Drug and Alcohol Rehab Serving Virginia Veterans

Veterans, First Responders, and active military personnel are at a higher risk of developing a substance use disorder compared to the civilian population. Despite this, Veterans seeking drug and alcohol rehab in Virginia can seek out-of-state addiction treatment with Sunrise Rehabilitation and Recovery. Sunrise Veterans is here for Veterans who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction throughout the United States. We offer our services to Virginia-based Veterans in need of recovery.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Virginia

According to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), “an average of [4] Virginians died of an opioid overdose daily” in 2020. Many of these increases are attributed to the stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the United States. As a result, drug and alcohol abuse nationwide and in Virginia increased while access to care became more challenging.

The VDH also shares the following statistics on opioids and overdoses:

  • 33% increase in emergency department visits for opioid-related overdoses from 2019 to 2020
  • Opioid-related overdose deaths rose by 17% from 2019 to 2020
  • Methamphetamine contributed to 800 deaths in Virginia in 2020
  • 15,800 total overdoses from any drug

Although these statistics include all Virginians, active and former service members are more likely to have a drug or alcohol addiction due to the challenges they have faced.

Addiction in Veterans and First Responders

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 1 in 10 Veterans have a substance use disorder. Overall, Veterans and First Responders are at a slightly higher risk of developing an addiction than the general population. In addition, Veterans are more likely than the general population to have other issues, like chronic pain, trauma, risk of suicide, and homelessness.

Addiction in Veterans and First Responders is often attributed to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), military sexual trauma, chronic pain from combat injuries, and underlying mental health issues. As a result, many Veterans and active service members seek relief from substances like drugs or alcohol. However, self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to deal with stress, distressing thoughts, flashbacks, or other symptoms often leads to developing a substance use disorder.

Drug and alcohol rehab in Virginia

Drug and Alcohol Rehab for Veterans and First Responders

Veterans living near military bases in Newport, Virginia Beach, and Norfolk can benefit from a change of scenery during drug and alcohol rehab. The rehab programs at Sunrise Veterans health include several options that might not be available nearby. Subsequently, our program is available for Veterans nationwide.

Drug and alcohol rehab for Veterans at Sunrise includes the following services:

Group and Individual Therapy

Many Veterans with substance use disorders also have co-occurring mental health conditions. Veterans resort to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate as a result of these underlying conditions. Therefore, therapy can help you deal with the underlying causes of your addiction.

Therapy includes several modalities, such as:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

One of the most common mental health issues among Veterans is trauma. Due to the risky situations that service members face on duty, they are at a higher risk of experiencing trauma than the general population. While traditional therapy can help, Sunrise Veterans also offers EMDR to specifically treat trauma.


Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based treatment for trauma disorders, such as PTSD and military sexual trauma. EMDR helps you process your trauma safely as a therapist teaches you calming techniques. In this way, your brain can heal from the memories of traumatic experiences. Patients also learn additional coping skills for flashbacks, hypervigilance, paranoia, and other symptoms of trauma.

Holistic Therapy

Holistic therapy involves healing the whole person in recovery from addiction. Addiction affects multiple areas of someone’s health. For example, one might be malnourished if they consumed a majority of their daily calories from alcoholic drinks. In addition, they might not have healthy coping skills for managing stress or know how to socialize without drugs and alcohol.

Sunrise Veterans offers the following activities for holistic therapy:

  • Kayaking
  • Adventure therapy
  • Equine therapy
  • Yoga
  • Meditation

12-Step Immersion

Drug and alcohol rehab involves peer support for the best outcomes, which includes 12-Step immersion. At Sunrise Veterans, we can introduce you to the 12-Step model of recovery. These types of peer support groups have a long history of helping many people struggling with addiction.

In addition, 12-Step recovery is free-of-charge and easily accessible. For instance, you can find 12-Step groups in many Virginian cities like Newport, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines therapy with medications to treat withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and decrease the risk of relapse. Substances like alcohol and opioids can create an intense physical dependency on users. For this reason, MAT is especially effective for Veterans with opioid and alcohol use disorders. 

How Can Veterans Pay for Out-of-State Rehab?

The local Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facility is usually the first choice for most Veterans to receive rehab. However, these programs might be full or have waiting lists. The willingness to attend a treatment program is a significant barrier to those needing drug and alcohol rehab. Because of this, Veterans willing to seek rehab should get into treatment right away. Otherwise, they might change their minds or relapse further into their addiction.

Private rehab programs can be a viable option for Veterans when the VA doesn’t have the capacity to treat them immediately. However, many private rehab facilities will have civilians, who might not be able to relate to a Veteran’s experiences. For this reason, programs like Sunrise Rehabilitation and Recovery focus solely on Veterans, active service members, and first responders. Yet, some of these Veteran-specific rehab facilities could be out of your home state.

All things considered, it is best for each patient to find the best rehab that will work for them. Out-of-state rehab could provide the benefit of giving them new surroundings to minimize distractions during early recovery. For instance, Veterans in Norfolk could distance themselves from toxic relationships during rehab. Once people develop healthy coping skills, they can return home to Virginia with the ability to deal with these triggers.

Using VA Benefits for Out-of-State Rehab

Veterans will still need to go through the proper channels to use VA benefits for out-of-state rehab, which are as follows:

  • First, you’ll need a substance use disorder diagnosis from a qualified health care practitioner. Usually, you can receive this diagnosis from your primary care physician (PCP) or a psychiatrist.
  • Second, your VA will determine if you need to complete at their facility prior to a referral out to another facility. These determinations are made on a case-by-case basis, and you might be able to skip this step.
  • Next, you will need to ensure that the rehab program you want is covered by VA benefits or any other insurance provider you might have.
  • Finally, you can begin your addiction rehab knowing that you have coverage or a plan for repayment. You don’t want to be surprised later with expensive bills to pay after treatment.

Sunrise Rehabilitation and Recovery is available to answer your questions about out-of-state coverage for rehab. We understand that Veterans might not have options for Veterans-only treatment in their home state. Because of this, we offer our services to Veterans and active service members throughout the United States.

Drug and Alcohol Rehab for Virginia-Based Veterans

Sunrise Rehabilitation and Recovery provides several programs for Virginia-based Veterans in need of addiction or mental health treatment. We offer drug and alcohol rehab in Virginia to Veterans and active service members. Visit our admissions page today to learn more.

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