Does TRICARE Cover Alcohol Rehab?

If you’re struggling with an alcohol use disorder, you can be confident that your TRICARE insurance will cover treatment that will help get your life back on track. TRICARE covers several different types and levels of treatment for TRICARE enrollees.

However, like any insurance, your TRICARE coverage may vary specific to your plan type and location. 

Understanding Your TRICARE Alcohol Treatment Coverage

TRICARE will likely help cover expenses if a medical provider says treatment is a medical necessity — basically if your addiction affects your ability to function in everyday life, or if your withdrawal symptoms are so severe that you require medical assistance.

Like all insurance providers, TRICARE must meet standards established by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Keep in mind that some plans, and some forms of treatment, require prior authorization.

The TRICARE Network

In-network alcohol substance abuse treatment providers have negotiated with TRICARE to establish an agreement for fair and reasonable pricing. However, you may be required to pay a small out-of-pocket deductible or co-pay. 

Some TRICARE plans, including TRICARE Select, Young Adult Select, Reserve Select, Prime Remote, and Family Health, offer members an option to select an out-of-network provider. If you’re covered by one of these plans and opt for out-of-network treatment, you may need to file individual claims, and you will probably pay higher out-of-pocket expenses. 

TRICARE Covers Various Levels of Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Your TRICARE plan may cover inpatient treatment for an alcohol use disorder.

  • If you need emergency inpatient treatment, TRICARE will cover detox, stabilization, and medications to help manage withdrawal and any medical complications that may arise. No referral or pre-authorization is required for emergency treatment; still, if you’re admitted for continued treatment, you’ll need authorization, and somebody must inform your regional contractor within 72 hours of admission.
  • Treatment is considered non-emergency if you seek treatment on your own. TRICARE will cover detox and stabilization and may help cover treatment for depression, PTSD, or other co-occurring mental health issues. Prior authorization and referrals are required for all non-emergency inpatient treatment or residential rehab. Your regional contractor can provide specifics on authorization requirements.

You may have access to various levels of outpatient treatment, depending on your level of need. In most cases, authorization isn’t required for outpatient treatment, but you may need a referral before you get started. 

  • Standard outpatient treatment is often suitable for people with less severe addiction, and typically involves one visit to a treatment provider per week. 
  • Intensive outpatient (IOP) typically involves about six hours of treatment per week, which may be during the day, or evenings, nights, or weekends. 
  • Partial hospitalization (PHP), also known as day treatment, is the most intensive outpatient treatment. It involves attendance five to seven days per week, up to eight hours per day, but you’ll go home every night. Partial hospitalization works well for people who need a higher level of care (but not full-time), or have completed inpatient treatment.

Can I Use My VA Health Care Benefits With TRICARE?  

Yes, you can use VA health care benefits along with your TRICARE plan; your TRICARE coverage doesn’t affect your VA healthcare benefits. The VA has behavioral healthcare programs in VA facilities across the United States, and most are TRICARE network providers. 

However, veterans are the primary beneficiaries of VHA, and care at VA facilities is available to TRICARE enrollees on a space-available basis. Check with your regional contractor or the representative at your local VA healthcare facility for specifics on how VA benefits and TRICARE coverage work together. Also, note that requirements for pre-authorizations and referrals aren’t necessarily the same. 

Don’t Wait to Get Started

We are proud to accept TRICARE at 1st Step Behavioral Health. Our treatment professionals will discuss your options and work with you to ensure you receive the best treatment for your particular needs. We can verify your benefits package immediately, and we’ll let you know if any prior authorizations are needed. Please pick up the phone and give 1st Step a call at 855-425-4846 or contact us online

Alcohol Addiction vs Dependence

Alcohol Detox: Addiction vs. Dependence

There’s often a lot of confusion around the topic of addiction. Things can get especially difficult to understand when it comes to the “addiction vs. dependence” debate. Most of the time, people are a little unsure about the difference between the two. Some even wonder if there’s a difference at all.

