Robert Dole VA to begin treating veterans with substance abuse

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Robert Dole VA Medical Center cut the ribbon on a new facility on Friday and is now ready to start treating veterans for substance abuse.

The new Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Center will start seeing patients on Sept. 7th. Officials say this facility is a game changer for vets struggling with substance abuse, and it’s the only facility of its kind in the state.

The facility will start out seeing nine patients because of social distancing requirements. The program is six weeks long and will use group-based and recovery-focused therapies like recovery action planning. Grief, anxiety and depression counseling will also be available. Officials said these mental illnesses often push people to substance abuse.

“A lot of times it has things to do with the things that they have seen in combat–people that they have lost that were close to them,” Dept. of Kan. American Legion Commander Marri Krupco said. “Some of it is survivor’s guilt. Sometimes there’s unfortunately incidents where you have problems at home because of absence for long periods of time and it’s very hard on relationships.”

Patients will have access to Wi-Fi and common living areas with TVs, computers, phones and limited exercise equipment. Meals and snacks will be provided.

Krupco believes this live-in program will better treat veterans than some civilian programs.

“They don’t just do it because they want to be on drugs,” Krupco said. ”They do it because they have underlying causes and I feel that the VA is probably the best facility to treat those veterans with those underlying causes.”

Participation in the program is voluntary. Those interested can seek assistance by phone (316)685-2221 or by walking in from 8 to 4 p.m.

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