If you’re a military veteran struggling with addiction, you’re not alone in facing this battle. Veterans are at a higher risk of developing substance use disorders due to the unique stressors they face during deployments. It’s essential to address these specific needs through specialized treatment programs that recognize the traumas caused by military service. A drug addiction hotline in Wisconsin can help you find treatment programs that offer trauma-informed care.

The National Drug Helpline is a toll-free number 1-844-289-0879. We are open around the clock, 365 days a year, including weekends and holidays. Our goal is to give you quick access to updated information about addiction treatment in Wisconsin. All calls to the helpline are answered by knowledgeable, helpful, and empathetic professionals who can understand your needs and help you find local resources for addiction recovery.

Call 1-844-289-0789 today to discuss your concerns and get answers to all your questions about substance abuse and addiction. We guarantee complete privacy and confidentiality for yourself or your loved one. Call us to find drug and alcohol treatment facilities in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, Racine, and other communities in Wisconsin.



The Wisconsin Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2021 showed the following findings among 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders in the state: [1]


  • Percentage of students who had their first alcoholic drink before age 13 years: 16.5%
  • Percentage of students who currently drank alcohol: 25.7%
  • Percentage of students who reported they had 10 or more drinks in a row within a couple of hours in the past 30 days: 2.6%


  • Percentage of students who ever used marijuana: 24.8%
  • Percentage of students who tried marijuana for the first time before age 13 years: 4.2%
  • Percentage of students who used currently used marijuana in the past 30 days: 13.6%


  • Percentage of students who ever took prescription pain medications such as codeine, Vicodin, OxyContin, or Percocet without a doctor’s prescription or differently than prescribed: 11.2%


  • Percentage of students who ever used heroin (smack, junk, China White): 1.3%
  • Percentage of students who ever used methamphetamines (speed, crystal meth, ice, crank): 1.5%
  • Percentage of students who were ever offered, given, or sold an illegal drug on school property: 10.2%


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports the following with regards to substance use in Wisconsin: [2]


  • Past-month marijuana use was reported by 6.5% of adolescents in 2017-2019 compared to 8.8% in 2002-2004. During a similar timeframe, the US national average decreased from 7.9% in 2002-2004 to 6.8% in 2017-2019.
  • Past-month alcohol use was reported by 9.9% of youth in 2017-2019 compared to 23.2% in 2002-2004. The US national average also showed a downward trend from 17.6% in 2002-2004 to 9.4% in 2017-2019.
  • Past-month illicit drug use was reported by 7.8% of Wisconsin teens aged 12-17 years in 2017-2019 compared to 7.7% in 2015-2017. The US national average was stable at 8.2% during this time.
  • Past-year initiation of substances (first lifetime use) was reported by youth as follows during 2017-2019: Alcohol 10.9% (US average 9.3%), marijuana 5.8% (US average 5.2%), and cigarettes 2.9% (US average 2.3%).

Marijuana and alcohol use among adolescents in Wisconsin have shown positive trends while illicit drug use has remained stable between 2002 and 2019. The numbers are all comparable to the US average as a whole.


The data for young adults aged 18-25 years in Wisconsin is as follows:

  • Past-year marijuana use was reported by 29.8% of young adults in Wisconsin in 2017-2019 compared to 30.9% in 2002-2004. During a similar timeframe, the US national average increased from 28.7% in 2002-2004 to 35.0% in 2017-2019.
  • Past-year marijuana use disorder was reported in 4.4% of young adults aged 18-25 years in Wisconsin in 2017-2019, compared to 4.3% in 2002-2004. The US national average changed from 6.0% in 2002-2004 to 5.6% in 2017-2019.
  • Past-year opioid use disorder was reported in 0.7% of young adults in Wisconsin in 2017-2019, the same as 2015-2017. The US national average changed from 1.3% in 2015-2017 to 1.0% in 2017-2019.
  • Past-year illicit drug use disorder was reported in 6.2% of Wisconsin residents aged 18-25 years in 2017-2019 compared to 5.8% in 2015-2017. The US national average was around 7.2% to 7.5% during this time period.
  • Past-month binge alcohol use was reported by 42.9% of young adults in 2017-2019 compared to 46.7% in 2015-2017. The US national average in 2017-2019 was 35.4% showing binge alcohol use in Wisconsin is considerably higher than the nationwide average.
  • Past-year alcohol use disorder among young adults aged 18-25 was reported in 13.6% of Wisconsin residents in 2017-2019, compared to 25.3% in 2002-2004. The US national average for 2017-2019 was 9.8%. Wisconsin therefore has a significantly higher percentage of young adults battling alcohol use disorder compared to the US average for all states.
  • Past-year substance use disorder was reported in 17.1% of young adults aged 18-25 years in Wisconsin in 2017-2019 compared to 18.8% in 2015-2017. The national average has hovered between 15.1% and 14.7% during this time.


