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Milwaukee VA Medical Center


News from the Department of Veterans Affairs

Press Releases

VA/DoD Online Service Tops 5 Million Users (9/1/2015)

Participation in the joint Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense eBenefits website topped five million users this week, two months ahead of schedule. VA established an agency priority goal of reaching five million eBenefits users by the end of fiscal year 2015. VA achieved this early milestone through aggressive outreach efforts and with the support of DoD and its Veterans Service Organization partners.

VA Announces New Rules Regarding Service Animals in VA Facilities (8/17/2015)

Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has revised its regulation regarding the presence of animals on VA property. The updated regulation will ensure VA practices remain consistent with applicable federal law. It will also assist individuals entering VA facilities in developing a clear and consistent understanding of the criteria governing facility access for service animals.

Senior Veterans Showcase Benefits of Sports During National Veterans Golden Age Games (8/7/2015)

More than 800 Veterans ages 55 and older are expected to compete in the 29th National Veterans Golden Age Games, Aug. 8-12 in Omaha. The official kick-off starts at 6:30 p.m., August 8 at the CenturyLink Center Arena.

VAntage Point

Drinking? Drugs? VA is here to help.

Posted: Thu, 03 Sep 2015 14:10:49 +0000

Do you have a problem with alcohol? With drugs?

Want to kick it and get your life back? VA has helped thousands of Veterans with addictions and we can help you. Read on. Please. Five serious minutes here may change your life.

I donít need to tell you that alcohol and drug misuse can lead to serious health problems. Not to mention relationship, employment, and legal problems.

See if you recognize any of these symptoms of Substance Use Disorders:

  • Tolerance, the ability to drink or use greater quantities over time
  • The inability to stop drinking or using in spite of negative consequences
  • Withdrawal, feeling sick when trying to quit drinking or using drugs.

Why do you drink or take drugs?

Problems with drinking or drugs may start in response to stress, or because of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, or other medical conditions, but over time, what seemed like a solution may become another problem.

The good news is there are proven methods to help Veterans recover from alcohol or drug misuse, including mutual help groups (like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Smart Recovery) and effective professional treatments.

VA has many resources to help Veterans and their loved ones answer questions, find support, A spilled bottle of pills with a piece of paper that says help.get treatment, and recover. Really. Thousands of Veterans have made this trip and ended up on the sunny side of life. You can too!

If youíre a family member and want to learn everything you can about this problem, click here and get answers to all your questions. A lot of it may sound very familiar and will help you realize that you are not alone.

September is Addiction Recovery Month, but at VA every month is dedicated to helping you to live life to its fullest.

Want to confidentially find out if you have the symptoms of a substance use disorder? One way is to take a brief confidential assessment. You are the only one who will see the results and none of the results are stored or sent anywhere. You may choose to print a copy of the results for your own records or to give to your physician or a mental health professional.

We know itís tough. Thatís why we have people at every VA Medical Center dedicated to helping you. Use this program locator to find someone who is ready to help you.

Help is hereÖthe next step is up to you

Effective treatments for substance use problems are available at 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: VAís 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.
  • 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. 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.

An image of a woman in a black dress.


Doctor Karen Drexler is the Deputy National Mental Health Program Director, Addictive Disorders at the VHA Mental Health Services

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