Inpatient Addiction Treatment for Veterans

Author: Robert Rynfield | Clinical Reviewer: Emily Meyers, LPC | Editorial Policy Updated: June 14, 2024

Longbranch Recovery’s Comprehensive Residential Addiction Treatment Program for Veterans

According to studies, nearly 1 in 10 veterans seeking first-time care from the Veterans Health Administration has a diagnosed substance use disorder. The combination of the invisible wounds of war and the challenges of transitioning back to civilian life leaves many veterans particularly vulnerable to addiction. This highlights the urgent need for targeted interventions and specialized treatment programs to address the unique challenges faced by this population.

That’s why at Longbranch Recovery, we have developed a specialized inpatient rehab program designed specifically for veterans battling addiction. Our team of experienced professionals, many of whom are veterans themselves, is dedicated to providing the compassionate, evidence-based care that our nation’s heroes deserve for overcoming . 

The Connection Between Veterans and Addiction

High Rates of Substance Abuse Among Veterans

Substance abuse is a pervasive problem among the veteran population, with rates of alcohol and drug use disorders significantly higher than those found in the general public. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, veterans are at a higher risk of developing substance use disorders due to a variety of factors, including combat exposure, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, and difficulties readjusting to civilian life. 

men during military mission

Difficulty Acknowledging the Need for Help

One of the most significant barriers to veterans seeking treatment for addiction is the difficulty in acknowledging the need for help. The military culture emphasizes strength, resilience, and self-reliance, which can make it challenging for veterans to admit when they are struggling. 

Many veterans view seeking help as a sign of weakness, fearing that it will negatively impact their reputation or career prospects. This mindset, combined with the stigma surrounding addiction and mental health issues in the military, can prevent veterans from reaching out for the support they desperately need.

Stigma Surrounding Addiction and Mental Health in the Military

The stigma associated with addiction and mental health issues in the military is a critical factor contributing to the high rates of substance abuse among veterans. Despite efforts to increase awareness and reduce stigma, many veterans still fear the consequences of disclosing their struggles with substance use or mental health disorders. 

High Rates of Substance Abuse Among Veterans

Substance abuse is a pervasive problem among the veteran population, and it’s not just alcohol abuse, but drug use disorders as well are significantly higher than those found in the general public. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, veterans are at a higher risk of developing substance use disorders due to a variety of factors, including combat exposure, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, and difficulties readjusting to civilian life. 

Difficulty Acknowledging the Need for Help

One of the most significant barriers to veterans seeking treatment for addiction is the difficulty in acknowledging the need for help. The military culture emphasizes strength, resilience, and self-reliance, which can make it challenging for veterans to admit when they are struggling. 

Many veterans view seeking help as a sign of weakness, fearing that it will negatively impact their reputation or career prospects. This mindset, combined with the stigma surrounding addiction and mental health issues in the military, can prevent veterans from reaching out for the support they desperately need.

Stigma Surrounding Addiction and Mental Health in the Military

The stigma associated with addiction and mental health issues in the military is a critical factor contributing to the high rates of substance abuse among veterans. Despite efforts to increase awareness and reduce stigma, many veterans still fear the consequences of disclosing their struggles with substance use or mental health disorders. 

What is Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab is a comprehensive, residential treatment program that provides 24/7 care and support for individuals struggling with addiction. Unlike outpatient treatment, which allows veterans to return home after therapy sessions, inpatient rehab requires individuals to live at the treatment facility for the duration of the program. 

Benefits of a Structured, Immersive Environment

The structured, immersive environment of inpatient rehab offers numerous benefits for veterans seeking to overcome addiction. By residing at the treatment facility, veterans have access to around-the-clock medical supervision and support, ensuring their safety and well-being throughout the recovery process. 

The structured schedule, which includes a balance of therapy sessions, group activities, and personal time, helps veterans develop healthy routines and coping strategies.

