Understanding the Needs of Veterans in Addiction Recovery

Servicewoman having headache. Curly servicewoman having headache while reminding tough moments

At 12 South Recovery, we deeply understand the multifaceted challenges that veterans encounter in their pursuit of sobriety. Serving one’s country often involves exposure to high-stress environments, traumatic experiences, and physical injuries, all of which can contribute to the development of substance abuse disorders. As veterans transition to civilian life, they may face additional hurdles such as social isolation, difficulties in adjusting to civilian routines, and challenges in accessing appropriate healthcare services. Recognizing and addressing these unique needs is fundamental to providing effective addiction treatment and support for veterans.

The Impact of Military Service on Addiction

Veterans are disproportionately affected by substance abuse compared to the general population. The demands of military service, including combat exposure, long deployments, and separation from family, can contribute to the development of mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. These mental health conditions often co-occur with substance abuse, as individuals may turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of coping with their symptoms. Additionally, the prevalence of chronic pain resulting from injuries sustained during service can lead to the misuse of prescription opioids, further exacerbating the risk of addiction.

Combat Trauma and PTSD

Combat trauma is a significant contributing factor to addiction among veterans. Experiencing life-threatening situations, witnessing the injury or death of comrades, and engaging in combat activities can leave lasting psychological scars. Many veterans develop PTSD, a debilitating condition characterized by intrusive memories, hypervigilance, and emotional numbing. Individuals with PTSD are more likely to engage in substance abuse as a way to self-medicate and alleviate their symptoms. Moreover, the stigma surrounding mental health issues within the military culture may prevent veterans from seeking help for their PTSD and substance abuse, leading to a cycle of self-destructive behavior.

Physical Injuries and Pain Management

Injuries sustained during military service, particularly those resulting from combat or training exercises, can have long-term consequences for veterans. Chronic pain conditions, such as musculoskeletal injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and nerve damage, are common among veterans and can significantly impact their quality of life. To manage their pain, veterans may be prescribed opioid medications, which carry a high risk of dependence and addiction. The use of opioids to alleviate physical pain can quickly escalate into substance abuse, especially in individuals with a history of trauma or co-occurring mental health disorders.

Mental Health Disorders and Substance Abuse

Veterans are at an increased risk of developing mental health disorders due to their exposure to trauma and stressors unique to military service. Depression, anxiety, and PTSD are among the most prevalent mental health conditions affecting veterans, often co-occurring with substance abuse disorders. The interplay between mental health disorders and addiction can complicate the recovery process, as underlying psychological issues must be addressed alongside substance use behaviors. Integrated treatment approaches that address both mental health and addiction are essential for achieving long-term recovery and improving veterans’ overall well-being.

The Role of Tricare Insurance in Supporting Veterans

Tricare insurance plays a vital role in providing comprehensive coverage for addiction treatment services for veterans and their families. Tricare offers several benefits that make it an attractive option for veterans seeking help for substance abuse:

  • Coverage for a Range of Services: Tricare typically covers a wide array of addiction treatment services, including detoxification, residential rehabilitation, outpatient programs, and medication-assisted therapy (MAT). This comprehensive coverage ensures that veterans have access to the level of care they need to address their substance abuse issues effectively.
  • Minimal Out-of-Pocket Costs: With Tricare insurance, veterans may have minimal or no out-of-pocket expenses for addiction treatment, depending on their specific plan and eligibility. This financial assistance makes it easier for veterans to access the care they need without worrying about the financial burden.
  • Access to Quality Providers: Tricare has a vast network of healthcare providers, including addiction treatment facilities, counselors, and healthcare professionals specializing in veterans’ mental health. Veterans can choose from a range of accredited providers, ensuring that they receive high-quality, evidence-based care tailored to their unique needs.
  • Continuum of Care: Tricare supports veterans throughout the entire continuum of care, from the initial assessment and detoxification phase to long-term maintenance and aftercare. This comprehensive approach to treatment promotes sustained sobriety and helps veterans achieve lasting recovery.

Other Payment Options for Veterans

While Tricare Insurance Is An Excellent Option For Veterans Seeking Addiction Treatment, We Understand That It May Not Be Accessible To Everyone. Therefore, We Offer Alternative Payment Options To Ensure That All Veterans Can Receive The Help They Need:

  • Private Insurance: Many Veterans May Have Private Insurance Policies Through Their Employers Or Other Sources. We Work With Various Insurance Providers To Maximize Coverage And Minimize Out-Of-Pocket Expenses For Our Clients.
  • Payment Plans: We Offer Flexible Payment Plans Tailored To Individual Financial Situations, Allowing Veterans To Spread The Cost Of Treatment Over Manageable Installments. Our Goal Is To Make Addiction Treatment Affordable And Accessible To All Veterans, Regardless Of Their Financial Circumstances.
  • Scholarships And Grants: In Certain Cases, Scholarships Or Grants May Be Available To Assist Veterans Who Are Unable To Afford Treatment. These Financial Assistance Programs Can Help Cover The Cost Of Treatment, Making It More Accessible To Veterans In Need.
  • Sliding Scale Fees: We Understand That Financial Circumstances Vary Among Veterans, And We Offer Sliding Scale Fees Based On Income Levels. This Ensures That Cost Is Not A Barrier To Accessing Quality Addiction Treatment Services, And Veterans Can Receive The Care They Need Without Undue Financial Strain.

Call Us Today!

Ready to take the first step towards recovery? Contact us at 12 South Recovery today at 866-860-3471 to speak with our experienced admissions team and explore your treatment options.


Tricare typically covers a wide range of addiction treatment services, including detoxification, residential rehabilitation, outpatient programs, and medication-assisted therapy.

You can contact Tricare directly or reach out to our admissions team, who can assist you in verifying your coverage and explaining your benefits.

While Tricare often covers the majority of addiction treatment costs, there may be minimal out-of-pocket expenses depending on your specific plan and deductible.

You will typically need to provide your Tricare insurance card and any relevant personal identification documents during the admissions process.

Yes, we work with a variety of insurance providers to maximize coverage for our clients. Contact our admissions team to discuss your insurance options.

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