renewing hope, rediscovering joy, and reconnection with the people around them — in short, a whole new way to live. Call us or send a chat today to get started.

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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.