Maybe the confusion comes in because of the fact that the two terms are often used interchangeably. Many times, people refer to physical dependence as addiction and vice versa. But, truth be told, there are actually a few major differences between the two. These dissimilarities are certainly important to consider when it comes to substance use treatment.

Perhaps you’ve been wondering if dependence and addiction are two different things. Now that you know that they are definitely not the same, let’s talk about the ways in which they’re different and the importance of addressing each problem with these distinctions in mind.

Addiction vs. Dependence: Why All the Confusion?

For years, people have been referring to substance use disorder (SUD) using the generalized term of addiction. If someone struggles with an alcohol or drug use problem, people might assume that the individual has an addiction.

According to the Addiction Center, some treatment facilities have decided not to use the term “addiction” at all. This might be due to the belief that the word “carries too much negative connotation and is ambiguous”.

In order to eliminate that stigma, people have resorted to using the word “dependence” instead. But, of course, this has lead to confusion regarding the definition of addiction versus the definition of substance dependence.

Eventually, though, the phrase “substance use disorder” began to circulate as an alternative to “addiction”. Still, it’s evident that there is still a bit of confusion when it comes to dealing with these two topics.

When people think of the phrase “substance dependence”, they often think of it as a synonym of the word “addiction”. It would seem that, if a person depends on something, that individual is addicted to the substance. But, this most certainly is not the case.

Many individuals often become confused by the use of these varying terms because some treatment centers may opt to use one term while others will choose alternate terms. Some facilities refer to addiction using the word “dependence”, making it difficult to identify the true definitions between these terms.

The Importance of Acknowledging the Differences

So, why is it so important to pay attention to the dissimilarities between addiction and physical dependence? What’s the big deal? Is it really necessary to differentiate the two?

Well, when getting treatment for a substance use problem, it’s extremely important that your treatment center focuses on your individual needs. The best way to identify a good solution is to accurately identify the problem.

If you are suffering from an opioid dependence problem, you’ll need different treatment than someone who is struggling with an alcohol addiction problem.

So, in short, yes; it’s very necessary to understand and address the ways in which addiction and dependence differ in order to successfully treat those who are dealing with either of these problems.

What is Dependence and How Does it Develop?

When a person uses a drug for a while, even if the substance is medically prescribed, the body might start to get used to the way the drug affects it. Even if the person is using the drug as directed by his or her doctor, the individual’s body might build a tolerance for that substance.

Generally, it doesn’t take an extremely long time for people to develop substance dependence. In some cases, it can take just 6 months of regular and continuous use. As a person’s tolerance for a drug begins to increase, withdrawal symptoms begin to enter the scene, too.

This means that individuals who may stop using a drug that they’ve been using for a while, they will start to feel uncomfortable and feel the need to use the drug again in order to get a sense of normality back.

Tolerance and withdrawal are the two main factors that identify a dependence problem. And one important detail to note is that it’s definitely possible to be dependent on a substance without being addicted to it.

What is Dependence and How Does it Develop?

Addiction is different from dependence in the sense that this particular drug use problem is characterized by more compulsive drug use habits. People who are suffering from an addiction problem often experience major cravings and urges to use or drink.

Often, these uncontrollable cravings lead individuals to use drugs or alcohol “despite harmful consequences”, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states. Addiction is the inability to stop using drugs or alcohol and it often causes major problems in various areas of people’s lives.

Sometimes, people who are dealing with addiction problems have a hard time focusing on the important matters in life, including work responsibilities, schoolwork, family, friends, and much more.

Addiction also causes many emotional and physical consequences. It can lead to depression, isolation, and intense feelings of fear. Many drug addictions cause heart, liver, and brain damage.

Since addiction is also characterized by tolerance and withdrawal, it’s safe to say that many of the people who suffer from addiction also have dependency problems.

Getting Treatment for Your Struggle

As we mentioned earlier, it’s very important to seek help for your specific struggle. If you are dealing with a dependence problem, your treatment program should focus on helping you to work through withdrawal and live without having to use a substance.

