The Harry S. Truman VA Hospital opened in 1972 and serves 43 counties in total with the home facility located in Columbia, Missouri and an additional branch in Pike County, Illinois. A full continuum of care is available for veterans which includes support for substance abuse and other behavioral and mental health issues.
Accommodations and Food
The substance abuse program at the VA accommodates clients in a 15-bed inpatient unit for those requiring intensive treatment. The facility is a hospital setting with three residents sharing each unit, with a total of five rooms available. Each room has twin beds and an en suite bathroom with a shower. Staff is available at all hours of the day. There is an on-site gym and media room available for clients to utilize during their stay.
Meals are served in a cafeteria setting with a wide variety of menu options. Clients are fed three meals per day with snacks, coffee and tea available at all times. Clients with specific dietary restrictions are accommodated, including vegetarian and gluten-free meals available upon request.
Treatment and Staff
Veterans may attend the alcohol and drug program on an inpatient or outpatient basis depending on need which is determined through a bio-psycho-social assessment with an intake counselor. Length of treatment and objectives are dependent on the client, making the program an individualized treatment experience. All treatment is evidence-based including CBT, Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) and community reinforcement. In addition to traditional therapy, 12-step meetings are facilitated in the evening hours by trusted servants of the fellowships. AA, NA and CA meetings are available and highly encouraged for additional support.
Group therapy is the primary method of treatment at the VA and a range of topics are discussed to address substance abuse related issues. Individual therapy is provided and scheduled as often as recommended in each client’s treatment plan. Clients who require dual diagnosis support are seen by psychiatrists for medication management and more intensive psychoanalysis.
Treatment is overseen by a staff of nurses, doctors, psychiatrists and LCSWs. All staff members have extensive substance abuse treatment experience and additional credentials to work with chemically dependent clients.
Additional services include recreational therapy and art therapy. Clients who are ready for discharge are prepared with resources for housing, vocational rehabilitation and other support for re-entry into the community. They are also encouraged to continue their involvement in the 12-step fellowship to strengthen their external support system and building healthy coping skills. Chaplain services are available as well for clients that desire to spiritual reinforcement.
Overall, the Harry S. Truman VA Hospital offers resources and rehab services for veterans in need of support for substance abuse and a range of mental health issues. Through an established treatment community and 12-step reinforcement, clients are given the opportunity to begin again in an environment that promotes health and well-being. Inpatient and outpatient programs are available so that clients may step down treatment intensity to feel prepared to return home as sober individuals.
Harry S. Truman Veterans Hospital
800 Hospital Dr
Columbia, MO 65212
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Photo courtesy of By Me5000 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)