Fentanyl is one of the deadliest opioids due to its availability for misuse and its strength leading to an overdose. However, with proper care, we can help prevent it from happening to our loved ones by knowing and understanding the withdrawal symptoms of fentanyl so that you can help assist your loved ones with medical detox as well as find them the right rehabilitation programs for overcoming fentanyl addiction.
In this guide to the withdrawal symptoms of fentanyl, we’ll cover:
- What is fentanyl?
- How strong is fentanyl?
- What does fentanyl do when you take it?
- How does fentanyl make you feel?
- What are the withdrawal symptoms from fentanyl patches?
- Can fentanyl be stopped abruptly?
- How to get professional assistance for fentanyl rehab
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a powerful controlled substance, a synthetic opioid that is intended to be a pain management treatment for cancer patients that has become a significant problem for recreational drug users and those who become addicted via medical prescription.
Fentanyl has become so prevalent because it can be applied on the skin, used as a powder, or laced into other recreational drugs. This creates significant issues for people who take it without knowing or are unable to properly dose this extremely powerful and dangerous drug.
How Strong is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine – a drug that is considered one of the strongest opioid analgesics and is used as a near-last resort for pain treatment. For comparison, methadone, which is used to help people treat opioid addiction, is roughly 3 times as strong as morphine. Heroin is about five times as strong as morphine, making fentanyl roughly 20 times more potent than heroin.
The strength of Fentanyl is the primary danger behind its widespread increase in popularity. It is fast-acting and can be lethal in one dose.
What Does Fentanyl Do When You Take it?
Fentanyl works by binding itself to your body’s opioid receptors. These are found in the brain and control your pain and emotional response. It can affect your happiness, make you drowsy, sedate, and feel numb. It also has many unfortunate side effects ranging from confusion to respiratory depression, coma, and death.
How Does Fentanyl Make You Feel?
Fentanyl can affect people in a wide range of ways behaviorally, but most people who take opioids are searching for the effects of euphoria and calm which opioids tend to provide. Fentanyl can make you feel drowsy, while also physically affecting your vision, speech, and respiratory functions.
How to Ease the Symptoms of Fentanyl Withdrawal
Fentanyl withdrawal can be extremely debilitating and has side effects including shock, systemic sickness, and death. To best avoid this, you should be seeking medical detox to get the proper nutritional support, psychiatric care, and monitoring of your situation.
How Long Does It Take to Get Over Opioid Withdrawal?
The recovery period for opioid withdrawal varies from person to person. Generally, it can take between 2 to 3 days following the final consumption of a drug, but there are no hard and fast rules. Some of the things that can affect a person’s withdrawal time include physical health, hydration, mental health, and standard of care.
It is always recommended that addicts communicate with clinicians, doctors, and other medical professionals when attempting to wean off opioids.
How do Suboxone and Fentanyl Differ?
Suboxone is one of the leading treatments for fentanyl withdrawal – it is a combination of two drugs that work to combat withdrawal symptoms.
It is different from fentanyl because it blocks the receptors that are craving opioids without activating them, which is what creates the high and addiction. Thus, it allows your body to fulfill the short-term need created by opioid addiction but eventually takes away the cravings for more.
How do I help Someone Addicted to Fentanyl?
If your family member or loved one is addicted to fentanyl, it can be scary, but you must take action to help them.
Some of the most powerful things you can do include:
- Organizing a professional intervention.
- Stop enabling them financially and emotionally
- Pursue inpatient or outpatient treatment programs
- Get them to a medical professional who can administer suboxone
- Support them through rehab and recovery
These are all necessary steps that will need to be taken at some point in time for a full rehabilitation and recovery from opioid addiction. One step at a time is a great way to approach these options, but we encourage you to act as though your loved one’s life depends on it – because it does.
What Can I Do to Sleep During Withdrawal from Fentanyl?
Anxiety, agitation, and insomnia are common side effects of fentanyl withdrawal. It is important to alleviate them and find consistent ways to get good sleep, as withdrawal is taxing your body.
Because sleep deprivation can make symptoms worse during fentanyl as well, it is doubly important to find ways to rest.
We recommend establishing a strict routine that includes:
- Going to bed at the same time
- Waking up at the same time
- Quiet activities before bed like reading
- Limiting electronics before and during sleep hours
- Avoiding sleep medication
The number one thing to focus on is letting your body and mind rest and recover as you fight through withdrawal symptoms.
What are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Fentanyl Patches?
A common abuse of fentanyl is the continued use of transdermal patches for recreational or addictive purposes. These patches are typically used for pain management and are highly risky when taken outside the control of medical supervision.
Withdrawal symptoms from fentanyl patches include:
- Body cramps
Fentanyl patches are still extremely dangerous, and the withdrawal symptoms from fentanyl should be treated the same way as any other form of the drug or any other opioid.
Can Fentanyl be Stopped Abruptly?
It is extremely dangerous to stop fentanyl suddenly without any support. Quitting cold turkey might trigger severe withdrawals that can lead to deadly side effects or an immediate relapse. Each of these scenarios places a fentanyl addict at considerably higher risk than getting professional help to wean off the drug.
In order to use Suboxone, an opioid addict must be showing withdrawal symptoms but not be using the drug. This means that the best course of action to get the help you or a loved one needs is to communicate with a medical professional or rehabilitation clinic about a plan to withdraw and treat the symptoms slowly.
How to Get Professional Assistance for Fentanyl Rehab
The first step in getting someone professional help for fentanyl addiction is getting them to understand that this is a necessary step to getting their life back on track.
Rehabilitation clinics can include services such as:
- Psychiatric assistance
- Medical intervention
- Behavioral health plans
- Nutrition plans
- Support Systems
- 12 Step rehabilitation plans
Fight Addiction Effectively at Fountain Hills Recovery
At Fountain Hills Recovery, we understand how scary it can be to commit to rehabilitation – and how much support it takes from the right community. Our highly trained staff provides the gold standard for inpatient care and outpatient programming, and we work tirelessly to help people fight fentanyl and opioid addiction.
If you or your loved one is looking to get on the path to recovery immediately, please reach out to us today for a consultation.