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:
- Chaplains and Psychological Health Coordinators. Locate a chaplain or behavioral health contact in your state or territory.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Find an AA meeting near you where your husband can join others with the same goal of addressing their challenges with substance misuse. Anyone is welcome to attend and all meetings are anonymous.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Use SAMHSA’s Treatment Services Locator to help find confidential treatment in your area. You can also call their national helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357) to chat about the challenges you and your husband are facing.
- Real Warriors Campaign. Understand more about substance misuse and ways to get help.
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.
- Learn about the tolls of heavy drinking.
- Debunk the myths about substance use.
- Help your husband weigh the pros and cons of drinking with this checklist.