Addiction programs and treatment - Milwaukee VA Medical Center
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Milwaukee VA Medical Center


Addiction programs and treatment

1. What substance abuse and other addictions do you treat at the Milwaukee VA?

a. VA treats a range of substance abuse, including alcohol, prescription

drugs and narcotics, heroin, cocaine, marijuana and amphetamines.

2. Who is eligible for this treatment?

a. This treatment is open to all eligible Veterans receiving care at VA.

3. How much does it cost?

a. Veterans pay for care based on a variety of VA criteria. At most, it is

usually a small co-pay.

4. Are these treated on an outpatient or inpatient basis?

a. Veterans can be treated for addictions through inpatient, residential and

outpatient programs.

5. What is the typical stay outpatient addiction therapy?

a. Six to 10 weeks.

6. What if I don’t feel like I am better in that time? Can I extend it?

a. Yes, programming can be extended based on individual needs of the Veteran

7. Where do I stay during this time?

a. This depends on the program. Inpatient is on the locked acute medical

health unit. Residential is in Building 123 and outpatient is in the main hospital building on the 10th Floor.

8. What does therapy consist of?

a. This is group and individual therapy covering many life issues and topics

to assist in recovery.

9. What are your success rates?

a. Typically, the success rate nationally for a program is about 30 percent.

We believe our success rate here is about 50 percent. While relapse does

happen, we remain committed to helping Veterans break their addiction to

substance abuse.

10. Is there drug and alcohol testing while I am in these programs?

a. All participants are subject to random urine analysis.

11. I need to slowly wean myself from these addictions. Can I continue to use

drugs and alcohol while I’m in the program?

a. No, but you can utilize detox prior to entering. For more information on

our detox program, please call our clinic at 414-384-2000, ext. 45760 or visit Urgent Care in the emergency department.

12. When people think of addictions they only think of drugs and alcohol. Are

there any other addictions you treat? Sex addiction?

a. We also treat addictions for tobacco through our smoking cessation


13. I’ve heard of some alternate therapies you use, including music, yoga and

art? Can I pick which ones I want to do?

a. Yes! Our program incorporates a holistic approach exposing members to many

forms of treatment.

14. Can I choose to do some of the therapies but not the others?

a. Yes, but group therapies that are part of the program are mandatory.

Generally, there is a standard course of treatment – at times, other approaches are offered.

15. What if I relapse while I am in treatment or afterward?

a. If you relapse the first time during treatment, your program time will be

reset, but you will be allowed to remain in treatment. If you relapse a

second time while in treatment, you must establish sobriety and restart the

program when you are ready to be serious about treatment.