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Substance Abuse Treatment Program Helps Veterans
A program called Veterans Treatment Court is assisting veterans in Washington and Harrison counties.
The program is called the South Central Indiana Veterans Treatment Court (VTC). Funding is provided by the Department of Corrections. VTC is possible through a partnership between Prisoners and Community Together Inc. (PACT) and the court systems of Washington and Harrison counties.
Veterans convicted of non-violent felonies are eligible for the program. It is similarly structured to a traditional drug court program. The program aims to provide support to veterans, increase access to resources provided by Indiana's Department of Veterans Affairs and reduce recidivism.
Veterans who complete the program may have their sentences reduced. On average, a person may be in the program between one and two years. Participants will meet with VTC facilitators and take drug tests. Facilitators will work with each person to determine the best course of treatment based on criteria such as socio-economic factors, trauma, mental health or substance use disorders diagnoses that led to their current situation.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention reported that in 2015 veterans accounted for nearly 15 percent of suicides in the U.S. Those who used Veteran Health Administration services who had been diagnosed with mental health or substance use disorders had an increased risk of committing suicide.
Many veterans have expressed interest in VTC this year.
VTC coordinators are currently looking for community members to serve as program mentors.