Founded in 1932, Gulf Coast Veterans Healthcare System is a large veterans hospital and health organization located right on the Gulf of Mexico in Biloxi, Mississippi. The veteran’s organization offers residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment to male and female veterans.
Accommodations and Food
The residential substance abuse program operates out of a 30-bed treatment facility, a hospital where residents both live and attend group therapy. Ninety percent of the rooms inside the facility are single bed units with a twin bed, closet space and small nightstand. The double rooms have two twin beds with closet spaces as well. The building separates men and women into different wings.
All of the clients’ food is prepared by an on-site chef who cooks three meals a day. Clients are assigned a dietician while in the program who helps design an individual food plan to meet their dietary needs and restrictions.
For the first week living in the residential building, clients are not allowed to leave the facility unsupervised. However, after the initial week, clients are allowed to come and go as they please but do have a curfew of 10:30pm everyday.
Clients regularly participate in both indoor and outdoor recreational activities while living in the facility including bingo, horseshoe, and occasionally going out to local restaurants.
Treatment and Staff
Clients interested in Gulf Coast’s residential or outpatient programs must first undergo a general intake at the hospital to receive treatment. Clients then meet with an intake coordinator in Gulf Coast’s substance abuse department where the coordinator helps determine the clients needed level of care. If clients are in need of a specific level of care not provided by Gulf Coast, they are referred to other local treatment facilities and other Veterans hospitals and organizations who may be a better fit for their particular needs.
The residential program usually has a waiting list that averages around four weeks. When clients are admitted to the residential program, they are initially placed in the outpatient program so that they can begin receiving treatment while waiting to enter into the residential program.
When clients enter the residential program, they are placed on either a 45-day track or 90-day track depending on their needs. Both tracks have very similar schedules, however the 90-day program is designed for clients who have the highest level of need. The residential program consists of group and individual therapy. With the exception of one large daily group meeting that all 30 clients attend, most other group sizes are generally small and have on average eight to 12 clients. Counselors use a variety of treatment techniques and methods including CBT and the 12 steps. Individual meetings are available based on the needs of the client. Clients are generally in group and individual meetings from 8am until 3pm everyday while in the residential program, and then have the afternoon free to do as they wish.
Gulf Coasts outpatient program consist of one to three hours of group and individual counseling per week. Clients in this program can continue in it until they wish to leave, with some clients continuing in the program for years. The group meetings in the outpatient program operate the same as that of the residential program, with the exception of the outpatient groups having between 10 to 20 clients in the group.
Gulf Coast also operates both a residential and outpatient PTSD program specifically designed for veterans with PTSD and substance abuse problems. This residential program lasts for six to eight weeks and operates out of a 40-bed unit in the hospital.
Although Gulf Coast does not have an official family program, the inpatient program does offer family interventions. Clients can also request individual meetings with the counselor and their family members. Also, all family members and significant others are strongly encouraged to attend local Alanon groups in the area.
Gulf Coast Veterans Healthcare System is an affordable and comprehensive treatment program for veterans residing on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The flexible length of the outpatient program allows clients to step down at their own pace. Additionally, the freedom clients have in the residential program allows enough flexibility to create their own schedule in the afternoons, while still having the structure of a inpatient program.
Gulf Coast Veterans Healthcare System Location
400 Veterans Ave
Biloxi, MS 39531
Gulf Coast Veterans Healthcare System Cost
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