Virginia Alcohol and Drug Use Statistics
Here is a quick overview of growing substance use issues in Virginia:3, 4
By 2015, the number of illicit opioid-related deaths surpassed that of prescription opioid-related deaths.
Fentanyl is now the leading cause of opioid-related deaths, causing 59.3% of all fatal overdoses in 2019
Fatal cocaine overdoses increased to 9.4% and fatal methamphetamine overdoses rose to 55.9% in 2019
Alcohol-related fatal overdoses have increased since 2007 to roughly 1.5 annual deaths per 10,000 people
If you think kids don’t need to be monitored on social media, think again. It’s frighteningly easy for kids to logon to their social accounts, perform a quick search, click a few buttons, and order what they mistakenly believe are “safe” pharmaceuticals like OxyContin or Xanax. Days later, a package arrives in the mail containing deadly fentanyl-laced pills. A great example of this scheme is a recent case that came before the VA district attorney’s office where three California-based drug traffickers pled guilty to supplying a VA man with staggering amounts of fentanyl-laced pills purchased on Snapchat and Instagram. That same batch of fentanyl was linked to two teenage overdoses in Wise County, Virginia.
~ Nikki Seay
Cost of Alcohol and Drug Rehab in Virginia
The cost of treatment in Virginia depends on several factors, including:
- Treatment type: Do you need residential treatment or outpatient care?
- Duration of the program: This can range anywhere from 30 to 90 days, or longer depending on the severity of your substance use.
- Amenities offered: These range from necessities, such as toiletries and food, to luxury-style accommodations, which alter costs significantly.
- Location: Costs may vary significantly in the mountains, beach, or metropolitan areas.
- Insurance coverage: Plans can significantly lower your out-of-pocket costs.
- Alternative funding: You may be eligible for state funding, scholarships, or financing plans.
- Accreditation: Accredited rehabs in Virginia are held to higher standards of care, required to train staff to the highest skill levels available, and proven to treat clients using the best evidence-based practices in addiction therapy.
Among the 249 facilities for drug and alcohol rehab in Virginia that responded to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment and Services in 2020, these payment options were accepted:9
How to Find Free Addiction Treatment in Virginia
Free or state-funded rehabs are full-service addiction treatment facilities and detox centers in Virginia that offer services at an affordable price. These facilities get their funding from both state and federal governments; in some cases, local governments make contributions. Local governing bodies include grant money, insurance programs like Medicaid, and corporate donations.
In order to be eligible for admittance, be prepared to provide the following information to be considered for treatment:
- Proof of citizenship and state residency
- Proof of income (or lack thereof)
- Your family size
- Proof of not having any health insurance
Does Insurance Cover Rehab in Virginia?
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 requires that healthcare insurers in all states provide plans that include both substance use disorder and mental health benefits.5 That means, if you have insurance, you should receive some level of coverage for most Virginia addiction treatment centers.
In looking at types of insurance and coverage regarding recovery:
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act requires all insurance providers to cover substance abuse treatment to some extent. Because each plan differs regarding specific coverage, it is important for Virginia residents to confirm what their particular plan includes.
Virginia Medicaid is a government program that provides health insurance for low-income Virginia residents. To receive Medicaid, residents must meet income requirements and apply for the coverage.
Medicare is a federally funded health insurance program for Americans aged 65 and over and certain individuals with disabilities. To participate in the program, Virginians must meet requirements and pay a monthly premium based on income. Benefits may include coverage for substance abuse treatment, if the rehab facility chosen accepts Medicare as a form of payment.
TRICARE in Virginia
TRICARE in Virginia (East region) is a nationwide program that provides health insurance coverage for U.S. military personnel, veterans, and their dependents. Benefits include some coverage for addiction treatment services.
IHS-Funded Drug Rehabs
Indian Health Service (IHS) rehabs provide free or low-cost treatment for Native Americans and Native Alaskans who need SUD treatment.
How to Finance Treatment Costs in Virginia
Sometimes insurance coverage is not enough, depending on what you have to pay out-of-pocket for associated treatment costs. Whether you need supplemental funding for drug rehab in Virginia or you don’t have insurance coverage, these are some additional options.
State-Funded Rehabs: Some rehabs in Virginia offer low-cost or no-cost treatment to those who otherwise can’t afford to pay. To qualify for state-funded care, Virginians typically need to provide proof of income, family size, proof of lack of health insurance, and proof of state residency.
Apply for a Rehab Scholarship: There are often scholarships available through the treatment facility; they usually apply to both inpatient and outpatient centers. Rehab scholarships and grants are offered on an individual basis. This means your financial situation and severity of addiction will be evaluated before deciding how much you need this type of funding compared to others. The most direct way to find rehab scholarships is by contacting the treatment facility.
Sliding Scale Payment Plan Options: Sliding-scale payment plans are more common than most people realize. These programs offer people more flexibility because the system lets you pay based upon your personal income and several other factors (financial resources, the type of treatment you require, your ability to make consistent payments, etc.).
Levels of Care for Addiction Treatment Settings
Here are the levels of care you can generally expect to find in Virginia:
Withdrawal can be a very painful, stressful, and potentially life-threatening experience. This is especially true for those dependent on alcohol, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines. The entire process can last several weeks, with severity and duration depending on the following factors:7
- Types of substance(s) being used
- Duration of substance use
- The amount of substance(s) used at one time
- Any other co-occurring health or mental health conditions
Medical detox typically involves round-the-clock care and supervision, plus certain medications to aid in relief of withdrawal symptoms. Detox is often the first step toward drug rehab in Virginia, regardless of the type of substance being used.
