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DMVA Helps Veterans With
Substance Use Disorder


When veterans separate from the military they may face a host of societal challenges adapting back to civilian life. Most handle these challenges well, but some fall on hard times, and sometimes resort to substance abuse as a way to cope. In fact, more than one in 10 veterans have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder, slightly higher than the general population. Recovery starts with a call, 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Family members and advocates who know a veteran suffering from addiction are also encouraged to call the toll-free hotline. 

Raising Awareness Through Collaboration 

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) wants veterans to know that we are active throughout Pennsylvania communities working to help troubled veterans find the resources they need for recovery. In recent years, the DMVA has partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) on a grant program funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Both state agencies recognize the importance of providing supportive services that are person-centered and focused on achieving overall wellness for our service members, veterans and their families. 
Through this collaboration, DMVA has been able to leverage grants and partnerships and support important community programs that work every day to help veterans facing substance abuse. 

Task Force Promotes Drug-Free Living 

The DMVA also collaborates on counter drug education. A component of the DMVA, the Pennsylvania National Guard Counterdrug Joint Task Force (CJTF) is comprised of soldiers and airmen from the Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard. 
The CJTF’s primary mission is to support federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, and other organizations, by providing community-based prevention and education on how to counter illicit narcotics in our communities. This program falls under the command of the governor and the Adjutant General of Pennsylvania. 
One of the more high-profile efforts of the CJTF is providing assistance with transporting and disposing of the drugs disposed of in Take-Back Boxes  located throughout the commonwealth. These collection sites securely gather and allow for the disposal of unused prescription medicines. This program directly supports the commonwealth’s mission to improve the safety and welfare of Pennsylvanians. 

PA VETConnect Links Veterans to the Help They Need

The DMVA works to identify and serve veterans in need through PA VETConnect, a new and innovative program that connects veterans to the best possible resources for assistance, anywhere in the commonwealth. The DMVA field staff networks in all 67 Pennsylvania counties and are well-versed in substance abuse and the resources available for veterans to get the help they need.  

Veterans’ Trust Fund Supports Substance Use Disorder Programs 

To help support the veterans dealing with addiction, the DMVA provides grants to various community organizations through the Veterans Trust Fund (VTF). The VTF awards grants to veteran advocates, such as charitable organizations and County Director of Veterans Affairs, who operate programs for veterans with a substance use disorder.