Outpatient Rehab for Veterans at Longbranch Recovery

Author: Robert Rynfield | Clinical Reviewer: Emily Meyers, LPC | Editorial Policy Updated: June 13, 2024

Comprehensive Veteran IOP Program at Longbranch Recovery

For veterans struggling with substance abuse issues, finding the right treatment is crucial for their well-being and reintegration into civilian life. Many believe their only option is a residential treatment program, which may not align with their work schedule, lifestyle, or family commitments.

Our outpatient rehab center offers an effective and practical option for many veterans seeking help. Whether you are considering treatment or are supporting a veteran in their journey to recovery, understanding outpatient rehab is essential for informed decision-making.

What is Veterans’ Outpatient Rehab and How Does It Work?

sober living home for veterans

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) for military veterans provide structured treatment for drug and alcohol use without the need for overnight stays. It involves scheduled sessions at a treatment center, where veterans receive therapy and support for their substance abuse disorder while continuing with their daily routines and responsibilities.

Outpatient programs usually consist of at least nine hours per week of treatment time. Typically, veterans attend meetings around three to five times weekly, with sessions lasting from two to five hours each.

In an intensive outpatient program, veterans participate in a range of restorative interventions tailored to their specific needs. These may include individual therapy sessions, group meetings, and family therapy. The flexible nature of an outpatient rehab center allows you to attend sessions while still fulfilling work, family, or educational commitments, making it a practical choice for many military veterans.

Why You Need a Veteran-Specific Outpatient Rehab Program

Veteran-specific outpatient rehab programs are designed to address the unique challenges and experiences of those who have served in the military. These specialized programs understand the impact of military culture, deployment, and combat exposure on mental health and substance abuse. By tailoring treatment to the specific needs of veterans, these programs can provide more effective and relevant care.

Veteran-specific outpatient rehab programs often employ staff members who are veterans themselves or have extensive experience working with military populations. This shared understanding helps create a safe and supportive environment where veterans can feel understood and connect with others who have similar experiences.

What is the Difference in Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment?

Inpatient and outpatient rehab programs cater to the diverse needs of veterans battling substance use disorders. For those facing severe chemical dependency, intensive inpatient detox and rehabilitation with medical supervision may be necessary. Residential treatment programs require participants to live on-site and receive 24/7 care.

However, veterans in less acute stages of dependency who still need support often find outpatient treatment to be a fitting option. Outpatient care can serve as a vital transition or step-down program from inpatient facilities.

Compared to inpatient programs, IOPs are typically more cost-effective because they do not include housing and meal expenses nor entail round-the-clock medical supervision.

What Are the Benefits of an Outpatient Rehab Center for Military Veterans?

sober military vet with his family

Outpatient rehab offers several advantages tailored to the unique needs of veterans:

  • Flexibility: Veterans can attend therapy sessions while maintaining employment, education, and family commitments.
  • Community Integration: By receiving treatment while living at home, veterans can apply their newly acquired coping skills to real-life situations, fostering long-term recovery.
  • Continuity of Care: Outpatient programs often include aftercare services and support groups, helping veterans transition smoothly back into civilian life and providing ongoing assistance as needed.
  • Tailored Treatment: Providers at Longbranch Recovery & Wellness customize treatment plans to address the unique needs and challenges faced by veterans with substance use disorders.

How Long Do Outpatient Addiction Treatment Programs Last?

Outpatient rehab centers offer veterans a flexible and effective treatment option for substance use disorders. Typically, outpatient rehab programs last eight and 12 weeks, providing a structured environment for therapy and veteran support. However, it’s important to note that the duration may vary based on individual progress.

For some veterans, the program may sufficiently address their needs and achieve sobriety and mental health goals. These individuals may respond well to the structured approach of outpatient rehab, benefiting from the support of therapy sessions, group counseling, and other interventions offered during the program.

However, it’s essential to recognize that every veteran’s journey to recovery is unique, and some may require treatment in a residential facility. Factors such as the severity of the substance addiction, co-occurring disorders, and individual progress can influence the duration of outpatient rehab.

