Being truthful about participating in rehab for drug or mental health treatment is the best option. The military has access to all medical records and if you’ve had treatment for drug addiction or mental health issues, the military could find your record. Not only will the military find out if you have been in rehab, but they will also know if you currently use drugs due to testing requirements. To join the military, you must be in good health as well as other factors. If you were in rehab in the past and recovered, it is up to the recruiter or officers involved in your acceptance. Honesty is the best policy as it could be a negative factor in determining acceptance if you are not truthful upfront.
Does Going to Rehab go on Your Record?
Going to rehab is a personal decision for the recovery of an addiction. In some areas, it is good to report as you may have a criminal conviction for using drugs, or spent time in jail, and it would be important for future employers, military, and other entities to know you have addressed your illness and have recovered. In addition, certain protections exist to maintain your privacy. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) allows you the choice of who has access to your medical records. This keeps physicians and other medical facilitators from giving medical information to anyone you have not allowed in writing to have your information.
The Family Leave and Medical Act (FMLA) also allows leave for up to 12 weeks for any kind of family or medical needs and includes drug and alcohol rehab. This can protect employees from losing their jobs if there is a need for rehab while employed. So, unless you have a court order to reveal your history which includes rehab, you did not need to disclose your past treatment needs. Although this is the rule, sometimes, it’s good to prove your past accomplishments and tell others about your recovery. Does going to rehab go on your record? No – your health record is only available to those with your consent.
Can the Military Find out if You Went to a Drug Rehab?
Again, being truthful is probably the best option, but if you don’t have a criminal arrest for drug or alcohol issues or an injury from something that occurred while under the influence, it’s unlikely that the military will find out if you went to a drug rehab through your record. There will be conversations concerning the topic with a recruiter. There are moral waivers available for those who have issues in their past they need to have a judgment on. The military will find out about past convictions, and if they revolve around drugs, you might need to explain them. If you are not currently using drugs, you are clean, the drug tests will reveal it. In certain military clearances and branches, the requirements for revealing medical and drug histories vary.
You have to choose whether or not to come clean with your past when considering enlistment in the military. You can count on being asked about your past drug or alcohol use. Recreational use of marijuana and or alcohol could allow for acceptance if spoken about truthfully, and there is no current drug use. Your criminal record will be reviewed so if there are any arrests concerning drug or addiction use, this could prevent acceptance into the military.
Are There Substance Abuse Programs for Military Members?
There are substance abuse programs for military members offered by the VA and sometimes outside private facilities. In addition, treatments vary depending on the illness or addiction. The following treatment options are available for those military members finding themselves with a mental illness or addiction:
- Medical detox addresses withdrawal symptoms from addiction and is often the first part of treatment
- Intensive inpatient treatment helps patients needing treatment for severe addiction or mental illnesses as a preemptive move to inpatient residential
- Inpatient residential treatment provides 24-hour guidance in recovery
- Partial hospitalizations are for those who need more structure
- Intensive outpatient treatment is intensive support for those living in sober living homes or their own homes
- Outpatient treatment is for extended treatment after leaving recovery
- Sober living housing is a transitional living opportunity after leaving a residential treatment center
Many military members have difficulties with the VA system, but there are other options available. Private rehab centers have qualified staff who are familiar with the needs of those who serve our country. There are substance abuse programs for military members.
Addiction Rehab for US Veterans
If you are a military member or Veteran in need of addiction rehab, contact Sunrise Veterans Health. We can address the questions you may have to enter a rehab facility close by. We have professional staff who are experienced with military members and their challenges after facing traumatic and difficult experiences in combat, during deployments, and being away from family. Visit our admissions page today to begin your recovery from addiction.