If you are living with drug or alcohol addiction, your treatment program should deal specifically with the addiction as well as any underlying problems.

It’s best to seek professional guidance in figuring out exactly what your struggle is and how to approach that particular struggle. If you need help identifying and overcoming a drug or alcohol use problem in your life, the team here at 1st Step Behavioral Health can help you!

Just contact us today by calling (866) 319-6126.


alcohol and depression

What Is the Connection Between Alcohol and Depression?

What if you were sliding further into depression without even knowing it?

Many people use alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with their depression. However, there are many scary links between alcohol and depression.

Wondering what the connection really is? Keep reading to find out!

Chicken and the Egg Problem

There is a simple reason that people are confused about the connections between depression and alcohol. First of all, it’s not always clear which causes which!

For example, many people with depression turn to alcohol as a way to seek relief. This works temporarily because of how alcohol affects the brain (more on this later).

However, alcohol dependence and alcoholism can cause a number of negative consequences in someone’s life. And such consequences put them at extreme risk of developing depression.

We’re going to do a deeper dive into all of the factors surrounding the issue. However, it’s important to understand how each of these things can effectively cause the development of each other.

Depressingly Common

Many people claim to have depression. And morbid jokes about depression have become the regular subject of memes. But just how common is depression?

On average, depression affects one out of every fifteen people every year. And there is a higher potential for depression among those who are in their teens and twenties.

This means that there are over 200,000 people suffering from depression in the United States alone. It’s almost certain that you know someone who is currently suffering.

Now that you know approximately how many people experience depression, it’s important to know how both depression and alcohol affect the chemicals in your brain.

Chemical Connection

As we mentioned before, many who suffer from depression turn towards alcohol as a form of treatment. And this is an approach that may work…right up until it stops working, that is.

Depression is persistent because it involves the chemistry of your brain. When your brain experiences a chemical imbalance, you may experience depression.

This is why most antidepressants seek to restore some of that chemical balance. Unfortunately, most antidepressants are expensive and require prescriptions, meaning that not everyone who needs them will be able to get them.

Because of this, many people turn towards alcohol as a cheaper and more accessible way of treating depression. And while it may provide temporary relief for some people, this relief is not lasting.

Basically, alcohol can temporarily help someone feel good by boosting certain neurotransmitters and blocking others. And it can help someone with activities ranging from socialization to sleep.

When a depressed person stops drinking, though, their depression may be worse. They may experience increased stress levels and feel like many of their symptoms are worse.

Different Kinds of Depression

Alcohol affects many people with depression in different ways. This is largely due to the fact that there are so many different kinds of depression.

Some people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder. As the name implies, SAD symptoms primarily last through the winter, resulting in what many simply identify as the holiday blues.

Psychotic depression is on the more extreme end of things. This can cause extreme paranoia, insomnia, emotional instability, and even hallucinations.

Persistent Depressive Disorder refers to symptoms of depression lasting for two years or more. Such symptoms may include poor self-esteem, difficulty making decisions, poor concentration, and social isolation.

Finally, there’s Major Depression. This is when depression symptoms begin to affect someone’s daily life. Symptoms may include low energy, irritability, frequent crying, and thoughts of suicide.

Alcohol may alternately hold off or exacerbate any and all of these symptoms. So while alcohol affects different depressions in different ways, it’s good for all depressed people to avoid it altogether.

One Thing Leads to Another

We have focused on how depression can lead to alcoholism as a form of coping with symptoms. But how does alcohol consumption itself lead to depression?

First, there is nothing inherently wrong with mild, occasional drinking. And many studies suggest there may even be health benefits to drinking the occasional glass of wine.

However, regular drinking may eventually turn into alcohol dependence or outright alcoholism. And this eventually starts having a negative impact on a person’s personal and professional life.

If someone begins losing friends or even a job due to their drinking, they will experience sadness and regret. And this may eventually blossom into full-blown depression.

