Fentanyl Addiction and Detox

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Let us consider the person who is addicted to fentanyl from a recent hospital stay where it was given as a pain killer. They went home with a fentanyl patch and swore that they would use it exactly as the doctor outlined. After only a few applications, they already started to notice that they did not feel as much relief. They call the doctor, he tells you it’s still working, and they go on like this for another week. Against the doctor’s wishes, they use another patch long before the first one wears off, leaving them both on. After another week and still a gradual decrease in effectiveness, they decide to just use two. they weren’t thinking ahead and ran out of patches before the prescription was renewable.

They cannot call the doctor because it would be noticed that they had used more than they should, so they call their nephew with whom they have talked about weed before to see if his source has access to it. He expresses concern but know that they have been having serious health issues lately and is happy to help alleviate some of the pain. The cycle of abuse, addiction, and dependence begins, which will lead to the need for fentanyl withdrawal treatment when they cannot stop using it on their own. There is no need to be ashamed or embarrassed. Millions of people seek out abuse treatment and they are not alone in their journey.  

What is fentanyl?

Everyone’s story is different on how they became addicted to fentanyl. Many people find it on the street and use it for its high strength. Fentanyl is tremendously dangerous with its potency that is 100 times higher than morphine and 50 times greater than heroin. It is an opioid that was designed to relieve pain in cancer patients but spun out of control, like every other opioid. It has notoriously contributed to the opioid epidemic because it is mixed with other street drugs, like heroin. Users unknowingly inject it at the same dosage they always use and easily overdose. 70% of all addicts who OD have done so because of opioid abuse, and since 2016, fentanyl is responsible for more opioid deaths than every other opioid prescribed.

Can I stop using fentanyl on my own?

Many fentanyl addicts have tried and failed to stop using it on their own. There is always the story of George’s cousin’s friend’s sister who stopped using and were fine. I mean until they died after overdosing on it years later, but that was just a fluke. It was not a fluke. Cessation of using fentanyl is one of the most difficult things to achieve when compared to stopping the use of other drugs, because the cravings are some of the most intense and can remain for years after the last dose. Without help from doctors and counselors to help a user recognize and avoid their triggers while learning coping skills that will help them handle life’s difficulties, fentanyl can wreak havoc on relationships, finances, and health. There are medications available in detox programs that can also help ease the symptoms, making it more likely that someone sticks with the program and succeeds in curing the drug addiction.

What are the symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal?

Detox is the process of the body eliminating fentanyl. The drug has altered the very functioning of the brain. It has adjusted how it uses the neurotransmitters to signal various hormone releases and basic functions of the body. When it is readjusting back to the way it was designed to function, the flood of neurotransmitters shocks the system, causing a variety of physiological and psychological responses. They range from mild to severe, depending on their duration and frequency of their addiction. Those symptoms may include a combination of the following:

What should I expect in fentanyl withdrawal and detox?

With the state in which fentanyl leaves the body, the intensity cannot be compared to anything else. Medical detox centers have been proven to be one of the most effective ways of helping addicts find their sobriety and maintain it. With every addict’s detox story offering a different scenario, there is a general timeline that is observed. Withdrawal typically begins within 24 to 48 hours after the last dose and can last up to one week. Some individuals experience PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome) that consists of depression, anxiety, and uncontrollable cravings. Long-term regulation can be found in medications, such as at:

It is not safe to detox from fentanyl without assistance from medical personnel, so during admission, the emotional and physical state of a patient will be assessed, as well as their drug and medical history. This is also where a plan of action is customized specifically for that person’s situation.

How does withdrawal from fentanyl differ from other opioids?

While fentanyl is an opioid that requires opioid addiction treatment, it is also available in an extended release form. It is meant to be slowly be released into the system so that its effects last longer. This means that it may also take longer to exit the bloodstream and withdrawal appearing later than anticipated. Tt may seem like someone is going to exhibit a mild detox and end up with a much more intense version.

Admitting that there is a problem is the first step to the necessity of looking for fentanyl withdrawal and detox. A great deal of people wind up in detox because they unknowingly use heroin that was laced with fentanyl and come from the emergency room. If this event does not cause the addict to become aware of their addition, they may be put into detox as an emergency situation. Once they are clean, the goal is to help them find ways to maintain that sobriety. They must discover the motivation within themselves to find the happiness that they once had in their life. Any bit of vulnerability and emotional breakthrough can perhaps be the first step in the right direction to help them regain control of their life. Whether they want to eventually reestablish bonds with old friends and family or they have decided to find their self-worth in a new career, a fentanyl withdrawal and detox treatment program is the best place to start.