American Addiction Centers’ Community Care Partnership with Veterans Affairs

Posted on May 1st, 2020

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) works to provide health care, disability, career resources, housing assistance, life insurance, and education and training to veterans, service members, and families.1 VA recognizes the importance of caring for and treating the mental health and substance addiction experienced by some veterans and provides high-quality treatment. However, there are certain instances in which VA is either unable to provide the needed services or cannot provide them in a timely manner. With the intention of providing care to all veterans, regardless of availability of services, the MISSION Act was introduced.

The MISSION Act and Community Care

The MISSION Act provides veterans with increased access to health care from both VA facilities and from general care providers in the community.2 Typically, veterans who are pursuing care from a community provider will need approval from VA before they can receive treatment. Once they have obtained that approval, based on eligibility requirements, availability of care at VA, and the needs of the veteran, they can then seek alcohol and drug addiction treatment through local, VA-approved facilities.3

With approval from VA, veterans are able to receive care from non-VA providers, but the care must be provided by VA-approved community care providers (CCPs). The care from a community provider is provided on behalf of and paid for by VA.3 The types of care available from CCPs include general care; emergency care; urgent care; flu shots; and home, health, and hospice care.3 To find a community care provider, you can use the VA’s locator tool.

All CCPs are required to go through a stringent credentialing process in order to have VA endorse them as a treatment resource.4

American Addiction Centers and Community Care

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is made up of the United States’ largest network of substance abuse treatment centers. AAC is an authorized community network care provider that has partnered with VA to offer private mental health and substance abuse treatment at two locations: Desert Hope and Recovery First.

As CCPs, both facilities have programs, Salute to Recovery, that are specifically designed to treat veterans dealing with both substance abuse and mental health disorders. The Salute to Recovery program provides a safe environment where veterans are with others with similar experiences and struggles. These common threads that tie the veterans together allow them to feel more comfortable and understood in a facility surrounded by patients and staff members who are also veterans. The program focuses on areas that are specific to the experiences and needs of veterans, including:

  • Military culture.
  • Character and values.
  • The Impact of Stress
  • Post-traumatic responses.
  • Family and relationships.
  • Cognitive distortions.

The treatment teams at both facilities offer treatment methods including anger management, coping skills, conflict resolution, family and couples counseling, and proven therapies.

AAC’s facilities are committed to working in partnership with VA as CCPs to provide the life-changing care that veterans need as they begin on their road to recovery from alcohol or drug addiction and mental health challenges.


  1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (n.d.). Access and Manage Your VA Benefits and Health Care.
  2. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2020). VA MISSION Act.
  3. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2019). Community Care: Veterans Overview.
  4. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2020). Community Care: Provider Overview.
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