Tactical Recovery: Mental Health & Addiction Treatment for Veterans

Honoring the service and sacrifice of veterans by offering specialized mental health and addiction treatment services designed to promote healing, resilience, and renewed purpose in life.

Tactical Recovery: Mental Health & Addiction Treatment for Veterans

Those who serve in the armed forces of the United States often have experiences that the rest of us can hardly even imagine. Serving in the military can mean being away from family and friends for extended periods, witnessing and/or experiencing violence (including serious injury), and mourning the loss of fellow service members.

Veteran-specific Treatment Programs

These difficult experiences can, understandably, lead to a range of difficulties including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the development of a substance use disorder, and more. And while plenty of places offer mental health and substance use disorder recovery services, very few of them have specific expertise in helping veterans.

Tactical Recovery at Aviary Recovery

Fortunately, that is beginning to change—and we are proud to be part of that change. The Aviary Recovery Center now offers a new program known as Tactical Recovery.

Many veterans report reluctance to pursue mental health or substance use disorder treatment because they feel as though providers are unlikely to understand what they have been through. They may believe that if a therapist or other treatment provider does not have a complete understanding of the military experience, that person will be unable to provide them with effective tools and strategies for coming to terms with their experience.

It is an understandable concern, and Tactical Recovery has been painstakingly designed to address it. Working in collaboration with the national non-profit PsychArmor, Summit Behavioral Healthcare (parent company of The Aviary Recovery Center) created Tactical Recovery with great care to ensure that veterans are served in a culturally competent and trauma-informed environment.

Veterans Trauma-Informed Care Approach

Committed to evidence-based approaches—as well as to compassion and understanding—Tactical Recovery practitioners truly listen to each veteran they work with and then create a personalized treatment plan. Practices proven to help veterans recover from mental health or substance use disorders are central to the Tactical Recovery program.

Mental Health & Substance Use Treatment for Veterans

Residential treatment through the Tactical Recovery program provides a safe, structured environment for Veterans and first responders who are struggling with a substance use disorder or mental health issue. Upon arrival, individuals will be evaluated and if detoxification is necessary, it will take place before they move to residential care. Clients reside at one of our peaceful, homelike facilities during treatment, receiving access to 24/7 care and support from a team of credentialed recovery professionals.

In the Tactical Recovery residential program, every day is structured to provide intensive intervention and to educate, encourage, and empower each resident’s movement into recovery. Each day is full and designed to optimize the time we have with our clients and set them up for success when they leave. Clients can expect some combination of the treatment modalities below:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy, EMDR, somatic experiencing, dialectical behavior therapy, experiential therapy, and 12-step work
  • Individual, group, and family programming
  • Psychiatric services, including medication management, if appropriate
  • Substance use and co-occurring disorders education
  • Daily process groups, mindfulness groups, and exercise and wellness activities
  • Relapse prevention groups, gender groups, life skills groups, nursing groups, and discharge planning groups

With a focus on mind, body, and spirit, the Tactical Recovery program offers compassionate, quality care in an atmosphere conducive for growth. Residents may have access to nature walks, fishing, equine and animal-assisted therapies, exercise equipment, basketball, volleyball, and other recreational activities, as well as yoga, meditation, and other holistic therapies.

How Tactical Recovery Can Help Veterans and First Responders

Make no mistake: everyone at The Aviary Recovery Center is grateful for the many sacrifices made by those who serve our country. And we hope to repay that service by providing exceptional, veteran-focused treatment for mental health and substance use disorders.

If you have served in the military and find yourself struggling with depression, anxiety, feelings of anger, or other mental health concerns, we can help. And if you have turned to drugs or alcohol as a way to manage your difficulties, we can help you reclaim and maintain your sobriety. Tactical Recovery offers a proven path toward better mental health and substance use disorder recovery.

Bridge Care

When there isn’t current availability at a VA facility, but a veteran needs immediate help, our Bridge Care program can be the answer. With proper authorization, veterans can start receiving care at our Tactical Recovery program locations until services can be secured at a VA facility. This bridge can support veterans when they need help the most, and start them on the road to recovery sooner.