Types of Inpatient Rehab Programs

Residential Rehab

Residential rehab is a type of inpatient treatment program that provides a home-like environment for veterans seeking to overcome addiction. These programs typically offer a longer duration of stay, ranging from 30 to 90 days or more, depending on the individual’s needs. Residential rehab allows veterans to fully immerse themselves in the recovery process, providing a safe and supportive space to address the underlying issues contributing to their substance use.

Specialized Tracks for Veterans and First Responders

baby and daddy together enjoying the weather

Some inpatient rehab programs offer specialized tracks designed specifically for veterans and first responders. These tracks recognize the unique challenges and experiences of these populations, providing tailored treatment approaches that address their specific needs. Specialized tracks may incorporate elements such as trauma-informed care, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for PTSD, and peer support from other veterans or first responders in recovery.

Dual-Diagnosis Programs for Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

Many veterans struggling with addiction also have co-occurring mental health disorders, such as PTSD, depression, or anxiety. Dual-diagnosis programs are designed to address both the substance use disorder and the underlying mental health issues simultaneously. These programs employ an integrated treatment approach, combining evidence-based therapies, medication management, and holistic interventions to promote comprehensive healing and recovery.

Gender-Specific Programs for Male and Female Veterans

Gender-specific programs for male and female veterans recognize the distinct challenges and experiences that each gender faces in relation to addiction and recovery. These programs create a safe and supportive environment where veterans can openly discuss sensitive topics and bond with peers who share similar backgrounds.

Benefits of Veteran-Focused Addiction Treatment

Treating Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders Like PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety

Many veterans struggling with addiction also have co-occurring mental health disorders, such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Inpatient rehab programs that offer dual-diagnosis treatment can effectively address these mental health concerns alongside substance abuse. By providing integrated care that targets both issues simultaneously, veterans can experience significant improvements in their overall well-being and quality of life.

Building a Strong Foundation for Long-Term Recovery

Inpatient rehab helps veterans build a strong foundation for long-term recovery by equipping them with the tools, skills, and support they need to maintain sobriety. Through evidence-based therapies, life skills training, and relapse prevention planning, veterans can develop effective coping strategies and learn how to navigate the challenges of everyday life without turning to substances.

Providing a Safe, Supportive Environment for Healing

One of the most significant benefits of inpatient rehab for veterans is the safe and supportive environment it provides for healing. Veterans can focus solely on their recovery without the distractions and triggers of the outside world. They are surrounded by a caring team of professionals who understand their unique needs and experiences, as well as a community of peers who offer encouragement and support throughout the recovery process.

What to Expect from Our Veteran’s Residential Program

24/7 Medical Supervision and Support

At our veterans addiction treatment center, we offer 24/7 medical supervision and support to ensure the safety and well-being of our clients. Our experienced medical team is trained to handle the complex needs of veterans in recovery, providing round-the-clock care and monitoring to manage withdrawal symptoms, address any co-occurring health issues, and respond to emergencies.

Evidence-Based Therapies Tailored to Veterans’ Needs

We utilize a range of evidence-based therapies that are tailored to meet the specific needs of veterans. These therapies may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD. By using scientifically-validated treatment methods that have been proven effective for veterans, we can help our clients achieve the best possible outcomes in their recovery journey.

Holistic Approaches to Healing the Mind, Body, and Spirit

In addition to traditional therapies, we also incorporate holistic approaches to healing the mind, body, and spirit. These may include mindfulness and meditation practices, yoga, art therapy, and outdoor experiential activities. By addressing the whole person and promoting overall wellness, we aim to help veterans develop a strong foundation for lasting recovery and improved quality of life.

Common Inpatient Rehab Therapies for Military Vets

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a widely used evidence-based treatment that helps veterans identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to substance abuse. Through CBT, veterans learn to recognize triggers, develop healthy coping strategies, and build problem-solving skills to maintain long-term recovery.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is another effective treatment approach that helps veterans manage intense emotions, improve interpersonal relationships, and develop distress tolerance skills. DBT can be particularly beneficial for veterans struggling with co-occurring mental health disorders, such as borderline personality disorder or chronic suicidal ideation.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a specialized therapy designed to help veterans process and heal from traumatic experiences. EMDR works by stimulating the brain’s natural healing processes, allowing veterans to reprocess traumatic memories in a safe and controlled environment. This therapy can be highly effective in treating PTSD and other trauma-related disorders that often co-occur with substance abuse.

