Fentanyl is an extremely potent and powerful synthetic opioid that’s typically used for pain relief (severe cases). As with many powerful drugs, fentanyl has the risk of being abused. Due to its potency, an addiction can develop in those who are abusing the drug or taking more of the drug than required. This can lead to fentanyl withdrawal symptoms once a person has become dependent on the drug.
Fentanyl withdrawal can be particularly uncomfortable and in some cases dangerous. Over time, fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can begin to worsen and cause serious short and long-term health effects. Additionally, fentanyl abuse can end up leading to overdose in some cases due to how potent it is. That’s why it’s important to be able to spot fentanyl withdrawal symptoms.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is an opioid that is typically prescribed for chronic and severe pain. Fentanyl comes in a patch form in many cases. In such cases, fentanyl is absorbed through the person’s skin before going into the bloodstream. Afterward, fentanyl makes its way into the opioid receptors in the brain. This helps relieve some of the pain a person may be experiencing while creating a euphoric feeling.
As a common pattern among opioids, fentanyl is extremely addictive. The effects of fentanyl can begin to fade though after the first few doses (as prescribed). Unfortunately, a person can quickly begin to build a tolerance to fentanyl.
Once a person develops a tolerance to a substance such as fentanyl, that person needs more of the substance to feel its desired effects. Such increased tolerance can cause a person to continue to consume more and more of a substance to the point of abuse, withdrawal, and eventually, addiction. In some cases, continued abuse of a substance such as fentanyl due to increased tolerance can even lead to an overdose.
Fentanyl Addiction – Signs and Symptoms
As mentioned above, fentanyl can be extremely addictive and can end up causing serious damage if abused or used too much. Addiction can also have several negative effects on a person’s mind, body, and family. A person may depend on opioids like fentanyl to function on a daily basis. This is usually paired with intense cravings to use and withdrawal symptoms when they are not using.
When it comes to fentanyl addiction, there are several telling signs that indicate a problem. If left untreated, addiction could end up causing permanent damage to a person’s mind, body, and life.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of fentanyl addiction include:
- Being unable to quit fentanyl use, even if they want to
- Using to avoid fentanyl withdrawal symptoms
- Continuing to use fentanyl, even if it causes negative effects
- Building a high tolerance or needing more to reach the desired effects
- Avoiding responsibilities or social activities to use fentanyl
- Spending time trying to acquire and use fentanyl
The Development of Fentanyl Dependency and Addiction
While some people are more vulnerable to becoming addicted to fentanyl due to genetic predispositions, anyone can end up developing a fentanyl addiction. In some cases, a person with a fentanyl addiction is trying to deal with his or her pain but ends up abusing fentanyl because of its addictiveness. Additionally, those dealing with mental health disorders are at higher risk of abusing opioids like fentanyl.
Before addiction, a person becomes dependent on a drug. Thus, after a period of time of abusing fentanyl, a person’s brain may become affected. The dopamine receptors in the brain can start acting differently after continued fentanyl abuse. More specifically, a person’s brain will start to operate differently if it doesn’t contain opioids in its system. To avoid this, a person oftentimes starts abusing fentanyl more frequently, causing that person to develop an addiction.
When someone becomes dependent and addicted to a drug, he or she will begin to feel physical and mental effects when no longer using it. These withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and, in some cases, painful. Unfortunately, fentanyl withdrawal only makes addiction stronger because a person will use the drug to avoid feeling withdrawal symptoms. When getting fentanyl addiction treatment, these fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are regulated through professional help through detox.
Withdrawals can be especially problematic, especially for opioids such as fentanyl. Fentanyl withdrawal can cause mental and physical problems. Oftentimes, it’s fentanyl withdrawal symptoms that stop people from quitting their drug abuse habits.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline
The time in which a person begins to feel withdrawal symptoms varies from drug to drug. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms generally appear around 12 – 24 hours after the last dose of the substance. However, the real peak of fentanyl withdrawal occurs around 48-hours after using the substance. These fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can last up to a week or so. While the physical fentanyl withdrawal symptoms fade off after a week, the emotional impact of fentanyl withdrawal (anxiety, depression, etc.) can last much longer.