Offered at all Tactical Recovery locations, Bridge Care offers:

  • A temporary supportive environment where veterans can remain safe and sober
  • A veteran-centric approach offering trauma informed care to include a variety of evidence-based practices, proven to be effective in treating the veteran population
  • Medically monitored withdrawal management
  • Collaborative coordination with VA Medical Centers to ensure a safe bed-to-bed transfer
  • A staff of licensed clinicians and medical professionals
  • Additional comprehensive levels of care provided as necessary, including residential treatment and outpatient services

Tactical Recovery FAQ

What is Tactical Recovery?

Tactical Recovery: Specialized Support for Veterans and First Responders

Tactical Recovery is a specialized addiction treatment program designed specifically for veterans, active military personnel, first responders, and their families. Recognizing the unique challenges this population faces due to their service or traumatic experiences, it offers a comprehensive and culturally competent approach to recovery.

Why Veterans are reluctant to seek help for addiction or mental health?

Overcoming the Barriers to Seeking Help

We have noted that many times veterans are reluctant to seek out help because they don’t believe anyone will fully understand what they have gone through—and are going through now. But there may be other reasons for reluctance as well.

For example, a veteran may feel that they should have the personal strength to overcome whatever difficulty they are facing. This misconception that mental health disorders and substance use disorders can be overcome by strength of will is quite dangerous. It is essential to remember that these disorders are not signs of weakness but rather disorders of the brain that can be effectively treated. Just as it is seldom a good idea to go it alone in a military environment, it is a decidedly bad idea to try to go it alone when it comes to issues of mental health or substance use.

Taking Steps to Overcome Shame in Mental Health

It is also possible that a veteran may feel guilty or embarrassed about needing help. They may want help and know they need it but worry that they are letting themselves or others down if they get help. Feelings of shame can be quite powerful, but it is essential to set them aside when mental health or substance use issues are in play. Just as fellow service people stand with one another in good times and bad, those engaged in caring for veterans are committed to serving—not judging or shaming—those who need help.

For these and other reasons, a vet may be tempted to put off getting help. But the better move is to get treatment for mental and substance use challenges sooner rather than later.

What makes Tactical Recovery unique?

Here’s what makes Tactical Recovery unique:  5 Core Values:  

  • Culturally competent: The program understands the specific culture and language of veterans and first responders, creating a safe and supportive environment where they can feel understood and respected.
  • Trauma-informed: It acknowledges the prevalence of trauma in this population and integrates trauma-informed approaches into all aspects of treatment.
  • Evidence-based: The program utilizes proven and effective treatment modalities like CBT, DBT, and mindfulness practices.
  • Holistic: It addresses not just the physical aspects of addiction but also the mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
  • Family-centered: The program recognizes the importance of family support in recovery and encourages family involvement in the treatment process.
What Services does Tactical Recovery offer Veterans and First Responders?

Tactical Recovery Services Offered to Veterans and First Responders: 

  • Residential treatment: Offers a safe and structured environment for intensive detox, therapy, and rehabilitation.
  • Outpatient treatment: Provides ongoing support and therapy after completing residential treatment.
  • Family therapy: Helps families understand addiction and heal from the impact it has had on their relationships.
  • Aftercare support: Provides resources and support to prevent relapse and ensure long-term recovery.
What are the Benefits of Tactical Recovery for Veterans and First Responders?

Benefits of Tactical Recovery for Veterans and First Responders: 

  • Improved substance use outcomes: Studies show that programs like Tactical Recovery have higher success rates in reducing substance use among veterans and first responders compared to traditional treatment programs.
  • Reduced mental health symptoms: The program addresses the underlying mental health issues that often contribute to addiction, leading to improved emotional well-being.
  • Stronger social support: The strong peer support network fosters a sense of belonging and understanding among participants.
  • Improved quality of life: By addressing addiction and trauma, Tactical Recovery helps individuals reclaim control over their lives and pursue their goals.


Looking for dual-diagnosis treatment for Veterans near St. Louis? For more information about The Aviary Recovery Center, please contact us anytime at (888) 998-8655. We’re here to help.