Veteran Emergency Rehab Admissions

Everything You Need to Know About Veteran Emergency Rehab Admissions

Approximately one in every 10 veterans struggles with a substance use disorder. Some service members take drugs on the battlefields to keep them more alert and boost their performance. Many end up with wounds and injuries. They sometimes turn to drugs like morphine and opioids to numb the pain. Military members also have a drinking culture that helps them bond and interact with one another. Some believe that alcohol and drugs can help manage posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety experienced during combat.

Drug use over-activates the brain’s reward circuit, triggering higher dopamine production, which creates euphoric feelings. The brain receptors become overwhelmed, and they start producing less dopamine. At this point, you develop an addiction and need to take the drug to feel normal. You can overcome addiction with the proper treatment and support. You can even find same-day rehab services based on the urgency of your condition.

What Is Veteran Emergency Rehab Admission?

Emergency rehab, also known as same-day rehab, is an addiction treatment option where the client gets admitted into a treatment facility on the same day they initiate contact. A substance use emergency is a situation that threatens the client’s health. In such a case, the client needs quick admission to avoid further injury or even death.

We can classify addiction emergencies into two categories: medical emergencies and psychological emergencies. A medical emergency occurs when the substances taken cause potentially life-threatening effects to the client. For instance, if a veteran consumes more alcohol than the body can handle, this can cause alcohol poisoning that can lead to a coma or even death. On the other hand, a psychological emergency occurs when a client experiences extreme distress or an acute disturbance of thoughts, feelings, and mood that can lead to self-harm or endanger other people.

Situations That Call for Emergency Rehab Admission

Veterans’ drug addiction devastates their family members, colleagues, and society. You must understand the severity of your loved one’s addiction to help you recognize an emergency. The following situations call for quick rehab admission to prevent dangerous outcomes.


Based on recent research, veteran drug overdose mortality rates increased by 53.2% between 2010 and 2019. Veterans can overdose accidentally or voluntarily. Accidental overdose may occur when someone mistakenly ingests the wrong dose or develops a dependency on prescription drugs due to continuous use.

When someone repeatedly uses a particular substance for an extended period, their body gets used to the presence of the drug. When this happens, it diminishes the body’s response to the drug, so the person will need to take larger doses of the substance to experience the same effects they initially felt. As a result, some people take greater doses of the drug to achieve a “high” feeling, leading to an overdose.

Mixing multiple drugs can also cause an overdose. For instance, if you take stimulants together with depressants, they diminish each other’s psychoactive effects. You will therefore need to take more of each drug to derive the desired outcomes, which leads to an overdose.

Some common symptoms of drug overdose include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lack of coordination
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Severe stomach pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Confusion
  • Loss of balance
  • Breathing problems
  • Chest pains
  • Seizures

If you suspect that your loved one has overdosed, call for emergency help immediately.

Personal Loss

Veterans experience a lot of losses during their time as military service members. When they lose colleagues during combat, the losses pile up over time and weigh heavily on their minds and hearts, even after returning to civilian life. Once service members leave military life, they also lose the sense of closeness they shared with their colleagues.

Others might lose vital body parts due to a traumatic injury. Unfortunately, in 2019, about 46,214 veterans had at least one major limb amputation.

After they leave the armed forces, some veterans even feel they’ve lost their identity as military members. A veteran with substance use disorder who has experienced significant loss will need emergency rehab. Some will use more substances to cope with the loss, worsening the addiction.

Rock Bottom

Some veterans may willingly seek treatment once they hit rock bottom. This can be due to substantial financial losses, job loss, severe health issues, trouble with the law, and relationship problems caused by substance abuse. They might experience a feeling of hopelessness that may push them to seek professional help. Clients in this situation need emergency rehab admission before they change their minds.


Despite the high prevalence of substance use disorder, about 70% of veterans do not receive treatment. The military culture requires service members to remain strong and self-sufficient. Most veterans carry these principles even after leaving the military, so seeking help with addiction treatment may feel contradictory to these values.

If your loved one fails to seek addiction help, intervene. Assure that person that you will offer maximum support during their treatment period. If they remain resistant, seek professional assistance to help place the person in immediate care.

Emergency Rehab Admission Process

Enrolling in a rehab program is one of the most courageous moves any veteran struggling with addiction can make. Knowing what to expect when you get to the treatment facility will help ease the tension. The intake process begins with the first call you or your loved ones make to the facility. For emergency rehab, expect admission on the same day you called. In addition to the admission process, your first day at the treatment facility will involve settling in and familiarizing yourself with the environment.

