Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Mental Health

Quick Links

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

Substance Use

A decorative banner with a collage of diverse people.

Overview

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.

Screening
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.

The Drinker’s Check-Up* is another anonymous self-guided online tool that allows you to develop a better understanding of your drinking, including any risk that it might pose to your health.

VA Programs & Services

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.

  • VA SUD Program Locator: The program locator will help you find local VA Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment Programs.
  • • Effective treatments for substance use problems are available at the VA. Available treatments address all types of problems related to substance use, from unhealthy use to life-threatening addictions. The Summary of VA Treatment Programs for Substance Use Problems page provides you with information on the treatment programs the VA uses.
  • Smoking and Tobacco Use Cessation: The VA’s Office of Public Health and Environmental Hazards site provides information on quitting, preventing, and treating smoking and tobacco use for veterans, their families and health professionals.
  • MakeTheConnection.net: Visit this site to view hundreds of stories from Veterans of all service eras who have addressed their substance use and overcome mental health challenges. MakeTheConnection.net is a one-stop resource where Veterans and their families and friends can privately explore information on mental health issues, hear fellow Veterans and their families share their stories of resilience, and easily find and access the support and resources they need.
    • Watch video testimonials from Veterans who have found effective solutions to dealing with alcohol and drug problems, and to learn more about their experiences finding treatment and recovery.

    MTC

Articles & Fact Sheets

Articles

  • 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 misuse does not necessarily mean being an alcoholic. The VA uses tested screening and counseling programs to help Veterans avoid the costly transition from drinking too much to developing alcohol use disorder.

Other Resources

Help for Homeless Veterans: 877-4AID-VET  VA Health Care: Apply Now Caregiver Support: 855-260-3274 eBenefits: My Gateway to Benefit Information
Find out if you’re eligible: Health Benefits Explorer Veterans Health Benefits Guide Veterans Health Library Women Veterans Call Center: 1-855-VA-WOMEN