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The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) Virginia Veteran and Family Support (VVFS) is continuing services to Service Members, Veterans, and their Families (SMVF) as the Commonwealth deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our offices are open for in person appointments. We are serving our SMVF population as before, but with certain protocols and screenings in place to ensure the safety of our staff, customers and community partners.   To ensure for everyone’s safety, all visitors will be screened prior to entering our offices and face coverings are required. There will not be lobby or waiting room availability and we ask all visitors to respect our social distancing and mask protocols.  Frequent disinfection of all high-touch surfaces occur frequently throughout the day and after each visitor to our offices. 

The DVS VVFS program will continue to maximize personalized service options such as behavioral health, rehabilitative, and supportive services for our SMVF customers, including in-person meetings, approved public meetings, virtual and phone appointments.  If you or your family have an urgent or emergency situation requiring in person assistance, please let us know when you contact us. To determine whether your local office is open on a particular day, please contact 1-877-285-1299 and your call will be routed for assistance.  Please be sure to clearly state your name, a return phone number, and your location. Appointment requests may also be made electronically by clicking on the Red Appointment Request button at the top of this page.

 

Substance Abuse

SubstanceAbuse

Substance is a concern for many veterans. In 2008 Department of Defense Health Behavior Survey reveals general reductions over time in tobacco use and illicit drug use, it reported increases in other areas, such as prescription drug abuse and heavy alcohol use. In fact, prescription drug abuse doubled among U.S. military personnel from 2002 to 2005 and almost tripled between 2005 and 2008.

Alcohol abuse is the most prevalent problem, which poses a significant health risk. A study of Army soldiers screened 3 to 4 months after returning from deployment to Iraq showed that 27 percent met criteria for alcohol abuse and were at increased risk for related harmful behaviors (e.g., drinking and driving, using illicit drugs). And although soldiers frequently report alcohol concerns, few are referred to alcohol treatment.

Research findings highlight the need to improve screening and access to care for alcohol-related problems among service members returning from combat deployments.

Mental illness among military personnel is also a major concern. In another study of returning soldiers, clinicians identified 20 percent of active and 42 percent of reserve component soldiers as requiring mental health treatment.

Drug or alcohol use frequently accompanies mental health problems and was involved in 30 percent of the Army’s suicide deaths from 2003 to 2009 and in more than 45 percent of non-fatal suicide attempts from 2005 to 2009.

Source: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/topics-in-brief/substance-abuse-among-military-veterans-their-families

Prevention Resources

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Resources