Veterans and the Opioid Crisis: A Helpful List of Resources for Veterans and Their Families

  • The VA's Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution program is available for free to patients at risk of an overdose.
  • Are you a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one?
  • In 2013, the VA released a study that covered suicides from 1999 to 2010, which showed that roughly 22 veterans were dying by suicide per day, or one every 65 minutes.

September is Suicide Prevention Month. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and I strongly urge veterans and their family members to learn more about suicide prevention, drug overdose, and substance abuse treatment. Suicide prevention takes a village.

The VA,  other veteran and military stakeholders are desperately trying to raise awareness about the dangers of overdosing and encourage veterans to get help:

“Opioid overdose is the most common type of overdose,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Knowing the signs and symptoms of overdose and resources available for assistance can reduce drug-related deaths, and we encourage Veterans to get information about pain management and substance abuse treatment at their local VA medical facility.”

As part of the VA’s Overdose Awareness efforts, they are highlighting four key program areas:

  • Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution: help to prevent overdose and understand the safe use of opioids.
  • Substance Use Disorder Treatment (SUD) Locator:  VA’s specialized SUD treatment.
  • Drug “Take Back” Program:  VA will “take back” Veterans’ unused and expired drugs.
  • Veterans Crisis Line:  24/7 help line for Veterans in crisis.

The Department’s Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution program is available for free to patients at risk of an overdose. To date, the VA has dispensed Naloxone to nearly 200,000 veterans and documented nearly 700 overdose reversals.

Additionally, I thought it might be useful to share my laundry list of resources for veterans, first responders and their families:

Suicide Prevention

Are you a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one?

Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Nationwide)
1-800-273-8255 (24/7)

22 Until None (Nationwide)
866-254-9961 (24/7 Lifeline)

Stop Soldier Suicide (Nationwide)
844 – 889-5610

Georgia Suicide Prevention Information Network (GA)

Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GA)
800-715-4225 (24/7)

Forever 4 Change (GA)
912-572-7777

 

U.S. Army veterans Brian Kinsella, Nick Black, and Craig Gridelli co-founded Stop Soldier Suicide in 2010 amid the worst suicide crisis our military has ever seen. Each of them knew fellow soldiers and veterans who were struggling, and they were determined to create a solution. Today, the risk of suicide is 50% higher for veterans than for their peers who have not served. It’s simply unacceptable — especially given that most suicides are preventable. The problem is clear: The systems in place aren’t working. Getting help isn’t as easy as it should be — and trying to navigate a complicated maze of organizations and resources can be overwhelming when you’re in crisis. We’re here to change that.

Support for Gold Star and Military Families

Angels of America’s Fallen (Nationwide)

Camp Corral (Nationwide)

Raising Raiders (NC)

Lead the Way Fund (Nationwide)

 

Service Dog  Training and Assignment

Companions for Heroes (GA)

Wounded Warrior Dog Project (GA)

Patriots and Pitbulls (NC)

 

PTSD Therapy

Waypoint Ranch (GA)

Valor Equine Therapy Service (MT)

Road Home Program (IL)
312-942-8387

One Maps (GA)
912-655-9569
info@onemaps.org

 

Real Estate Assistance

Veterans United (Nationwide)

Helping Heroes Save (GA)

 

Airfare Assistance

Helping Heroes Fly (CO)

 

Recreational Therapy

Team RWB (Nationwide)

Waves to Recovery (FL)

Travis Mills Foundation (ME)

Gratitude America (FL)

 

United States military veteran suicide is an ongoing phenomenon regarding a reportedly high rate of suicide among U.S. military veterans, in comparison to the general public. In 2013, the VA released a study that covered suicides from 1999 to 2010, which showed that roughly 22 veterans were dying by suicide per day, or one every 65 minutes.

Homelessness

Changing Homelessness (FL)

Hope for the Homeless Savannah (GA)

 

Fallen First Responder Support

Brotherhood for the Fallen (Nationwide)

200 Club of the Coastal Empire (GA)

 

Substance Abuse Support

Drug Rehab (Nationwide)

www.drugrehab.com

www.rehabspot.com

www.rehabcenter.net

www.DrugRehabConnections.com

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Dana Matthews

Dr Dana Matthews is a Lieutenant Colonel, US Army Ranger (Retired). He holds a BA in Journalism, an MBA/JD Law Degree, and a Doctorate in Organizational Psychology.He is a Member of the National Press Club in Washington DC and has appeared on TV and Radio.He was awarded the Military Order of the Purple Heart for Combat Wounded Veterans.Dr Dana Matthews is a well published Journalist and writer with articles appearing in the Scripps Newspaper/ TCPALM.COMHe also co authored and published a novel entitled " El Segundo- One Man's Journey for Redemption". 

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