Fentanyl Detox and Withdrawal A Guide To Safe Recovery

The escalating crisis of fentanyl use disorder has brought to light the urgent need for comprehensive addiction treatment and support. The potency of synthetic opioids like fentanyl has led to an increase in cases of opioid use disorder and overdose.

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, about 43,000 overdose fatalities involved Fentanyl in 2020. This article aims to provide a thorough guide to fentanyl detox and withdrawal, offering a roadmap to safe recovery for those struggling with fentanyl addiction.

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Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid painkiller, has gained notoriety for its potential to induce addiction. Its high potency, which is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, makes it a perilous substance.

Illegal fentanyl is sold in the following forms:

  • Powder
  • Dropped on blotter paper
  • Eye droppers or nasal sprays
  • Pills that imitate prescription opioids

Mixing illegal fentanyl with other drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, meth, and MDMA, increases the drug’s potency and makes it more addictive.

Uses and Risks of Fentanyl

Medical professionals use Fentanyl to manage severe pain in surgical procedures or for cancer patients. People who misuse fentanyl are at an elevated risk of overdose and life-threatening complications, because of its potential for abuse.

Fentanyl Side Effects

One of the most alarming aspects of fentanyl addiction is its rapid onset and intense highs. Fentanyl’s potent effects stem from its interaction with the brain’s opioid receptors to trigger euphoria and pain relief. However, this pleasurable sensation is short-lived and often leads to chemical dependency.

Short Term Effects of Fentanyl

The short-term effects of Fentanyl can include:

  • Pain relief
  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Slowed breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Seizures

Long Term Effects of Fentanyl

The long-term effects of fentanyl can include:

  • Addiction
  • Tolerance
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Organ damage, such as liver and kidney damage
  • Mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety
  • Risk of opioid overdose and death

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Recognizing the symptoms of fentanyl addiction is the first step towards seeking help. These may include physical symptoms and behavioral changes as discussed below.

  • Euphoria and intense relaxation
  • Constricted pupils
  • Drowsiness and sedation
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of coordination
  • Nodding off
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itchiness and scratching
  • Compulsive drug use
  • Increased tolerance
  • Exhibiting withdrawal symptoms
  • Neglected responsibilities
  • Social isolation

Withdrawal symptoms can be intense and challenging to endure, especially for people with physical dependence on the drug. Common fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Muscle aches and pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nasal congestion and excessive sneezing
  • Cold flashes and excessive sweating
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Anxiety and depression

Can you die from Fentanyl withdrawal?

While fentanyl withdrawal itself is not typically life-threatening, it may lead to complications. The risk of death from fentanyl withdrawal is primarily related to the potential for severe dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and other medical complications.

Get the help you need. Seek rehab for Fentanyl addiction today.

Early & Peak Withdrawal Stages

This stage normally occurs within 6 to 72 hours after the last use. Opioid withdrawal symptoms may include muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia. These symptoms are temporary and medical assistance can help with symptom management.

Subsiding Withdrawal Stage

As the detox process progresses, opioid-dependent individuals may face psychological struggles such as anxiety, depression, and intense cravings. Therapies focusing on building emotional resilience, coping skills, and trigger management are important. This stage occurs within 4 to 7 days after last dose.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Stage

Some people may experience Post-Acute Withdrawal Stage (PAWS) which may last from several weeks to months. In this stage, the body gradually adjusts to functioning without the drug. This phase involves a controlled tapering off of medications and a focus on restoring physical and mental well-being. It’s a critical juncture that prepares individuals for the next steps in their journey to recovery.

How long does Fentanyl withdrawal last?

The duration of fentanyl withdrawal varies from person to person. Typically, acute withdrawal symptoms may last about a week, while some psychological symptoms can persist for weeks or even months. Medical detox and therapeutic interventions can help alleviate discomfort and speed up the recovery process.

Treating fentanyl addiction requires a comprehensive and tailored approach that addresses addiction’s physical, psychological, and behavioral aspects. There are different treatment options are available to individuals struggling with fentanyl addiction.

Treatment Options For Fentanyl Addiction

Medical Detoxification

Medical detox involves supervised withdrawal in a controlled setting. This ensures your safety and comfort during the early stages of recovery. It is often the first step in treatment, but it is not enough on its own to help you recover from addiction.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT combines behavioral therapies with medications to address fentanyl addiction. Medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, allowing you to focus on recovery.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy can help you understand your addiction and develop coping skills to stay sober. The most common types of behavioral therapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and 12-step programs.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

People with fentanyl addiction may also have co-occurring mental health disorders. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both addiction and mental health issues concurrently, leading to more effective and lasting recovery.

Holistic Therapies

Holistic approaches such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and art therapy can complement traditional treatments. These activities promote relaxation, stress reduction, and overall well-being.

Long-Term Rehabilitation Programs

Residential or outpatient rehabilitation programs offer intensive treatment that includes a combination of therapies, counseling, education, and support services to facilitate long-term recovery from substance use disorders.

Aftercare and Continuing Care

After completing a primary treatment program, patients can keep getting help through aftercare services, preventing relapse, and regular meetings with healthcare experts.

How long does it take to detox from Fentanyl?

The duration of fentanyl detoxification (detox) can vary widely from person to person. Several factors influence the duration of detox. These factors include the level of dependence, frequency and quantity of usage, overall health, metabolism, and the chosen detox service.

In general, the physical symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal peak within 48 hours and subside over the course of about a week.

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Fentanyl addiction is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that requires specialized care and treatment. If you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl addiction, seeking professional help is paramount.

Our remarkable team from Scottsdale Detox Center is here to walk alongside you. Embrace a brighter future as we provide the expertise and care you need to overcome addiction. Reach out to us today to learn more about our detox programs.

Your commitment to seeking help for fentanyl addiction is a powerful testament to your strength and resilience. We will help you take the first step towards lasting healing and freedom from Fentanyl addiction.