The Behavioral Health Barometer also found the following for 2017-2019 in Wisconsin residents aged 12 years and older:

  • Past-year tobacco use: 26.8% (US average 26.8%)
  • Past-year marijuana use: 13.2% (US average 16.2%)
  • Past-year marijuana use disorder: 1.0% (US average 1.6%)
  • Past-year heroin use: 0.48% (US average 0.30%)
  • Past-year prescription painkiller misuse: 3.9% (US average 3.7%)
  • Past-year opioid use disorder: 0.6% (US average 0.7%)
  • Past-year illicit drug use disorder: 2.3% (US average 2.9%)
  • Past-year alcohol use disorder: 6.4% (US average 5.3%)
  • Past-year substance use disorder: 7.7% (US average 7.4%)
  • Number of people enrolled in substance use treatment (single day counts for 2019): 25,574
  • Number of people enrolled in opioid treatment programs (single day counts for 2019): 5,183
  • Problems among people enrolled in treatment: 42.5% drug problem only, 20.9% alcohol problem only, 36.6% both drug and alcohol problems
A group of military veterans in a counseling session.


Studies have shown that deployment is linked to initiation of unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, drinking, drug use, and other risky behaviors. This is despite the zero tolerance policies, mandatory random drug testing, and lack of confidentiality that can deter substance use during active military duty. In addition, there is a stigma attached to seeking treatment and a misconception that it could negative impact a military career, which prevents personnel from seeking care. [3]

Some of the key reasons military personnel are at risk of substance use include:

Combat-Related Trauma

Exposure to combat situations can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related conditions. These experiences can trigger substance abuse as a way of coping with the emotional and psychological scars of war.

Injuries and Pain

Many veterans are left with physical injuries and chronic pain as a result of their military service. This often requires the use of prescription pain medications, which can transition into misuse.

Deployment Stress

Frequent deployments and the associated stressors can contribute to addiction. The demands of military life can lead to feelings of isolation and difficulty in forming healthy relationships, driving some personnel toward substance use.

Transition Challenges

Returning to civilian life can be challenging. Many veterans face issues such as unemployment, loss of identity, and difficulty adjusting to civilian norms. These stressors can be triggers for substance abuse.


Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma-informed care is an addiction treatment modality that recognizes the prevalence of trauma among veterans. It is a crucial component of addiction treatment for people who have served in the military. This approach emphasizes sensitivity to trauma triggers. It creates a safe and supportive environment for veterans to address their addiction and underlying trauma.

VA Healthcare Services

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a range of addiction treatment services. The VA’s specialized addiction programs provide veterans with access to evidence-based treatments, counseling, and support groups.

Peer Support

Peer support groups, which are often facilitated by fellow veterans who have overcome addiction, can be immensely beneficial to military personnel in recovery. These groups provide a sense of camaraderie and understanding that can be difficult to find elsewhere.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Many veterans struggle with both addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both conditions simultaneously, ensuring a comprehensive approach to recovery.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs

Residential rehabilitation programs specifically designed for veterans with substance use disorders offer intensive, structured treatment in a supportive environment. These programs give you access to various therapies and resources to address the unique challenges you face as a veteran.

A Wisconsin drug addiction helpline can help you find trauma-informed care, VA healthcare services, peer support, dual diagnosis treatment, and specialized rehabilitation programs in Wisconsin. These treatment options can play a pivotal role in helping you overcome addiction by keeping in mind the underlying issues tied to your military service.

Call the National Drug Helpline on 1-844-289-0879 to find substance abuse recovery programs for veterans in Wisconsin.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wisconsin Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2021. Available online. Accessed on September 29, 2023.
  2. SAMHSA. Behavioral Health Barometer Wisconsin. Available online. Accessed on September 29, 2023.
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Substance Use and Military Life Drug Facts. Available online. Accessed on September 29, 2023.

Last updated: September 28, 2023