Veteran Fentanyl Rehab

Fentanyl Rehab for Military Veterans

The opiate epidemic has made it hard to completely avoid fentanyl. Often people start using it because they feel that they need something stronger to cope with pain. Others get hooked because fentanyl can provide a greater high. Regardless of how you came to use the drug, fentanyl is a highly addictive substance that is very difficult to stop using without the right support in place.

Veterans often experience emotional or physical pain from their time in the military, which makes it even harder to stop using opioids like fentanyl. That being said, a rehab program can help you recover by putting distance between you and the drug.

What Is Fentanyl?

Many people know that fentanyl is a strong painkiller, but what exactly is it? Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid medication that is chemically similar to morphine. While morphine is strong, fentanyl is around 50 to 100 times more powerful. It’s most often used to treat severe levels of pain after surgery. It’s also used for those who have chronic pain, but only if other opioids have proven ineffective.

This drug has risen to infamy because it’s so powerful. Many people find that the effects are immediate. It can also be added to other substances, often without the knowledge of the user. This has resulted in many accidental overdoses, including fatalities.

Are There Legal Forms of Fentanyl?

Much like heroin, fentanyl is mentioned when discussing the opioid epidemic. While heroin is entirely illegal, there are actually legal forms of fentanyl that are prescribed by physicians. The forms and the brand names largely depend on how the painkiller is delivered. Fentanyl does have an important medicinal purpose, but only when used correctly according to a prescriber’s instructions.

Fentanyl is developed under many different brand names. For example, there are lozenges sold under the Actiq name. There are also buccal tablets sold as Fentora and sublingual tablets sold as Abstral.

You will want to keep these brand names in mind after seeking recovery so that you can avoid future use. Some people also begin using opioids for medical purposes and then spiral into addiction. You may be using Fentanyl now and not even know it.

Fentanyl Overdose

An overdose occurs when you take more than your body can handle. This can lead to very severe symptoms and can be fatal without immediate medical attention. Unlike other substances that often require large quantities of the substance, it takes very little fentanyl to result in an overdose.

While it depends on your tolerance level and body composition, it has been shown that even 2 mg of fentanyl can be fatal. Keep in mind that this is an estimate. Some people might overdose on more, while others might overdose on less.

How do you know when an overdose is occurring? The common fentanyl overdose symptoms include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Slowed breathing or no breathing
  • Losing consciousness or falling asleep
  • Choking
  • Cold skin and extremities
  • Discolored skin
  • Limp body or inability to respond

While you might have time to call 911 for immediate medical service right during a fentanyl overdose, most people become unresponsive and require someone else to call.

Accidental Fentanyl Use

Many people are being introduced to fentanyl without intentionally wanting to use it. Some people are trying to buy other opiates, while others might be using completely unrelated substances. Despite your intentions, fentanyl is being added to many different substances. There is a chance that you won’t know that fentanyl has been taken until it is too late.

Because of its potency, it requires a small amount of fentanyl to produce a strong high. Many dealers are adding this to their substances because it is cheap and makes their inventory stronger, which brings customers back. Fentanyl is commonly added to many other opiates, cocaine, benzodiazepines, stimulants, and even marijuana.

Signs of Fentanyl Use

The most common signs of fentanyl use include:

  • Intense euphoria
  • Physical and mental relaxation
  • Significant pain relief
  • Sedation
  • Drowsiness and dizziness
  • Urinary retention
  • Pupil constriction
  • Respiratory depression

These are basically the same signs and symptoms associated with any other opioid use. The major difference is the intensity of the effects.

What Is a Fentanyl Rehab Like?

Many people are worried about entering a rehab facility simply because they don’t know what to expect. While doing something new can be daunting, it is often necessary if you want to detox and abstain from fentanyl use.

The first thing you need to do is find a qualified rehab facility. provides mental health and addiction treatment resources to veterans and active military members. This makes it easy to get the treatment that you need.

Inpatient rehab treatment requires that you stay at the facility while you are recovering. While some people are fine at a lower level of care, those who are actively using and facing significant cravings find that an inpatient facility is the best option to help them stop. You will be connected to qualified physicians, therapists, and other medical providers during your stay.

You will be medically monitored as you detox from fentanyl. Not only does this ensure that your physical health remains intact, but it also makes the transition to sobriety more comfortable.

The day is often structured. You are expected to participate in group therapy, individual therapy, and medical exams. This ensures that you remain busy. Many people find that this distances them from thinking about use. Another benefit is that you will learn a lot of information about substance use, which can result in long-term recovery after rehab is finished.

Reducing Level of Care

Inpatient care is very useful for those who are actively using and who need constant monitoring, but this level of care is only meant to be temporary. Once you have been stabilized, you will then receive a lower level of care. This is a good thing because it allows you to get back to your normal life, but with more knowledge of substance use and coping skills for avoiding use.

Stepping down gives you more personal freedom while still ensuring that you receive the clinical attention you need. Normally the stepping down process is a logical progression from one level of care to another.

If you are stable and need less clinical attention, then you may be reduced to a partial hospitalization program, or PHP, after rehab is completed. This is a program where you stay at the facility during the day and return home at night. You get the benefit of consistent medical and therapeutic attention, but you can go home and sleep in your own bed.

You will then be dropped down to intensive outpatient, or IOP. This is a group modality where you will attend three groups a week that are approximately three hours each. You will also do a weekly individual session for about 10 clinical hours a week. While you don’t have as much medical attention at this level of care, you will be expected to consistently follow up with your prescriber. This ensures that you still have a good amount of clinical care, but you can see friends and family while also working and engaging in hobbies.

If you are stable at the IOP level of care, then your days will usually be reduced until your care is done on an outpatient basis. This normally includes one individual session a week. Some facilities also provide a weekly one-hour group session as well. This is especially helpful for those who just made the transition from IOP to outpatient.

Self-Help Groups

Many people also find self-help groups to be helpful in their recovery. These are groups that are often free and help you find recovery peers. The most popular would be 12-step groups such as Narcotics Anonymous, or NA. This group has been around for decades and is geared toward helping people stay sober.

Along with going to meetings and seeing other people who are maintaining their sobriety, you can also connect with a sponsor. A sponsor is a senior member who you can call on and have deep conversations with about your sobriety. They ideally have years of recovery experience under their belt and can give you an extra layer of support.

While 12-step groups are the most common, there are other groups as well. For example, SMART Recovery is a more clinical self-help group that has specific workbooks and group meetings to help you maintain sobriety. LifeRing Secular Recovery is similar to NA, but it removes the spirituality and religious aspects.

The major benefit of these groups is that you can attend them for years even after you graduate from a clinical recovery center.

Find the Help You Need Today

Whether you intentionally began using fentanyl or not, this is a very difficult substance to beat. You will need all the help you can get. Recovery is possible for veterans like you, so do not count yourself out. Reach out to us, and we can make that you get all the support you deserve in order to recover from fentanyl use.

Not only can we match you with the right level of care, such as rehab, but we can also help you find the right treatment modality that meets your needs. Contact us today, and let us help you recover and live the life you want to live.