Veterans who require additional support may extend their participation in an outpatient rehab center or transition to aftercare programs designed to provide ongoing support. These aftercare programs often include continued therapy sessions, support groups, and other resources to help veterans maintain long-term sobriety.

Addressing Mental Health Challenges Vets Face

Veterans face a range of mental health challenges that can contribute to substance abuse and addiction. Veteran-specific outpatient rehab programs are equipped to address these challenges through targeted interventions and support.

group of vets discussing their recovery

Supporting Veterans with Addiction and Co-Occurring Diagnosis

Many veterans struggling with substance abuse also have co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Outpatient rehab programs that specialize in treating veterans recognize the importance of addressing both addiction and mental health issues simultaneously. By providing integrated treatment, these programs can help veterans develop coping strategies, manage symptoms, and build a strong foundation for lasting recovery.

PTSD and Substance Misuse

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common mental health concern among veterans, and it often co-occurs with substance abuse. Veterans may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and other distressing symptoms of PTSD. Veteran-specific outpatient rehab programs offer trauma-informed care and evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), to help veterans process traumatic experiences and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are another significant concern for veterans, particularly those who have been exposed to explosions or combat-related incidents. TBIs can lead to a range of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral challenges that may contribute to substance abuse. Outpatient rehab programs for veterans are equipped to address the unique needs of individuals with TBIs, providing cognitive rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and other specialized interventions to support recovery.

Service-Related Injuries

Many veterans experience physical injuries during their military service, which can lead to chronic pain and other long-term health issues. When left untreated, these injuries can contribute to the development of substance abuse problems, as veterans may self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to manage pain or cope with the emotional toll of their injuries. Veteran-specific outpatient rehab programs offer pain management strategies, physical therapy, and other interventions to help veterans address service-related injuries and reduce the risk of substance abuse.

Behavioral Therapies Used in Outpatient Treatment

In outpatient rehab, various recovery tools are used to support military veterans’ journeys to wellness:

  1. Group Therapy: Veterans connect with peers who share similar experiences, providing mutual support, understanding, and encouragement.
  2. Individual Therapy: One-on-one counseling sessions allow veterans to address personal challenges, trauma, and underlying issues contributing to their substance abuse or mental health issues.
  3. Family Therapy: Involving loved ones in the addiction treatment process helps strengthen relationships, improve communication, and foster a supportive environment for recovery.
  4. Relapse Prevention: Veterans learn coping skills, stress management techniques, and strategies to identify and avoid triggers, empowering them to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety.

Does Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab Work?

a recovered vet with his loved ones

Research indicates that IOPs can be equally effective as residential addiction treatment, particularly for individuals who are the right fit for these programs. Engaging in intensive outpatient programs for alcohol and drug abuse can contribute to reducing substance abuse, thereby extending periods of sobriety and mitigating the adverse effects of substance abuse on one’s life.

In a national study involving veterans, those who participated in an IOP following detox exhibited a higher likelihood of survival two years later compared to those who were not involved in outpatient rehab. These findings underscore the significant impact of outpatient substance abuse treatment in promoting holistic healing, encompassing the body, mind, spirit, and family dynamics.

By addressing the underlying issues contributing to substance abuse, veterans are better equipped to maintain sobriety. More importantly, it fosters a pathway toward a happier and more peaceful life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Co-occurring Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) are closely connected, with nearly a quarter of veterans diagnosed with PTSD also experiencing SUD. Additionally, about one-third of veterans receiving SUD treatment also have PTSD.

Veterans may turn to alcohol for various reasons, including coping with the stress and trauma associated with military service, transitioning back to civilian life, or managing mental health conditions such as PTSD or military sexual trauma (MST). Moreover, the culture within the military—where consuming alcohol may be normalized or even encouraged in specific contexts—can also influence veterans' drinking behaviors.

Successful addiction recovery requires various coping skills, including developing healthy communication strategies, practicing mindfulness and stress management techniques, cultivating a strong support network, and implementing effective problem-solving skills. Learning to identify and manage triggers, building resilience, and fostering self-awareness are also essential components of addiction recovery. By incorporating these coping skills into daily life, veterans can better cope with cravings, address underlying emotional issues, and build a fulfilling and sustainable recovery journey.