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Do TRICARE Health Plans Help People Attending Alcohol Rehabilitation?

Having TRICARE health insurance does mean you may be covered for substance use treatment. However, the extent of evidence and how your TRICARE health plan helps you is dependent on the plan. However, per the TRICARE website, a health plan may cover inpatient services,
intensive outpatient programs, management of withdrawal symptoms, partial hospitalization services, and residential substance abuse treatment. Alcohol addiction is a devastating problem within the United States, and every year an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes, per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Economically, approximately three-quarters of the total cost of alcohol misuse is related to binge drinking, and in 2010, alcohol misuse cost the United States $249 billion. When searching for an alcohol rehabilitation program covered by TRICARE, an addiction assessment is a good place to begin. An assessment could happen over the phone or in-person, and the purpose of an assessment is to determine the extent of addiction and locate suitable treatment options. Most drug rehabilitation centers will know what insurance is accepted, and TRICARE will provide its recipients with a list of programs that are covered by the health plan.

The first step with rehabilitation is detox, and alcohol addiction typically requires a medically supervised detox. Severe alcoholism creates dangerous withdrawal symptoms that become difficult to manage without proper help. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include tremors, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, headaches, increased heart rate, sweating, irritability, confusion, insomnia, and nightmares, along with high blood pressure. The symptoms may worse within two to three days, and milder symptoms may persist for weeks. Medically supervised detox utilizes withdrawal management as a method of controlling withdrawal symptoms.

The most severe withdrawal symptoms are delirium tremens, including extreme confusion, agitation, fever, seizures, and hallucinations. Medical detox programs have proper medical supervision to manage these symptoms. It is important to note that medical detox should not be considered the only treatment approach. Following detox, the next step with treatment involves attending an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab center. Typically, the severity of addiction and underlying issues determines what method of rehabilitation is necessary. Long-term
rehabilitation is usually the better option because it provides all the necessary services onsite. Long-term substance use treatment usually lasts three to six months or longer, where a short- term program lasts three to six weeks.

Overall, alcohol rehabilitation should be well-rounded and provide evidence-based counseling, detox, and aftercare support. Aftercare programs include sober living homes, peer support groups, and 12-step meetings. The purpose of aftercare support is to help a recovering addict maintain their sobriety as they transition back to society again. However, it is not easy talking to an alcoholic about treatment, and most families choose a professional family interventionist to help. Family intervention works, and certified interventionists are qualified to counsel families and perform interventions.


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