VA clinic helps vets with drug, alcohol abuse


Some veterans who return from combat or other duty have problems with use of alcohol or drugs, both street drugs and prescription medications used incorrectly. Such substance use can harm health, cause mood and behavior problems, hurt social relationships, and in the worst cases, result in financial ruin.

For veterans with these issues, there are treatments and counseling at the Viera Veterans Administration (VA) Clinic that address all types of problems related to substance use, from unhealthy use of alcohol to life-threatening addictions.

“We know that many adjustment issues occur when veterans return from combat or separate from the military, and helping to intervene and develop healthy coping skills are important so that veterans do not turn to unhealthy ones, such as drugs or alcohol, ” said Victoria Harwood, licensed clinical social worker, certified addiction professional (CAP) and social worker for the Substance Abuse Program at the Viera VA Clinic.

In her role as therapist, she runs groups, participates in the Intensive Outpatient Program for Substance Abuse and provides individual therapy for veterans with substance abuse issues.

“We have a full gamut of services available: group and individual therapy, an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and aftercare. We use community resources for detox and inpatient services and then coordinate care for the needs of the veterans. In addition, we have a full range of pain management services available on the medical side as well as mental health services.” VV

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