It’s true that not every heavy drinker develops depression and not every depressed person is a drinker. But the risk factor for one thing leading to another is very clear.

Diagnosing Depression

You now know exactly how prevalent depression is. But do you know how to diagnose depression in yourself or those you love?

The best way to seek diagnosis is to seek out a medical professional who has experience with depression. However, there are some “warning signs” to be on the lookout for in your own life.

For instance, those whose mood often fluctuates or who experience insomnia may be at risk. Similarly, those who think about harming themselves or others are at risk of depression.

Persistent feelings of sadness are a major warning sign. And, as we have discussed, regular use of alcohol may be a factor.

The final warning sign is whether these feelings have begun to affect your personal or professional life. If the answer is “yes,” then you may well have depression.

Treating Depression

There are many kinds of therapy and forms of medication that can help treat depression. However, those with alcohol dependence and depression may need more specialized treatment.

Numerous treatment centers are able to treat alcohol dependence and depression at the same time. This can help to restore the body and mind simultaneously.

Keep in mind that alcoholism and depression have another big connection: the first step in getting better is admitting that you need help!

Alcohol and Depression: The Bottom Line

Now you know more about the link between alcohol and depression. But do you know who you can turn to for help?

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, we are ready to help you rediscover the real “you” again. To begin that journey, just contact us today!

Dealing With Negative People After Completing Rehab

Now that you’re back from a rehab program for addiction to drugs and alcohol you’re probably starting to feel more confident in yourself. You may even feel hopeful. Embrace that. You’ll need it.

There are a few people who are naysayers when it comes to getting help for drug and alcohol addiction. They may say that rehab is nonsense. They might say that you’re just choosing this addiction, that you could make the choice to change without help, but you know that they couldn’t be more wrong.

When you come into contact with the naysayers, the negative people in your life after you get back from rehab, have a plan. Sometimes, on days when you’re feeling kind of blue and vulnerable, people like this will pop up and without a plan it may be difficult to resist the shame spiral.


What can you say?

Take a moment that you are feeling whole. A moment where you know beyond any question that the road to sobriety that you have chosen is the right path for you. Do some free-writing. I suggest sitting down at the table, setting a timer – maybe ten minutes, and free writing about the subject at hand. Your subject? Why I am committed to a sober life. Write about all of the ways it worked for you, all of the positive progress you’ve made and all of the lessons you came away with. Take your words and read them over. That’s got to feel good.

Now take that writing and condense it down to a few sentences. That is what you can say to the negative outlook coming out of someone else’s perspective. Now that you have a plan, take that free write and put it in your journal for later inspiration.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction in South Florida, it’s time to seek out help for drug abuse and alcohol addiction. With our supportive staff and tranquil rehab center, you can work toward your sobriety, end your addiction, and finish ready to start a new successful and sober life. Call us today at (866) 319-6126 to learn more.


How to Deal with Stress After Rehab

Make a habit of putting yourself first. This may be counterintuitive, but don’t forget that no matter what life brings, but especially in the tempest that can be drug or alcohol addiction treatment and recovery, you need to make sure all of your basic human needs are met before you start worrying about anyone else’s.


Take yourself out on the town and have a good, safe, sober time. There are lots of things to do other than drink or get high. Go to the movies, have a dinner date with a friend and get burgers, fries and a coke, old school style, feel free to substitute salad if you’re a vegetarian. You can go to a club and dance all night long while drinking sparkling water and lime. Try getting a pedicure and an ice cream cone.

Take long luxurious baths. One of the things that is great about rehab is it teaches you that prioritizing correctly helps you remember that sometimes the simple things in life are the most important. And sometimes one of those simple things is allowing yourself the space to relax and breathe. For some recovering addicts this can happen with plenty of bubbles and a good audio book.

Taking care of yourself is pretty hard. It often doesn’t’ come second nature to us because we are taught to make sure we are thinking of others first. Being thoughtful is important but you can’t possibly care for someone very well if your own needs are unmet.


