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Struggling with a Substance Use Disorder? TRICARE Has You Covered

By: Tidewater MHS Staff

​As opioid overdose deaths continue to rise, the Department of Defense (DoD) continues to expand access to treatments for substance use disorder (SUD). This includes medication assisted treatment (MAT), and other mental health services.

Although the number of military members abusing substances is lower than the national average, substance use is also a problem for TRICARE beneficiaries.

TRICARE provides a wide range of effective treatments for substance use disorders. In 2016, the DoD expanded the availability of SUD and MAT services. This was to provide patient-centered, evidence-based prevention and treatment for substance use.

Dr. Krystyna Bienia, clinical psychologist and senior policy analyst at the Defense Health Agency, explained that the goal of expanding access is to help patients get the appropriate SUD treatment.

“We aim to decrease the devastating impact of substance use on military families, including the number of overdoses and deaths due to opiate abuse.”

Bienia believes the key to beating addiction is understanding when you need help, and knowing how and where to seek it.

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