People who experience fentanyl withdrawal typically get met with uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptoms. This is why it’s essential for a person to get ongoing support and professional help. At Live Free Recovery, we offer complete fentanyl withdrawal and addiction treatment for you and your loved ones.
Physical Symptoms of Fentanyl Withdrawal
Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are mainly physical and mental and usually occur after a person develops a dependency on fentanyl.
Some common fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include:
- Insomnia or trouble sleeping
- Runny nose or watery eyes
- Excessive yawning
- Exhaustion or fatigue
- Stomach pains, cramps, or upset stomach
- Pains, aches, and spasms
- Trouble breathing
- Rapid heart rate
As mentioned, fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can last for some time – up to a week. The severity of fentanyl withdrawal may depend on the person and how much fentanyl he or she has been using. Fentanyl patch withdrawals can be monitored and overcome with the help of professional treatment.
Emotional and Mental Symptoms of Fentanyl Withdrawal
While physical fentanyl withdrawal symptoms may subside within a week, certain emotional fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can last much longer. A person can develop mental disorders or conditions while in the cycle of fentanyl addiction.
Some of the emotional withdrawal symptoms of fentanyl include:
- Extreme cravings
- Memory or cognition problems
- Mood swings
Depression and anxiety can develop and can last for a long time if left untreated. It takes patience and time, but it is possible to recover from fentanyl addiction.
Why You Should Not Quit Fentanyl Cold Turkey
Quitting ‘cold turkey’ refers to abruptly stopping drug use, in this case, fentanyl use. While a person may think that he or she can quit using fentanyl on one’s own, fentanyl withdrawal can cause major complications when quitting the drug cold turkey.
A person’s respiratory and heart rate can cause major issues when quitting fentanyl use alone when addicted. Thus, to avoid dangerous results, it’s recommended to enroll in a detox program when trying to quit abusing fentanyl.
It is best to go through a trusted fentanyl detox program to ensure safety and success. With the proper tools and guidance, a person can safely and smoothly overcome fentanyl withdrawal symptoms and enter recovery.
During the fentanyl withdrawal process, medical professionals slowly lower the dosage of fentanyl a person is consuming before fully eliminating all use. It is also common to use certain substitutes during fentanyl withdrawal to make quitting easier during medical detox.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment
While withdrawal symptoms can be particularly uncomfortable, it is only a small step to overcome to achieve a better and healthier life. At Live Free Recovery Center, we provide several avenues of treatment to help a person break free from fentanyl addiction. Our team is with you the entire way to ensure safe and effective addiction treatment in NH.
There are several treatment options available for fentanyl and opioid addiction treatment. Common forms of treatment include:
Detoxification is typically the first part of addiction treatment. Detoxification purges the body of toxic substances and sets a person up for more personalized treatment. Detox alone is not enough to treat addiction, but it is usually a crucial first step in the addiction treatment process.
For more severe cases of fentanyl addiction, inpatient treatment is recommended. As the name suggests, inpatient treatment has a person living in a rehab center for the period of time that he or she is receiving care. During one’s stay in inpatient treatment, a person has a structured schedule and 24/7 access to staff, therapists, and medical professionals. Inpatient treatment is usually recommended as the next step after detox.
Outpatient Treatment and IOP
Outpatient treatment programs differ from inpatient programs in that they do not require individuals to live in rehab centers during the period of time that they are receiving care. Therefore, a person goes home after his or her weekly outpatient rehab sessions.
Due to its flexibility, outpatient treatment is best for milder cases of addiction or for those who have a strong foundation/environment at home. Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) follow the same structure as outpatient programs, however, require more hours of treatment per day/week.
Sober Living Homes
Sober living homes are great options for transitioning back into life after treatment. Fentanyl and opioid addiction treatment can be life-changing. Some people may be wary of jumping back into life after recovery. Sober living homes can help such people by offering them safe and open environments during their early stages of recovery or throughout their post-treatment life.
Live Free Recovery is Here for You
Our professional staff and facility are here to help you and your loved ones reach a better place. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms and addiction can be detrimental to a person’s entire family and life. It’s important to have a safe and open environment to heal and overcome fentanyl addiction. Look no further than Live Free Recovery – give us a call to get started on your recovery today.