SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DRUG REHAB CENTER IS OFFERING FREE OUTPATIENT TREATMENT SERVICES TO VETERANS RETURNING FROM IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN
MURRIETA, Calif., Dec. 12, 2007 ? A Southern California drug and alcohol rehab center has begun offering free outpatient treatment services to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
We think this is the right thing to do, particularly given the strong correlation between Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and drug or alcohol addiction and the fact that the federal government is failing to take care of its wounded veterans in a timely manner, said Charles Anderson, CEO of A Better Tomorrow, a drug and alcohol treatment center based in Murrieta, Calif.
A Better Tomorrow will provide free outpatient treatment services as space permits on a first come, first served basis an act of community service, Anderson said, adding that the service will be offered to veterans on an ongoing basis. The clinics typical outpatient treatment program includes three, three-hour sessions of treatment per week for six weeks.
Its unfortunate that veterans are still unable to get the timely healthcare services they need from the VA, said Velma Hart, chief financial officer for AMVETS, one of the nations largest veterans service organizations. But we are grateful that clinics like A Better Tomorrow are reaching out to veterans to help them in their time of need. We hope other drug and alcohol rehab centers across the country follow A Better Tomorrows example.
Anderson said A Better Tomorrow decided to start offering the free service after a recent series of network news reports documenting a growing incidence of addiction to illegal drugs among veterans returning from service overseas.
The Pentagon also issued a report last month indicating that nearly a third of returning U.S. troops had signs of depression, PTSD, conflicts in relationships or other problems within six months of completing their service. It has also been widely reported that between 30 and 60 percent of people with PTSD will abuse drugs or alcohol to seek relief from their depression, anxiety and other ill feelings.
Given these statistics, we think our outpatient treatment services will be very helpful to veterans who cant get the mental health treatment they need because of the incessant bureaucratic delays, inefficiencies and staffing problems involving medical facilities operated by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, Anderson said.
Indeed, the VAs healthcare system has been overwhelmed by veterans returning from service overseas for many years, yet neither Congress nor the VA have committed the necessary resources to address these problems. Congress, in fact, has yet to even provide mandatory funding for VA healthcare. Consequently, the VA is forced to ration healthcare rather than provide it as needed to every veteran who requires it.
Based in Murrieta, Calif., A Better Tomorrow has the highest level of accreditation that can be obtained by a drug or alcohol treatment center. The clinic is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), placing it in the top 5 percent of drug and alcohol treatment clinics in California. For more information about A Better Tomorrow, please contact Charles Anderson at (800) 757-9867. Additional information is available on the clinics website at http://www.abttc.com/.