If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction in the Florida area, it’s time to seek out help for drug abuse and alcohol addiction. Through our replacement therapy or whatever is the best drug rehab for you, you can work through your trauma and addiction and you can come out the other side ready to do the hard work of a successful and sober life. Call us today at (866) 319-6126 or contact us online for help with your drug or alcohol addiction.


Treatment Options Available for Recovering Addicts

There are a variety of treatment options to combat addiction. Many are used in conjunction for the best results. The tools gained from these forms of therapy help a person to overcome addiction and lead a sober and successful life. A healthcare professional can help determine which methods are most effective for individual needs.


Traditional Therapy

Traditional methods used to help with substance abuse issues include inpatient, outpatient, and recovery homes. Inpatient requires an individual to live in medical facility for one to six months and work closely with medical staff to detox and learn new habits to maintain sobriety. Outpatient requires individuals to attend meetings weekly with a more intense schedule initially, and then tapes when the person learns new skills to help battle addiction. Recovery homes are group homes where one may stay in a safe and sober living environment. Sometimes all three are used in conjunction with a person completing inpatient rehab, following by living in a recovery home, and finally outpatient services.

12 Step Support Groups

Many people find success attending support groups and gaining skills from other individuals who have battled addiction and succeeded in remaining sober. This method includes attending regular meetings, working through the traditional 12 steps, which vary based on the program, and continuing attending meetings for the best results.


Alternative Therapy

Some individuals have found success in newer or alternative therapies. EMDR is a technique that focuses on re-processing traumatic events. Animal assisted therapy exposes people to animals, which has shown to increase mental health. Other therapies include yoga, massage, nature exploration, or biofeedback. These methods are used to reduce stress and cravings and teach an individual to be in tune to what the body is looking for, aside from substances.


Contact us to determine the best rehab therapies for your substance addiction. Doing so will allow you to be the most successful in your journey to sobriety.

Alcohol Treatment in a Society of Drinkers

Lately, there has been a huge number of news stories focusing on how there is an opioid addiction epidemic that seems like it is truly taking over the country. However, alcohol is still used and abused by many more people than opioids – it just doesn’t get reported on because alcohol has always been available and since drinking alcohol is not necessarily seen as a problem by most people in South Florida. The thing is, though, that there are a number of problems and symptoms associated with alcohol abuse and alcoholism that can lead to many serious events and afflictions, even death in some extreme situations.


Alcohol is More Dangerous than People Think

And although alcohol can be so dangerous, the fact mentioned earlier that alcohol is and has been legal in our country for all but a handful of years (remember prohibition?), people just assume that it’s perfectly safe to use other than in situations where inebriation impairs coordination leading to accidents and injuries. They don’t think there’s going to be any effects from the alcohol itself. Nevertheless, that just is not true. In fact, alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances that people can consume – even when compared to many illegal drugs.


Getting Help

Still, if you or someone you know is has developed or is developing an addiction to alcohol, you should take immediate steps to try to keep alcoholism from taking root. While people who don’t know better will often try sharing alcohol again and again after receiving alcohol treatment, those situations are exactly what are addressed during rehab – how to deal with difficult situations without returning to alcohol or another substance.


It’s Not Going Anywhere

There just is not going to be another time when alcohol is outlawed again – at least not in our lifetimes – and because of that it will always have some sort of presence in life. But that doesn’t mean you have to drink, relapse, or abuse the stuff. Contact us to learn more about South Florida alcohol treatment or to schedule the beginning of an alcohol rehab program.

Checking in to Your Boca Raton Rehab Center

Before Going to the Rehab Center

When you contact our rehab center for the purposes of quitting an addictive substance, you will set an appointment date for you to go to the facility. Before you go into rehab, though, there are a few things you should take care of. Most importantly is that  you should inform your family and friends that you will be checking in to rehab and will be gone for at least a couple weeks (assuming you are going into inpatient rehab). After that, make sure that your household is taken care of for the time you will be away. This can mean paying bills/rent in advance, getting someone to care for your pets or plants, and informing other important people about your impending absence.