A certified counselor will ask questions about your drug use history, recovery goals, background, and relationships with your family. They will also want to know if you have any underlying mental illness. You will take a drug test to determine the concentration level of drugs in your system. Medical professionals will also assess your physical wellness. In this case, you provide information on whether you have medical issues like high blood pressure, allergies, seizures, or asthma. The staff will use this information to assess the severity of your condition and develop the most appropriate treatment plan for your case.

After a thorough assessment, the counselor will check your packed bag for prohibited items, such as drugs or weapons. Some institutions may also confiscate your mobile devices and only allow you to use them at a set time.

From here, the counselor takes you to your room to settle in. You will have meals and enough time to relax to prepare for the treatment. During this period, you might also attend meetings to interact with other residents and learn more about the treatment program and the schedule.

Treatments Offered in Emergency Rehab Admission Centers

The prescribed treatment method varies from one client to another based on the types of drugs taken and their natural body characteristics. An effective addiction treatment approach should address the client’s medical, psychological, social, and vocational needs. Here are some treatment approaches to expect during emergency rehab.

Medical Detoxification

The treatment process usually starts with medical detoxification to clear drugs or other substances from the body. Remember that once you start using substances, they alter your brain chemistry by changing the levels of certain neurotransmitters. When you abruptly cut back or stop using the substances, it throws the body out of balance, causing withdrawal symptoms that can be potentially hazardous. This is why you should only detox under the supervision of a qualified professional. Some common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive sweating
  • Loss of appetite

If not well-managed, withdrawal from alcohol and benzodiazepines can have deadly effects. Chronic alcohol users may experience delirium that has a mortality rate of up to 37% when left untreated. Opioid withdrawal symptoms are also intensely uncomfortable, increasing the relapse risk. Opioid tolerance decreases after a long period of abstinence, so resuming the drugs at this state increases the risk of an overdose. For medically supervised detox, a professional will administer medication to help you better manage withdrawal symptoms. You also receive 24/7 monitoring to prevent complications.


Many people diagnosed with substance use disorder also have an underlying mental health issue. Psychological and social factors like stress and depression can create a strong urge to keep using drugs even after detox. During therapy, you will learn more about your addiction, heal the shame and guilt associated with drug use, and develop a relapse prevention plan.

Opt for an inpatient treatment program if you have a severe addiction issue requiring intensive care. For this option, you will live in the rehab center and receive 24/7 monitoring and support. If you want a more flexible plan, consider outpatient treatment. You will only need to visit the treatment facility for a few hours a day and then head home. No matter the treatment plan, expect the following forms of therapy:

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is a one-on-one session with your counselor to address personal issues that cause mental health illnesses and contribute to your substance use disorder.

Group Therapy

In group therapy, you’ll discuss your experiences and share coping mechanisms with others who are going through their recovery journey.

Family Therapy

Addiction affects the entire family. It causes strained relationships, loss of trust, and financial issues. Family therapy will help address such problems and educate the family about addiction, how treatment works, and ways to give you maximum support.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy trains you to recognize your feelings, thoughts, and situations that trigger substance use. You’ll learn to replace such thoughts with more positive ones to avoid triggers.

Contingency Management Therapy

For contingency management therapy, you’ll receive incentives whenever you meet set goals, like staying substance-free, which reinforces positive behaviors.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing therapy clears the client’s uncertainties about starting a treatment or giving up substance use. The goal is to motivate the client to change willingly.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

This therapy will help you accept difficult situations to avoid self-harming thoughts and improve emotional regulation.


To attain long-term sobriety, you must work on your recovery after leaving the rehab center. Your counselor will help you develop an appropriate aftercare plan. You’ll attend support groups to interact with people in a drug-free social network and derive the support needed to stay substance-free. You might also participate in alumni program activities to connect with your colleagues and staff from your previous rehab center for continued support.

Veterans with risky home environments can move into sober living homes. These are controlled residential facilities for people working on recovery with strict rules that help you transition safely into society.

Enroll in Emergency Rehabilitation Today

Any drug addiction situation can quickly become an emergency that calls for same-day admission. The earlier you seek help, the higher your chances of recovery. If you or a loved one is suffering from substance use disorder, consider emergency rehab admissions today.