What Happens in Rehab for Fentanyl? Inside a Recovery Program

For many people, thinking about fentanyl rehab conjures up images of padded walls, shuffling patients full of despair, and a Nurse Ratched-esque figure prowling the halls. In reality, most drug treatment centers are homey, comfortable places where patients find health and happiness. Staffed by caring, compassionate people who are often in recovery themselves, fentanyl treatment programs provide those struggling with a safe, supportive environment to heal.


The Rehab Experience


  • Assessment & Evaluation: Before the journey to recovery can truly start, a thorough assessment must be completed. Completed during the intake process, this assessment evaluates an individual’s physical and psychological state. This information will be used to create a personalized treatment plan and determine the appropriate level of care. Treatment is about meeting each person’s individual needs. No two treatment plans are the same. 
  • Detoxification: Once evaluated, if necessary, the detox phase starts. Not everyone will need detox but if there is a physical dependence on drugs or alcohol, withdrawal management will occur. Detox is often the most challenging part of fentanyl rehab. While the withdrawal symptoms are managed by certain medications, there is still a level of discomfort. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, nausea, muscle/joint aches and anxiety are common. During this time, each person will be monitored 24/7 by medical staff who will do their best to ease any discomfort and ensure each person is medically safe. 
  • Therapy and Counseling: Following the completion of detox, patients move into the therapeutic phase of treatment. During this period, therapy and counseling begins. Each person will spend their days involved in group therapy, individual therapy and working through modalities such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, experiential therapy, and trauma processing. The end goal being to understand addiction triggers, process events from the past, and develop healthier coping mechanisms. 
  • Group Support: A big aspect of therapy is the development of community and group support. This is facilitated through group therapy sessions, group experiential therapy groups, and the communal living arrangements. Addiction separates people from their peers. One of the goals of recovery is to rediscover that sense of connection with our friends and family. We need each other to recover. 
  • Relapse Prevention: Due to its potency and addictive nature, fentanyl has a high rate of relapse. Treatment programs focus on identifying triggers, managing stress, and behavior modification with the hope that it will be able to prevent relapse. Learning how to deal with cravings and utilizing a support network are crucial steps for long-term sobriety. 
  • Aftercare Planning: Planning for the successful transition from inpatient treatment back into everyday living is the mission of aftercare planning. Each client has a case manager whose job it is to curate a continued program of support and recovery for when treatment ends. This could include continued individual therapy, medication management, participation in 12-step programs, transitional living arrangements, or anything else that may be helpful. Following the suggestions of the aftercare plan can often be the difference between sobriety and relapse. 


Going through fentanyl treatment is just the beginning. The journey to recovery is never ending and full of rewards. It takes work and willingness though. Entering into rehab, taking suggestions, and putting in the action will get you started on the right foot.

If you’re using fentanyl and want to stop, consider treatment. Call Sunflower Recovery today to learn about our fentanyl treatment program. You can make the decision to break the cycle.

What to Expect From a Fentanyl Treatment Program