Destiny Recovery Centers

Navigating the Veterans Affairs (VA) System to Seek Treatment Services

Navigating the Veterans Affairs (VA) System to Seek Treatment Services

Navigating the Veterans Affairs (VA) System to Seek Treatment Services

Veterans give a whole chapter of their life to serve our country. In the process, they experience things few of their fellow citizens outside the military ever will. Some of these are traumatic, and when the events occur, there is no time to process the things seen, heard, and felt. Our heroes then return and reintegrate into civilian life. For some, this transition is smooth, but many others experience problems. Those individuals deserve all the help they can get. 

Destiny Recovery Center (DRC) partners with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide effective mental health care in an intimate, community-based setting. We work with veterans to help them connect with the system to get the help they need. Here we provide information about the VA system and how we can help you get the care you need.

What Is the VA?

The VA directs programs benefiting veterans and members of their families. It offers education opportunities and rehabilitation services and provides compensation payments for disabilities or death related to military service. This includes mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment for those who need it. 

How Does The VA Relate to Substance Use and Mental Health Treatment?

Unfortunately, issues with mental health, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), SUD, depression, and anxiety disorders, are common. By 2014, the number of veterans receiving compensation for conditions such as these reached over 1.2 million. The VA has many resources to help those who are struggling. If you feel that you need help, this page will link you to an application. 

Veterans may have injuries or illnesses sustained or exacerbated by active military service. In that case, it can be qualified as a “VA service-connected disability” by the Veterans Affairs Department. Mental health issues are just as likely to be considered service-connected disabilities as physical ones. The VA can classify disabilities as primary, meaning it was a direct result of their service, or secondary, meaning a condition that was caused or significantly worsened by a primary disability.

Does the VA Qualify SUD as a Service-Connected Disability?

While the VA currently does not classify SUD as a primary disability, it can classify it as secondary to other issues such as depression, PTSD, other mental health issues, chronic pain, or sleep apnea. For example, if a veteran has severe chronic pain due to an injury, was prescribed opioids, and later became addicted, the VA may qualify that as a secondary condition. 

The same may be true if a veteran with service-related depression has resorted to drinking as a form of self-medication to the point of alcoholism. In clinical terms, this would be considered a “dual diagnosis” and is a condition we treat here at DRC.

The VA may provide you with a disability rating from 0% – 100%. This will be based on the evidence you provide regarding your condition, such as reports from physicians and the VA’s own exam (if it is seen as necessary). If you are given a rating of 70% or above, you may be entitled to compensation. While this can affect the amount of compensation you receive, you do not necessarily need a disability rating to get help from the VA for SUD or mental health issues.

Destiny Recovery Center and Veterans

At DRC, one of our primary missions is to help veterans recover. Our family members have served as well. We want to honor their service by giving back. That is why we partner with the VA as part of their Community Care Network. With our partnership, treatment can be highly specialized based on the individual. We help clients every step of the way. Our veteran peer-support program develops tailored plans for each client, addressing mental health and SUDs.

DRC Bridges the Gap

Often veterans are sent only to a short detoxification stay and then left on their own without addressing the real issues they face. This frequently ends in returning to the same dangerous cycle of addiction and poor mental health. That’s why at DRC, we have a residential inpatient program that takes time to establish a strong foundation, lasting from 30 to 90 days. Here veterans can allow their brain chemistry to readjust, regain physical strength, learn valuable coping skills, and start the process of healing. Our veterans work with a peer-support specialist to create a strong aftercare plan. They can connect with other veterans in recovery and start to rebuild.

Veterans Don’t Always Reach Out to the VA for the Benefits They Could

The VA exists to aid veterans, but for various reasons, many people who are eligible for VA assistance do not actually use it. There are many reasons for this – dislike of red tape or a lack of faith in the system. Another common reason veterans can be reluctant to seek benefits through the VA is they do not think their suffering counts. They may feel that, since what they are struggling with is not a physical wound, they do not deserve care. In reality, they often do deserve the benefits of their service; that’s what they are there for. At DRC, we make it as easy as possible to have the life for which you worked so hard.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drinking, using drugs, depression, or anxiety, you are not alone. If you are a veteran and nothing seems to be going right, you are not forgotten. At Destiny Recovery Center, we have made it our mission to provide a higher level of care for those who have served our country and for the rest of us. Do not spend another hour feeling you are headed toward a dead end. There is so much joy in life on the road to recovery. All you have to do is take that first step and pick up the phone. Call us now at (909) 413-4304.