Many Veterans have problems with the use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Some Veterans abuse street drugs, as well as prescription medications.
Such substance use can harm health, cause mood and behavior problems, hurt social relationships, and cause financial problems. Many people find it difficult to cut down or stop using substances on their own.
VA and Substance Use Programs
Effective treatments for substance use problems are available at VA. Available treatments address all types of problems related to substance use, from unhealthy use of alcohol to life-threatening addictions.
The VA provides effective, scientifically proven services for all eligible Veterans, no matter where they come for services. VA providers know that in many cases substance use problems are continuing conditions that require care over a long period of time. For other Veterans, the substance use problems may be resolved more quickly with attention paid to related problems. Such related problems could be post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, pain, disturbed sleep, irritability, and/or relationship problems.
To help make sure that Veterans can attend VA treatment services, programs offer evening and weekend hours. Residential (live-in) options are available for Veterans who live far away from a VA clinic or have unstable housing. Special programs are often offered for patients with special concerns, such as women, OEF/OIF Veterans, and homeless patients.