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What makes veteran substance abuse programs different from civilian rehabs? This is a common question asked by military personnel who are trying to quit drugs or alcohol. And the answer involves many important factors, from the invisible effects of military service to the many benefits of peer-supported recovery.

To fully delve into the advantages of veteran substance abuse programs in Florida, we’re going to look at each level of care and the difference that veteran-led treatment can have. To begin, let’s look at what you can expect from a drug and alcohol detox for veterans.

Medical Detox for Veterans

For both veterans and civilians, quitting drugs and alcohol is difficult. But in early recovery, veterans contend with additional challenges that can make quitting even harder without the aid of veteran substance abuse programs. Specifically, many veterans turn to substance abuse as a means of managing their PTSD or depression symptoms. And when vets try to detox at home, these invisible wounds of war can make it especially challenging.

This is because in veterans who drink or use drugs to cope, they often lack any other coping mechanisms. So when they try to quit, not only do they have to deal with withdrawal symptoms, but they also have a sudden uptick in their mental illness symptoms. With both withdrawals and mental health issues on the attack, it’s no wonder that so many at-home detox attempts fail.


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This is where medical detox for veterans can help. By providing 24/7 medical monitoring, medical staff can keep you comfortable and help manage any withdrawal symptoms that come up. And given that detoxing at home from alcohol and some drugs can be deadly, this is an important factor when considering the care that you need.

Moreover, being in a safe, sober environment can also improve your odds of reaching long-term recovery. With no easy way to relapse and constant support, detoxing becomes much less of a hurdle. And with veterans on staff, Heroes’ Mile creates an atmosphere of peer support and mutual understanding that can make all the difference in the early days of sobriety.

But while medical detox is an important step on the path to recovery, it is just that—a step. Following completing a detox program for veterans, most people will transition to a residential rehabilitation program for vets.

Veteran Residential Rehabilitation Program

If detoxification is where veterans get help for the physical aspect of addiction, then residential rehab is where veterans learn to manage the mental side of chemical dependence. Specifically, they learn to manage both addiction and its underlying causes, such as combat exposure or military sexual trauma.

This is accomplished through on-site therapeutic activities like:

Through these treatment options, veterans can work with other vets to overcome both addiction and its causes. At Heroes’ Mile in DeLand, Florida, we have many veterans on staff to help you receive support both from military personnel in early recovery and veterans who have achieved sobriety. In this way, you can receive support from people in your veteran substance abuse program who empathize and understand what you’re going through.

Sadly, civilian rehabs often cannot offer the same care. Many of these addiction treatment centers do not address mental health concerns, which can leave the underlying issues unaddressed. And just as concerning, civilian rehabs rarely have veterans on staff, let alone more than one. Without peer-to-peer support at a veteran substance abuse program, recovery can be much harder for veterans, who may feel that civilians can’t understand or relate to their experiences.

The foundation for long-term sobriety is layed during residential rehabilitation for veterans. But many veterans find that as they transition back to regular life, they need continue support during this dangerous adjustment period.

Outpatient Veteran Substance Abuse Programs

After completing residential rehab, outpatient programming provides continued care to veterans who are learning to stay sober on their own. For example, outpatient veteran substance abuse programs might focus on helping vets find ways to implement the coping skills that they learned in residential rehab. But there are different types of outpatient care available, depending on the individual veteran’s needs.

Partial hospitalization programming is a high-level outpatient program where veterans receive counseling and group support for up to five hours per day while living at home. This is ideal for immediately after residential treatment, since it can keep veterans focused on recovery while they adjust to normal life.

Either alternatively or following partial hospitalization treatment, intensive outpatient programming is a popular veteran substance abuse program. With less of a time commitment, veterans have one to two hours of treatment per day, which is helpful as veterans return to work, school, and other obligations. By continuing care through a Florida intensive outpatient program, veterans give themselves the tools necessary to stay sober in the long term.

Veteran Rehab in DeLand, Florida

When it comes to addiction recovery, veteran substance abuse programs offer care that civilian rehabs just can’t match. The battle against addiction is hard and never seems to end, but it becomes so much easier with the support of other veterans who are fighting alongside you. At Heroes’ Mile, it’s our mission to help veterans use their shared bonds and evidence-based treatments to defeat addiction for good.

If you’d like to learn more about how our veteran rehab can serve you, call our admissions specialists at 888-838-6692 or fill out our confidential contact form. The fight against addiction is never easy, but the burden is easier to carry when you aren’t doing it alone.


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