Guard Your Health is a resource for Army National Guard Soldiers and family members. Find health-related tools and information. Hear from fellow Soldiers and Families. Make medical readiness part of your personal mission.

My husband is an alcoholic and is in National Guard. He has been in multiple treatment facilities and programs. He says he wants help and now we have TRICARE insurance. I am not sure what to do at this point.

We commend you for reaching out on behalf of your husband. Please know that you are not alone.

If you or your husband need to speak to someone right away about the challenges you’re facing, please call the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-TALK (8255). The calls are confidential and qualified counselors are available 24/7.

TRICARE may cover some of his treatment. Your husband’s first step will be to get an in-person formal health assessment with a trained substance abuse professional. He can ask his medical health professional for a referral or call his TRICARE regional contractor.

Once his medical health professional reviews the results, he or she will create a care or treatment plan based on his needs. His coverage through TRICARE may include:

  • Inpatient detoxification. The process of removing a substance from the system in a health care facility to avoid old habits and temptation.
  • Specialized inpatient care or partial-hospitalization to find the reasons behind substance misuse and create a plan to cope without the substance.
  • Outpatient group therapy. Counseling sessions with other service members who have similar concerns about substance misuse.
  • Family therapy. Therapy that helps the entire family when a service member faces challenges.

There are many other resources to help your husband address his drinking concerns:

Encourage him to participate in activities outside of work and drill that don’t involve alcohol, such as:

  • Joining a sports league
  • Signing up and training for a race
  • Hiking trails with you
  • Taking up a new hobby
  • Volunteering for a local non-profit
  • Catching a movie

Don’t get discouraged if he experiences a setback. He needs to find what works best for him and continue to move forward, one day at a time.

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