Alcohol and drug misuse can lead to serious health, relationship, employment, and legal problems. Problematic alcohol or drug use can also lead to substance use disorders (SUD). Symptoms of SUD include tolerance, the ability to drink or use greater quantities over time, inability to stop drinking or using in spite of negative consequences, and withdrawal, feeling sick when trying to quit drinking or using drugs. Problems with drinking or drug use may occur in response to stress, or in combination with post traumatic stress disorder, depression, or other medical conditions. Fortunately there are proven methods to help Veterans recover from alcohol or drug misuse, including mutual help groups and other effective treatments.
VHA has many resources to help Veterans and their loved ones answer questions, find support, get treatment, and recover.
- The Drinker’s Check-Up Article: This is an anonymous, self-guided online tool that allows you to develop a better understanding of your drinking, including any risks that it might pose to your health.
- Alcohol Screening & Counseling: Alcohol use does not necessarily mean having an alcohol use disorder. The VA uses tested screening and counseling programs to help Veterans avoid the costly transition from drinking too much to developing alcohol use disorder.
Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help: From NIAAA provides information for patients covering the latest research-based treatments and what to consider when choosing among them.
The Rethinking Drinking web site offers valuable research-based information on drinking habits and how they may affect your health, along with support for making a change.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): Provides information that will help you better understand the health consequences of alcohol abuse and dependence (alcoholism).
MedlinePlus: Provides information to help answer health questions by bringing together information from the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Finds fact sheets, videos, brochures and more within their publications section.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): Features information on drug abuse, drug-related legislation, and more.
National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month: Provides resources throughout the year that help promote the societal benefits of alcohol and drug use disorder treatment.
The Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders Among Military and Veterans article contains information on substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, treatment, and stigmatization.
The Recovery and the Military: Treating Veterans and Their Families webcast examines treatment availability and alcohol and drug addiction treatment options available for veterans and their families.