If you struggle with addiction, numerous treatment options can help you recover. In veteran addiction treatment, inpatient rehab programs can be an invaluable resource because they provide a structured daily schedule that removes veterans from stressors and triggers in everyday life. If you’re looking for addiction treatment programs, an inpatient rehab may be a good option.

What To Look For in Veteran Rehab

Inpatient rehab programs for veterans vary in the type of services they provide. When you’re searching for a treatment program, some essential factors to consider include:

  • Accreditation: Accredited inpatient rehab programs have met or exceeded rigorous quality standards. Choosing an accredited program gives you peace of mind because you’ll know the facility offers quality services. 
  • Credentialed staff: You should always choose a facility that employs credentialed treatment staff, such as psychologists, clinical social workers and physicians specializing in addiction treatment. Support staff may not always be credentialed, but the treatment team overseeing your care should have education and licensure in addiction treatment. 
  • Dual diagnosis services: Inpatient rehab programs offering dual diagnosis services can treat addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders at the same time. This can be important for veterans with addictions, as co-occurring mental health disorders are common in this population. Research has found that 55%–68% of veterans with symptoms of PTSD also have an alcohol addiction, so dual diagnosis treatment is essential.

Therapy options: Given the high prevalence of PTSD in veterans and the overlap between PTSD and addiction, inpatient rehab programs offering specialized therapies to treat PTSD can be beneficial. Look for programs that provide cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy and EMDR, which have been found effective for treating PTSD.

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Veteran Recovery Is Our Mission

The Recovery Village is an industry-leading treatment provider for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. 

  • Experienced clinicians: Our clinicians are specially trained in trauma-informed care, military culture and treating veteran-specific addiction and mental health needs.
  • Dual diagnosis: We treat addiction and mental health disorders like PTSD, anxiety or depression simultaneously for a better recovery.  
  • EMDR: A revolutionary treatment available at several facilities, EMDR therapy alleviates mental pain and emotional recession from trauma, which can lead to better outcomes for your addiction.
  • FORTITUDE: Our specialty track for veterans and first responders at select facilities puts you in exclusive group therapy sessions with your peers. 

If you’re a veteran struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, our Veteran Advocates can help you navigate your VA health insurance and get you the help you need.

Types of Veteran Inpatient Rehab Programs

Different types of veteran inpatient rehab programs exist. For example, some programs offer veterans-only treatment so you can navigate through treatment with peers experiencing similar challenges. Other programs may offer trauma-informed services to veterans and non-veteran patients so veterans are intermixed with those not in the military community. 

Another factor to consider is the length of the program. Some inpatient programs are short-term, lasting 14–28 days, whereas others may last up to three months. Veterans with a more severe addiction or who lack supportive, safe housing within the community may benefit from a longer-term inpatient program. 

Finding Veteran-Centric Inpatient Rehab

Veterans searching for inpatient rehab programs benefit from facilities that provide veteran-centric care. In some cases, this may mean the program is offered only to veterans; in other cases, the facility may treat veteran and non-veteran populations, but they offer programming designed specifically for the needs of veterans. 

You can locate veteran-centric inpatient care through the VA, which offers many resources for veterans struggling with substance abuse. The VA provides inpatient care, medical detox, medication-assisted treatment and outpatient services. 

The Comprehensive Veteran Addiction Plan

When veterans participate in inpatient addiction rehab, they receive a comprehensive addiction treatment plan. This process begins with an assessment, during which treatment center staff gather information about the veteran’s medical history and history of addiction-related symptoms, including the veteran’s: 

  • History in the service
  • Family background 
  • Living situation

After the assessment, the treatment team will develop a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the concerns that brought the veteran to rehab. This plan will include goals and services to address them. Veterans may begin with medical detox to manage withdrawal symptoms and move on to other services, including: 

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Support groups 
  • Medication management

Once a veteran’s time in inpatient care ends, it’s important for them to develop an aftercare plan with their treatment team. This plan includes services the veteran will continue participating in after being discharged home. For example, veterans may continue to receive outpatient counseling services and attend support groups for relapse prevention. 

Tailoring Treatment to Veterans’ Needs

Addiction treatment plans should be tailored to veteran’s specific needs. During their time in the service, veterans experience unique challenges, such as stress related to deployment and combat exposure and difficulties reintegrating into civilian life. Treatment plans for veterans should consider how these challenges contribute to addiction. 

Team Approach To Veteran Rehab

Quality veteran rehab programs offer a team approach to treatment, meaning multiple professionals will work together to meet your needs. For instance, you may have a doctor who prescribes medication, a therapist who meets with you individually to discuss coping mechanisms and a case manager who coordinates your services. Think of these team members as similar to the different specialties in the military; all of these positions work together to achieve the same goal of helping you recover from addiction. 