Group Therapy and Peer Support

black family enjoying a normal afternoon

Group therapy and peer support are essential components of inpatient rehab for veterans. In group sessions, veterans can share their experiences, challenges, and successes with others who have gone through similar struggles. This sense of camaraderie and understanding can be incredibly validating and empowering, helping veterans feel less alone in their journey towards recovery.

Family Therapy and Education

Family therapy and education are crucial aspects of inpatient rehab for veterans, as addiction often affects not only the individual but also their loved ones. Family therapy sessions provide a safe space for veterans and their families to communicate openly, rebuild trust, and develop strategies for supporting one another throughout the recovery process.

N.O.R.A. House: Treatment Designed for the Military Community

At Longbranch Recovery, we are proud to introduce N.O.R.A. House, our specialized inpatient rehab program designed exclusively for veterans. Our team of experienced professionals, many of whom are veterans themselves, understands the unique challenges and needs of this population. We have created a program that combines evidence-based therapies, holistic approaches, and a deep understanding of military culture to provide the most effective and compassionate care possible.

Because “No One Recovers Alone”

The name “N.O.R.A. House” stands for “No One Recovers Alone,” reflecting our core belief that recovery is a journey best taken with the support and guidance of others. We understand that many veterans may feel isolated or disconnected from civilian society, and our program aims to foster a sense of community and belonging that is essential for long-term recovery. 

Features of the N.O.R.A Program

Our N.O.R.A. House program offers a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to addiction treatment that is tailored to the unique needs of veterans. Key features of our program include:

  • Trauma-informed, dual-diagnosis approach: We recognize the significant impact of trauma on addiction and mental health, and our clinical team is trained in evidence-based practices to address both issues simultaneously.
  • Treating the whole person: body, mind, spirit, and family: Our holistic approach to treatment considers all aspects of a veteran’s well-being, including their physical health, emotional resilience, spiritual needs, and family relationships.
  • Licensed clinicians with expertise in veteran care: Our team of experienced professionals includes licensed clinicians who specialize in working with veterans and have a deep understanding of the unique challenges and experiences of this population.
  • Importance of family involvement and support: We believe that family involvement is crucial to the recovery process, and we offer family therapy sessions, educational workshops, and support groups to help veterans and their loved ones heal together.

What to Consider When Look for a Veterans Addiction Treatment Center

Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma-informed care is a critical component of effective addiction treatment for veterans. Many veterans have experienced significant trauma during their military service, such as combat exposure, physical injuries, or military sexual trauma. These experiences can have a lasting impact on their mental health and contribute to the development of substance use disorders. 

Trauma-informed care recognizes the pervasive nature of trauma and seeks to create a safe, supportive environment that promotes healing and resilience. Treatment providers must be trained to understand the unique needs of veterans with trauma histories and to use evidence-based practices that help them process and cope with their experiences.

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders

man overcoming mental health challenges

Dual-diagnosis treatment is essential for veterans who struggle with both addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders, such as PTSD, depression, or anxiety. These conditions often interact with and exacerbate one another, making it crucial to address them simultaneously. 

Integrated treatment approaches that combine addiction treatment with mental health services have been shown to be more effective than treating each condition separately. Inpatient rehab programs that offer dual-diagnosis treatment can provide veterans with the comprehensive care they need to achieve lasting recovery and improved overall well-being.

Accessibility and Insurance Coverage

Accessibility and insurance coverage are critical considerations for veterans seeking addiction treatment. Many veterans may face barriers to accessing care, such as limited transportation, financial constraints, or a lack of awareness about available resources. Inpatient rehab programs must strive to make their services as accessible as possible, offering assistance with transportation, flexible payment options, and clear information about insurance coverage.