Freedom from addiction is possible. That’s the message American Addiction Centers (AAC) will spread this Veterans Day in hopes of encouraging more veterans to seek help. Studies indicate that one in 10 veterans has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder. However, AAC believes there may be even more of our nation’s heroes who are hesitant to come forward. Through its social media campaign, launching on November 11, AAC is on a mission to get more veterans into treatment. To kick off the campaign, AAC will provide 30 days of free inpatient care to 10 members of the armed forces.
Beginning at 12 p.m. EST on the holiday, veterans who call the veterans hotline at (888) 902-VETS could be eligible for care. AAC will also have a dedicated resource page on its website at americanaddictioncenters.org/vets.
“We’ve made it an annual tradition to provide free care on Veterans Day as our way of giving back to those who have sacrificed for our nation’s freedom,” said Michael Cartwright, CEO of American Addiction Centers. “However, our commitment to veterans is year round, from our Salute to Recovery treatment programs at Desert Hope and Recovery First to our recruitment initiative to establish a staff comprised of 25% veterans.”
American Addiction Centers chief of staff, Dan Cerrillo, is one of those staff members. The Navy SEAL veteran is sharing his personal experiences with addiction in a live Q & A on Facebook at 6 p.m. EST on Veterans Day. Other military veterans on AAC’s staff will also be sharing their stories throughout the week.
“I’ve lost over 100 guys in my peer group alone,” said Cerrillo. “For some, it was on the battlefield, but for far too many of them it happened back at home. They succumbed to substance use and suicide. That’s one of the reasons I joined AAC because I didn’t want to see another veteran suffer under my watch. I’m now on a mission to get as many veterans help as possible.”