Therapy That Works for Veterans

Veteran addiction programs typically offer a combination of individual and group therapy, but specific treatments are available. The following trauma-informed approaches have been shown to be effective for veterans:

  • Cognitive processing therapy (CPT): CPT is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that helps people identify negative thoughts related to trauma and learn how these thoughts cause distress. Over time, negative thoughts are replaced with healthier ways of thinking. 
  • EMDR: EMDR helps patients reprocess trauma by making eye movements or following hand taps while recalling traumatic memories. The belief is that this reprocessing reduces the psychological disruption caused by trauma. 
  • Prolonged Exposure (PE): PE requires patients to confront trauma memories in a safe, clinical setting so they can change how they react to these memories. 

Peer Support in Veteran Rehab

Peer support groups can play a central role in veteran addiction treatment. During support group meetings, veterans can develop a sense of camaraderie and learn from peers experiencing the same challenges. 

Using VA Health Insurance: The Community Care Network

Sometimes, veterans may prefer to attend an inpatient rehab program that isn’t associated with a VA medical facility. Or, they may require treatment at such a facility if the VA cannot offer quality care close to the veteran’s home.

If you need to seek care from a private provider outside of a VA medical center, you can access services from the Community Care Network (CCN). When you receive treatment at a facility like The Recovery Village, which is part of the CCN, the VA will cover your treatment cost as long as you’ve received pre-authorization for services. 

Navigating the VA Community Care Process

When you decide to use VA CCN benefits to access inpatient rehab, following the proper steps to ensure that the VA will cover your treatment is important. Consider these steps:

  1. Talk with your VA doctor about beginning the “consult creation and review” process, in which your doctor refers you to the inpatient treatment center. This request, called the consult, will be sent to the Community Care department for review.
  2. Once the Community Care department approves your consult, they will contact you, reach out to the inpatient treatment provider to ensure they’re in-network and schedule your initial appointment.
  3. The VA will authorize your appointment and send you a letter about where you’re approved to seek care. The letter will include information about the approved length of care and the types of treatment you can receive.
  4. You can begin your treatment and participate in care for as long as authorized by the VA. If you require care beyond what was initially approved, you’ll need to receive re-authorization. 

If you have questions about accessing services through the VA Community Care Network, our Veteran Advocates at The Recovery Village can walk you through the process.

Finding Nearby Veteran Inpatient Rehab: 10 Questions To Ask

When you’re searching for quality veteran addiction treatment, it can be helpful to ask these 10 questions before choosing an inpatient facility:

  1. Do you accept VA insurance?
  2. How long does your program last?
  3. What kind of therapy services do you offer?
  4. Do you provide veteran-specific treatment?
  5. Does your facility treat only veterans, or do you also treat non-veterans?
  6. What sort of trauma-informed services do you offer?
  7. Do you have an on-site medical detox program?
  8. Is your facility accredited?
  9. What types of professionals will be a part of my treatment team?
  10. If non-veterans are in your program, will they be a part of my support groups?

Learning the answers to these questions can help you decide if a particular treatment program is a good fit for you. For example, programs that accept your insurance, offer veteran-specific treatment and provide trauma-informed services are likely a good fit. Answers to other questions, such as the types of professionals on your treatment team and the length of the program, can help you decide whether a rehab facility meets your unique needs. 

FORTITUDE: A Specialty Rehab Track for Veterans and First Responders. 

Veteran-centric inpatient rehab programs provide the specialized treatment that veterans need. At The Recovery Village, we offer the FORTITUDE Program, which provides addiction treatment services specifically designed to meet the needs of veterans and first responders. 

Our staff is trained in trauma-informed therapies, including EMDR, and we offer exclusive peer support groups for veterans and first responders. We also provide co-occurring disorders treatment to address mental health conditions like depression, anxiety and PTSD that can occur with addiction.
Reach out to us today to speak to a Veteran Advocate.

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Editor – Theresa Valenzky
Theresa Valenzky graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts in News/Mass Media Communication and a certificate in psychology. She is passionate about providing genuine information to encourage and guide healing in all aspects of life. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Jenni Jacobsen, LSW
Dr. Jenni Jacobsen is a licensed social worker through the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. She has over seven years working in the social work field, working with clients with addiction-related and mental health diagnoses. Read more

Dworkin, Emily; Bergman, Hannah; Walton, Thomas; Walker, Denise; Kayden, Debra. “Co-Occurring Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder in U.S. Military and Veteran Populations“>Co-Occur[…]n Populations.” Alcohol Research, 2018. Accessed October 2, 2023. 

Reisman, Miriam. “PTSD Treatment for Veterans: What’s Working, What’s New, and What’s Next“>PTSD Tre[…]What’s Next.” Pharmacy & Therapeutics, October 2016. Accessed October 2, 2023. 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Substance use treatment for Veterans.”“>Substanc[…] Veterans.” October 12, 2022. Accessed October 2, 2023.

Teeters, Jenni; Lancaster, Cynthia; Brown, Delisa; Back, Sudie. “Substance use disorders in military veterans: prevalence and treatment challenges“>Substanc[…]nt challenges.” Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, 2017. Accessed October 2, 2023. 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Community Care Network“>Communit[…] Care Network.” April 5, 2023. Accessed October 2, 2023. 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Quick Facts: Community Care for Routine Needs.“>Quick Fa[…]outine Needs.” October 13, 2022. Accessed October 2, 2023.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.