VA Faces Challenges in Providing Substance Use Disorder Services and Is Taking Steps to Improve These Services for Veterans

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Substance use disorders (SUD), such as alcohol abuse and drug addiction, are serious health conditions that affect many Americans, including a substantial number of veterans. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), about 420,000 of the over 5 million veterans receiving health care from VA had SUD diagnoses in fiscal year 2009. Both older veterans and veterans of the current military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are at risk for SUDs, as veterans may use drugs or alcohol to help cope with the effects of stressful events ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. March 10, 2010.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Substance use disorders (SUD), such as alcohol abuse and drug addiction, are serious health conditions that affect many Americans, including a substantial number of veterans. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), about 420,000 of the over 5 million veterans receiving health care from VA had SUD diagnoses in fiscal year 2009. Both older veterans and veterans of the current military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are at risk for SUDs, as veterans may use drugs or alcohol to help cope with the effects of stressful events experienced during deployment or with difficulties they encounter in readjusting from wartime military service to civilian life. The identification and treatment of veterans with SUDs is important, as SUDs can have harmful effects on veterans' physical, psychological, and social well-being if left untreated. VA provides SUD services in a range of settings, including inpatient SUD programs that provide acute in-hospital care, which may include detoxification services; residential rehabilitation treatment programs, which provide intensive treatment and rehabilitation services with supported housing; intensive outpatient programs, which provide at least 3 hours of treatment services 3 days per week; and standard outpatient programs, which provide less-intensive outpatient services. This report provides an overview of: (1) the challenges that VA officials and providers reported facing in their efforts to provide SUD services to veterans who have or are at risk for SUDs; and (2) the national efforts VA has recently undertaken to improve its SUD services for veterans who have or are at risk for SUDs."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • March 10, 2010

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. VA Faces Challenges in Providing Substance Use Disorder Services and Is Taking Steps to Improve These Services for Veterans, text, March 10, 2010; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299739/: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.