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VA » Health Care » Mental Health » Substance Use: Next Step
Substance Use: Next Step
Take the Next Step
Whether you are worried about your own substance use or that of someone you care about, VA has many options to help you take the next step. Explore the following resources to help you get started.
Schedule a mental health appointment
- If you're already using VA health care, ask your primary care provider to help you make an appointment for VA mental health services.
- If you're not already using VA health care, contact your nearest VA medical center to talk about your needs. Find your nearest VA medical center or Vet Center.
- New to VA? Apply for health care benefits. Getting started is simple. Create a free account online to help ease your enrollment process. Start your application today.
- The VA SUD program locator will help you find local VA treatment programs that address all types of problems related to substance use — from health effects to life-threatening behaviors.
- Our Summary of VA Treatment Programs for Substance Use Problems webpage provides more extensive information on the types of treatment programs available.
Explore resources for substance use disorder
- MedlinePlus: This site answers health questions by bringing together information from the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and other government agencies and health-related organizations.
- National Recovery Month: While the national observance takes place in September, this site, part of SAMHSA, provides resources throughout the year to promote the societal benefits of treatment for SUD.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: This site provides information about drug use, drug-related legislation, and more.
- Rethinking Drinking: This campaign, part of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, provides easy-to-read, research-based information on drinking habits and how they may affect your health, along with support for making a change.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): The publications section of this national authority on SUD offers fact sheets, videos, brochures, and more.
- Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help: This resource from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has information on the latest research-based treatments and what to consider when choosing from among them.
Mutual Help Organizations
- Alcoholics Anonymous: This international fellowship supports anyone with an alcohol use disorder.
- Cocaine Anonymous Online: Modeled closely after Alcoholics Anonymous, this 12-step program is dedicated to addressing the challenges of cocaine use.
- Crystal Meth Anonymous: This fellowship offers an opportunity for people who have used crystal meth to share their experiences — and their strength and support.
- Marijuana Anonymous: This organization supports those seeking to stop using marijuana.
- Narcotics Anonymous: This international, community-based association of people recovering from drug use sponsors nearly 76,000 weekly meetings in 143 countries.
- SMART Recovery: This international program aims to help people recover from SUD as well as reduce risky behaviors like gambling. SMART Recovery sponsors face-to-face meetings around the world and daily online meetings.
Support for Family and Friends
- Al-Anon/Alateen: This fellowship offers support and resources for friends and family members of people who drink excessively and struggle with addiction.
- Nar-Anon Family Groups: These groups provide support and resources for people with a loved one who uses drugs.
- National Center for PTSD: The center offers Community Reinforcement and Family Training, an online course for family members of Veterans seeking treatment or in treatment for alcohol or drug misuse.