Signing in to Rehab

When you arrive at the rehab center at the scheduled date, you will have to fill out some paperwork before you’re admitted, including signing waivers and informing the rehab center how the treatment will be covered financially, be it through cash, insurance, grants, or another way. Once done signing in, you will be taken into the actual facility.


Your First Few Hours at the Rehab Center

You will be shown around the facility and the quarters you will be sleeping in for the next few weeks. You will also have a series of evaluations to best determine how to treat your addiction. These tests include psychological and physical assessments.


Starting Detox

The first stage of rehabilitation is detox if your addiction is strong enough to require it. During detox, you will likely experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms that range in intensity, but you can get through it successfully. Once detox is out of the way, the rest of rehab will feel much easier, and the chances of you quitting for good increases dramatically.


To get started at our rehab center in Pompano Beach, give us a call or send us a message at your earliest convenience.


What to Expect from Alcoholism Detox

Alcoholism can wreak havoc on your life whether it is you or a family member who has been plagued with the addiction. With alcohol, like any other addictive drug, ending an addiction is a tough task, especially if you’re trying to do so on your own. That is why rehab centers in Pompano offer the services and support you and your family needs to return to a sober lifestyle. And when rehab is discussed, most people have a fairly accurate idea of what goes on inside a substance abuse treatment center.


However, no one really has a clear notion of what people in Pompano should expect when going through detox from alcohol abuse. If you or a family member is preparing to go into rehab for alcoholism in Pompano Beach, continue reading to get a better understanding of what your first days at the facility will be like.


Checking in for Detox

When you first arrive at the rehab center in Pompano you have signed up for, you will go through a check in process before being taken to your room for detox. When you check in at the facility, you will complete paperwork similar to what you complete at most medical facilities the first time you visit them, though the rehab center will require a few more pages of answered questions and signatures.


Once done checking in, you will be given a tour of the important locations in the rehab center and taken to your room. In your room, you and a staff member will go through the contents of any bags you packed to make sure no drugs or alcohol were brought with you, and then your detox period will officially begin.


Withdrawal Symptoms

After being checked in at the rehab center in Pompano, detox from alcoholism means going through withdrawal. Some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include the following:

Common Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Sweating
  • Irritation


Rare Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium tremens
  • Increased heart rate
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • Profuse sweating


Due to the intensity of many of the withdrawal symptoms, treatment for alcohol addiction and detox in Pompano is recommended to be done at a rehab center. Learn more by contacting us today and we will be glad to answer any of your questions.


What to Expect at an Alcohol Rehab Center in Florida

If you are planning on going through rehab, you’re probably nervous about what you will encounter while at First Step Behavioral Health – an alcohol rehab center in Florida – while you get over your alcoholism. As you’ll read here, there are actually some things to look forward to:


Friendly People

Thanks to movies and TV shows, you might think that walking down the halls of a rehab center will feel like the most depressing thing you could ever do, but that’s not simply the case. We work hard to make sure everyone here is comfortable and as happy as someone going through rehab can be.


Helpful Staff & Professionals

At First Step, you will notice that there’s something a little bit different about our doctors and staff. It’s that we truly want to help you get through your addiction and back to life the way it should be. Some of our families have gone through difficult times like you are now and we aren’t only here to help the patient but their loved ones as well.


People Like You

As you might expect, there are going to be other people going through alcoholism rehab at the same time as you. Because of this, you will develop a network of people who you can rely on during the difficult stages of rehab and they can lean on you when things are difficult for them.


Time to Do What You Want

One of the biggest things that people find surprising about going to an alcohol rehab center in Florida is that they actually have a lot of time on their hands to just relax. While it might not seem important at first, this is actually one of the most important parts of rehab – and that’s discovering what to do with yourself when you can’t have a drink.