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Fentanyl Detox & Withdrawal Symptoms

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be grueling. So much so, that many people who try to detox on their own, end up relapsing just to stop the pain and discomfort. It’s never a good idea to attempt to detox cold turkey on your own from any substance for which you’ve developed a tolerance and physical dependence. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can be very dangerous -- some research finds even fatal. It is always advised to undergo fentanyl detoxification in a medical setting.

What Is Fentanyl Withdrawal Like?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug, which are drugs known for difficult withdrawals without medical oversight. Fentanyl comes in the form of a prescription medication or can be bought on the streets illegally. Fentanyl detox can be difficult and physical symptoms can be painful.

If you’re addicted to fentanyl, you will likely experience opioid withdrawal syndrome when you quit taking the drug. This is a set of withdrawal symptoms that may occur over the first few days of fentanyl detox. Some of these symptoms like sleep and stomach issues, as well as mental health symptoms may linger for several weeks or months.

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms due to opioid dependence may include:

  • Cravings for opioids
  • Runny nose
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Fast heart rate
  • Hypothermia
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Aches in your muscles and bones
  • Excessive sweating or “the chills”
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach cramps

Going through fentanyl withdrawal under the care of physicians and nurses who can help ease withdrawal symptoms and intervene if there’s a medical emergency is the safest and most comfortable way to detox.

How Long Do Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms and their duration vary by individual. The time it takes to detox from the effects of fentanyl will depend on factors like:  
  • Your physical health and make-up
  • How much fentanyl you usually take
  • How long you’ve been using fentanyl
  • If there’s any polydrug use such as other drugs and alcohol
  • If you have co-occurring disorders like mental illness or medical conditions
  While no one can predict how long fentanyl withdrawal will take for you, typically withdrawal symptoms peak in about a day or two and then slowly taper off.   A general timeline for opioid withdrawal is:  

Phase One

During the first 12 hours of fentanyl withdrawal, you’ll start to experience flu-like symptoms as your central nervous system recognizes the absence of opioids and starts trying to function without them. Symptoms will begin to get more uncomfortable and painful over the next one to two days. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms may include:  
  • Flu-like symptoms like vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and runny nose
  • Intense cravings for opioids
  • Dehydration and appetite
  • Anxiety, irritability, and agitation
  • Feeling like you’re going to “jump out of your skin,” restlessness
  • Sweating or the chills
  • Cramping and muscle aches

Phase Two

About three to five days into fentanyl detox, your brain begins rebalancing itself. Severe fentanyl withdrawal symptoms typically subside, but you may still experience lingering flu-like symptoms.

Phase Three

In the weeks and months after you quit fentanyl, your brain continues to repair the damage done to its chemicals and signaling system. Fentanyl depleted your brain’s natural supply of chemicals like dopamine. It must now learn to produce dopamine on its own. It’s normal to experience some mental health symptoms because dopamine is one of the chemicals tied to mood and motivation. During phase three you may experience symptoms associated with fentanyl withdrawal like:  
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low mood
  • Poor sleep
  • Apathy

Fentanyl Detox With Medical Help

The importance of detox in a medical setting cannot be stressed enough. It’s not worth the risk of detoxing from fentanyl on your own. Withdrawal symptoms can be painful, dangerous, and your chances of relapsing are very high. Undergoing the process in a fentanyl detox center won’t completely eliminate discomfort, but it will make it much more bearable.

In a medical detox program, you will receive:

  • 24/7 medical care from nurses and detox specialists
  • Medical monitoring from a physician
  • Medications that ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings
  • Medical professionals to intervene in case of an emergency
  • Regular monitoring of your vital signs and comfort level

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay in Your System?

Though a high from fentanyl can last around 4 hours, the drug can be detected in your body for days, weeks, or months after ingesting it. In general, drug tests can detect fentanyl in your system for these durations:

What Is Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Like?

Fentanyl is extremely addictive. After you detox from fentanyl, participation in a structured addiction treatment program is a must. Without addressing underlying issues that fuel substance abuse and learning healthy coping skills to manage triggers, relapse is imminent.

Fentanyl addiction treatment may include:

  • Individual and group therapy to address the role substances are playing in your life and what issues or emotions you’re self-medicating with them.
  • Psychiatric care to address co-occurring mental illness (also known as dual diagnosis).
  • Behavioral therapy to help you identify and manage unhelpful thoughts and behaviors that feed addiction.
  • Family therapy or couples therapy as appropriate so you and your loved ones can work through difficult topics and learn how to better support each other.
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help prevent cravings and withdrawal symptoms, so you can focus on treatment and getting better.
  • Proven addiction treatment approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, and acceptance and commitment therapy.
  • Holistic approaches that help heal mind, body, and spirit like yoga, art therapy, music therapy, EMDR, nutrition counseling, recreational therapy, and spiritual work.
  • Introduction to 12-step groups or alternatives like SMART Recovery.
  • Continuing care plan for life after treatment.

Will Insurance Cover Fentanyl Treatment?

Insurance companies must cover behavioral health conditions like chemical dependency in similar ways as medical conditions. Your insurance may pay for all or a portion of fentanyl detox and treatment in a drug rehab center. Most insurance providers designate drug detox as a medical necessity and may cover much of drug or alcohol rehab. It depends on your particular plan and benefits. To determine your coverage for detox and substance abuse treatment, call our admissions advisors who can provide a free benefits check.

Looking for Fentanyl Detox?

Opioid abuse is one of many addictions we treat at Vogue Recovery Center. We’re known for effective and engaging treatment and have seen thousands of clients reclaim their lives from drugs and alcohol. We’ll help you or a loved one safely detox from fentanyl abuse and receive the treatment needed for long-term recovery. Vogue’s treatment staff are experts in the field who are compassionate and invested in your recovery. Our treatment programs are evidence-based, and we offer a full continuum of care that includes treatment options like:

Our admissions process is compassionate and simple. Call us to determine the best program for your needs and life situation. The consultation is free and confidential.

Opioids like fentanyl are responsible for thousands of overdose deaths each year. If you or a loved one is showing fentanyl addiction signs, don’t wait to get help.

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