Maine is getting new resources to help veterans battling substance use disorder

Veterans in Maine will soon be able to get residential care for substance use disorder and associated mental health issues without leaving the state.The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has approved building a new 24-bed program at the Togus VA Medical Center in Augusta. The facility will provide residential substance use disorder rehabilitation and treatment.All four members of Maine’s congressional delegation have advocated for this program.”Some of, I think, the toughest wounds to heal can be these invisible ones that come with things like post-traumatic stress, and obviously, there is often co-occurring substance abuse issues that can come with that, and this facility is going to address that need,” Rep. Jared Golden said.Construction on the facility will begin in 2021. It is scheduled to begin accepting patients in 2022.”The focus has got to be on the underlying health conditions that are leading, you know, to things like self-medicating, which is really what I think we are talking about here, 19:07 so when someone has something like post-traumatic stress, if they’re not getting the health care that they need from the VA, or if the community isn’t connecting them with that, then they will seek other means to try and cope with that,” Golden said.More than one in 10 American veterans is diagnosed with substance use disorder and one in five veterans is estimated to have a mental health condition. Maine has one of the highest percentage of veterans of any state.

Veterans in Maine will soon be able to get residential care for substance use disorder and associated mental health issues without leaving the state.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has approved building a new 24-bed program at the Togus VA Medical Center in Augusta. The facility will provide residential substance use disorder rehabilitation and treatment.

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All four members of Maine’s congressional delegation have advocated for this program.

“Some of, I think, the toughest wounds to heal can be these invisible ones that come with things like post-traumatic stress, and obviously, there is often co-occurring substance abuse issues that can come with that, and this facility is going to address that need,” Rep. Jared Golden said.

Construction on the facility will begin in 2021. It is scheduled to begin accepting patients in 2022.

“The focus has got to be on the underlying health conditions that are leading, you know, to things like self-medicating, which is really what I think we are talking about here, 19:07 so when someone has something like post-traumatic stress, if they’re not getting the health care that they need from the VA, or if the community isn’t connecting them with that, then they will seek other means to try and cope with that,” Golden said.

More than one in 10 American veterans is diagnosed with substance use disorder and one in five veterans is estimated to have a mental health condition. Maine has one of the highest percentage of veterans of any state.