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TRICARE FAQ

Does TRICARE Health Insurance Cover Alcohol Rehab?

TRICARE health plans may cover some substance use treatment resources, such as alcohol rehab. Per the TRICARE website, health plans may cover inpatient services, intensive outpatient programs, management of withdrawal symptoms, medication-assisted treatment, partial hospitalization, and residential substance use treatment. When deciding on what treatment services to access, an addiction assessment is a good place to begin. An assessment could happen over the phone or in-person, and it benefits the family and addict. The purpose of an assessment is to determine what treatment is the best option based on the extent of addiction. When speaking with your TRICARE health representative, they will likely provide you the contact information for the programs that are covered with your plan.

Alcohol addiction impacts millions of Americans every year, and it is a devastating addiction. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 26% of those aged 18 and older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month. Also,
about 6.6% reported that they engaged in heavy alcohol use in the past month. Alcohol abuse is often part of a large addiction problem that may involve illegal street drugs or prescription drugs. Determining the right treatment is important, and the rehabilitation process begins with alcohol detox.

Typically, the severity of withdrawal symptoms and medical condition determine what method of detox that is required. Medically supervised detox is usually the better option because it offers medical supervision and withdrawal management to manage withdrawal symptoms. Common withdrawal symptoms include feeling irritable, depressed, mood swings, sweating, headaches, nausea, faster heart rate, tremors, and sweating. Approximately 3% to 4% of people who withdrawal from heavy drinking experience delirium tremens, which could be fatal. The symptoms of delirium tremens include fever, extreme agitation, seizures, extreme confusion, hallucinations, and high blood pressure.

It is important to know that alcohol detox cannot be the only treatment approach to take because it will not provide adequate counseling and therapy. Following medical detox, the next step with treatment involves attending an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab center. Typically, the severity of addiction and underlying issues determine what treatment is required. Long-term alcohol
rehab usually lasts three to six months, whereas short-term alcohol rehab provides services for three to six weeks. Overall, rehabilitation should be well rounded and provide evidence-based counseling and rehabilitation.

Additionally, it is recommended to attend aftercare support after drug rehab. Aftercare could include a sober living home, 12-step meeting, or other forms of peer support. The aftercare process helps a recovering alcoholic make a smooth transition back to society again. However, it is not always easy to convince an alcoholic they need help, and most families organize a family intervention. Professional intervention works and is successful, but it should be done with the help of a certified interventionist.

Sources- https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-
statistics

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