Fentanyl Detox

Fentanyl is a synthetic (man made) opioid that’s 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. This drug is fast acting and isn’t detectable when mixed with other drugs. Because of this, many people will mix fentanyl into illicit drugs to make them more potent for less money.

 

Fentanyl is commonly combined with include heroin, cocaine, meth, ketamine, and non-medical pill capsules.

It greatly increases the risk of overdose, especially when someone doesn’t have an opioid tolerance. 

Fentanyl Pills

Fentanyl Abuse: Signs You or a Loved One Needs Help

There are many subtle indications that someone may struggle with fentanyl abuse or addiction. Although signs of fentanyl abuse will vary per person, some of the following may be present, including: 

Why Does a Person Need Alcohol Detox?

Physical symptoms of fentanyl abuse:

  • drowsiness

  • insomnia

  • impaired movements 

  • slow thought process 

  • constricted pupils 

Cognitive symptoms of fentanyl abuse:

  • trouble paying attention 

  • trouble concentrating 

  • impaired judgment 

  • fentanyl cravings 

  • suicidal ideation 

  • impaired memory

Behavioral symptoms of fentanyl abuse:

  • continuing to abuse fentanyl despite negative consequences 

  • withdrawing socially 

  • frequently missing work or school 

  • spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from fentanyl abuse 

  • slurred speech 

  • visiting multiple doctors for more than one prescription Psychological symptoms of fentanyl abuse:

    • depression 

    • euphoria followed by apathy 

    • lost interest in activities that they normally enjoy

 Signs of a Fentanyl Overdose

Being able to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose can potentially save a life. Here are some signs to look out for:

    • small constricted pupils

    • falling asleep or losing consciousness randomly 

    • slow, weak, or stopped breathing 

    • limp limbs 

    • cold or clammy skiing 

    • discolored skin or nails

What Happens During Fentanyl Withdrawal?

 

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful opioid. Its effects come on rapidly and leave just as fast. This quick effect can cause someone to become dependent on fentanyl very quickly. When someone suddenly stops taking fentanyl, they can start to feel the absence of the drug in their system in as little as three to four hours.

Symptoms of Fentanyl Withdrawal

Generally, there are two categories of fentanyl withdrawal symptoms: acute or early withdrawal and late-stage withdrawal symptoms

Early symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • agitation 

  • anxiety 

  • muscle aches 

  • watery eyes 

  • insomnia

  • runny nose 

  • excessive sweating 

  • yawning 

Late-stage withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • abdominal cramping 

  • diarrhea

  • dilated pupils 

  • goosebumps

  • nausea and vomiting  

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Fentanyl

To help combat uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, medication-assisted treatment medications may be administered as a part of a medical detox program.  

 

Some of the MAT medications used for opioid withdrawal, such as fentanyl, include: 

 

  • buprenorphine

  • methadone

  • naloxone

  • Subutex

These medications may be taken individually or in combination to help ease withdrawal symptoms experienced when someone quits fentanyl.

 

Fentanyl Abuse and Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders 

A co-occurring mental health disorder is one of the most common phenomena with fentanyl abuse. When someone is struggling with fentanyl abuse, the risk of them developing a mental health disorder increases significantly. 

 

Behavioral health therapy is one of the best treatment methods to help a dual diagnosis of fentanyl use disorder and a mental illness. Some of the most common behavioral therapies include: 

 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

  • Contingency management 

  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) 

  • Motivational interviewing

Fentanyl Detox Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

It’s expected to have questions when considering quitting fentanyl. Here are some commonly asked questions about detoxing from opioids like fentanyl. 

Do I Need A Fentanyl Detox Program?

Yes, most people with a fentanyl use disorder will require a detox program to give up the drug for good. A medical detox program provides medical supervision and MAT medications to help people recover in the most comfortable way possible. 

How Does Fentanyl Differ from Other Opioid Drugs?

Because fentanyl is so potent, it can cause withdrawal to set in faster than other opioid drugs. The discomfort experienced during fentanyl withdrawal may be enough to keep someone from quitting and regaining control of their lives. 

What Are Some Ways to Avoid Fentanyl?

Anyone who uses illicit drugs that may contain fentanyl is at risk for an overdose. The best way to avoid fentanyl use is to use it with others and take turns, making sure someone can check on you.

 

Always carry a dose of naloxone with you so you can reverse opioid overdose should it occur. And do your best to avoid mixing drugs, as this can significantly increase overdose risk.

Long-term Benefits of Fentanyl Detox  

When someone’s ready to give up fentanyl abuse for good, it’s a big deal. There are many benefits of a medical detox program, including medical supervision, MAT treatment for comfort, and continued support after detoxification. 

 

If you’re ready to take your life back, call an addiction treatment specialist today at (561) 556-1979.

 

Sources:

 

NYC Health – Fentanyl  

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – Fentanyl Narcotics (OPIOIDS)