Residential or Inpatient Care
This is the most intensive treatment setting, involving 24/7 care. During residential treatment, you live at the rehab facility and participate in several forms of therapy, including individual and group counseling, medication administration, and recreational therapy.
There are three types of outpatient treatment:
Standard outpatient treatment only requires a few hours of therapy and treatment each week, making it the least intensive of all outpatient options. For those utilizing standard outpatient treatment, attending support group meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is usually required.
Intensive outpatient treatment programs (IOPs) work similarly to PHPs in that they require several hours of treatment or therapy daily. However, rather than requiring seven days of commitment a week, treatment typically starts at only five days per week.
Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are outpatient treatment programs that can function as a step down between inpatient and standard outpatient care. They run on stringent schedules involving several hours of treatment attendance each day. However, you can return home afterward. PHPs offer many of the same treatment methods used in inpatient care.
Aftercare begins once you complete inpatient or outpatient treatment. These programs provide continued support to prevent relapse. This may include 12-step meetings, transitional housing, or therapy.
Telehealth and Virtual Addiction Treatment
Telehealth and virtual therapy make treatment much more accessible. These virtual services make it easy for individuals who live in isolated locations or have disabilities and cannot physically attend treatment to get specialized care. However, if you require medical detox and inpatient care, virtual drug rehab in Virginia cannot offer the services and medical attention you need to recover.
Specialized Alcohol and Drug Rehabs in Virginia
These are some specialized alcohol and drug rehab options available to specific demographics in Virginia:
Holistic treatment centers focus on treating both the mind and body to provide a comprehensive, “whole-person” approach to addiction recovery. These facilities typically offer a variety of non-traditional therapies, such as yoga, nature therapy, meditation, animal therapy, and others. They also incorporate more standard, evidence-based therapies with holistic treatments.
Rehabs that specialize in treating members of the LGBTQ+ community provide a safe space for patients to recover from drug and alcohol addiction. Providers also understand challenges unique to this community, such as internalized homophobia and transphobia, family rejection, social exclusion, and discrimination.
Men-Only or Women-Only
Men and women are mentally, emotionally, and physically affected by substance use disorders in different ways. So it goes without saying that men and women recover differently, which requires different treatment approaches. Women-only and men-only rehab facilities allow individuals to receive treatment based on these gender-specific factors.
Teen rehab focuses on the significant changes – psychological, physiological, and social – that adolescents experience and are known to contribute to ongoing substance use. These types of facilities are designed to address teenagers on an individual level and provide the proper tools to cope with pressures that tend to trigger them.
Substance Laws in Virginia
In Virginia, lawmakers have enacted the following policies to govern substance use, overdoses, and addiction treatment.12,13
The Virginia State Good Samaritan Law: As of 2015, Virginia passed its Good Samaritan law alongside many other states. It offers protection for individuals who use illicit substances and experience or witness an overdose. It encourages Virginia residents to call 911 without fear of legal repercussions for minor drug-related charges.
Employee Protections for Addiction Treatment: In Virginia, substance use disorders are considered a disability, per the Americans with Disabilities Act. This means employees are protected from discrimination for having a substance use disorder. However, this law does not prevent employers from taking disciplinary action against employees who use substances during work hours.
First-time Offender Program: First-time drug offenders in Virginia can use this program to avoid jail time. Residents charged with possession can have charges deferred if they agree to enter a drug rehab in Virginia and complete the program. Conditions may include community service, substance abuse education, substance abuse treatment, and random drug tests. Successful completion of all conditions can result in a dismissal of the drug charges.
- United Health Foundation. (2017). America’s Health Rankings Annual Report: Virginia 2021.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Virginia: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms.
- Virginia Department of Health. (2020). Fatal Drug Overdose Quarterly Report: Q1 2020 (Edition 2020.1). Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
- Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. (2017). State of Virginia Epidemiological Profile: Alcohol. Commonwealth of Virginia.
- Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. (2021). Mental Health and Substance Use Insurance Help. U. S. Department of Health & Human Services.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). Grants.
- Shah, M., & Huecker, M. R. (2022). Opioid Withdrawal. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing.
- Marshal, M. P., Friedman, M. S., Stall, R., King, K. M., Miles, J., Gold, M. A., Bukstein, O. G., & Morse, J. Q. (2008). Sexual orientation and adolescent substance use: A meta-analysis and methodological review. Addiction, 103(4), 546-556.
- National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS). (2022). 2020 N-SSATS State Profile: Virginia. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality.
- Medicare.gov. (n.d.). Inpatient rehabilitation care. U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- Virginia Department of Health.(n.d.). Alcohol-Related Death in Virginia, 2016-2020. Retrieved October 14, 2022, from https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/110/2022/04/Alcohol_Related_Death_VA_Report.pdf.
- Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally. (n.d.). Virginia’s Legislative Information System. Retrieved December 1, 2022, from https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title18.2/chapter7/section18.2-251.03/
- Substance Abuse under the ADA. (n.d.). United States Commission on Civil Rights. https://www.usccr.gov/files/pubs/ada/ch4.htm