Alcohol and Drug Misuse
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, which is the ability to drink or use greater quantities over time, compulsive behavior, which is the inability to stop drinking or using in spite of negative life consequences, and withdrawal, which includes feeling sick and distressed when attempting to quit drinking or using drugs. Problems with drinking or drug use may occur in response to stress, or in combination with posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, or other medical conditions. Fortunately there are proven methods to help Veterans recover from alcohol or drug misuse and SUD, including mutual help groups and effective treatment.
VHA has many resources to help Veterans and their loved ones answer questions, find support, get treatment, and recover. Please click on the tabs above to find information on some of these resources.
You may be wondering if you have symptoms of substance use disorder. One way of determining that is to take a brief confidential and anonymous screen. Only you will see the results of the brief screen. None of the results are stored or sent anywhere. You can choose to print a copy of the results for your own records or to give to your physician or a mental health professional.
Abuse of substances such as alcohol, drugs, or tobacco, can lead to increased risk of injuries, accidents, or physical and mental health problems. Although change is difficult, you do not have to do it alone.
Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) In an effort to prevent opioid overdose mortality, the VA developed a national OEND program to train patients on how to prevent, recognize, and respond to an opioid overdose. Below are 5 brief videos that show clinicians discussing OEND with patients and training them on the different VA national naloxone kits.
o Introduction to Naloxone for People with Opioid Use Disorders
o Introduction to Naloxone for People Taking Prescribed Opioids
o How to Use the VA Auto-Injector Naloxone Kit
o How to Use the VA Intranasal Naloxone Kit
o How to Use the VA Intramuscular Naloxone Kit
Mutual Help Organizations
Support for Family and Friends