While the overall number of adults in the US with opioid use disorder is in decline, according to NSDUH 2020, the menace of synthetic opioids like fentanyl remains unchecked.
A fatal dose of heroin is 30mg. By comparison, just 3mg of fentanyl is enough to kill the average adult male. This is just a few grains.
According to the CDC, fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and up to 50 times stronger than heroin.
Is Fentanyl Addictive?
Fentanyl is a prescription drug and a powerful synthetic opioid usually used during surgery. It’s also sometimes used to treat severe chronic pain symptoms in patients with a physical tolerance to opioids.
The drug is available in the following forms:
- Patch: You place this transdermal patch on your skin
- Sublingual tablet: You dissolve this tablet on your tongue
- Buccal tablet: You dissolve this tablet between your cheek and your gums
- Oral lozenge: You suck on this lozenge until it dissolves
- Nasal spray: You spray this directly into your nose
- Injectable: Healthcare providers can inject you with fentanyl
As with all opiates, fentanyl carries a risk of tolerance, dependence, fentanyl abuse, and addiction.
In the case of physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms set in when the drug is abruptly stopped. These symptoms usually begin 12 hours after the last dose and endure for a week or more.
Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Dilated pupils
- Hot or cold flashes
- Severe and generalized pain
Tolerance to fentanyl builds quickly, which means much more of the drug is needed to achieve the same effect.
The continual use of opioids often results in addiction. According to NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse), addiction is a chronic and relapsing condition encompassing more than simple physical dependence. Fentanyl addiction is characterized by uncontrollable and compulsive drug-seeking behaviors regardless of the negative outcomes. Obtaining and using the drug becomes the primary purpose of life when fentanyl addiction sets in.
Just like any opioid use disorder, the treatment for fentanyl addiction depends on the severity of the problem. We’ll guide you through some of the most common and effective methods of treatment right below.
Treatment is always advisable due to the significant risk of fentanyl overdose. If you’re searching for “fentanyl rehab near me”, that’s a strong start to a better future.
Before we highlight the importance of Fentanyl rehab centers, how does fentanyl recovery work?
Just like any opioid addiction, fentanyl addiction is best treated using a combination of proven behavioral therapies and medication to mitigate withdrawal.
Counseling can help you to change your attitudes and behaviors toward drug use. You’ll also learn how to improve your life skills.
Examples of the therapies used include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: CBT helps you to modify your expectations and behaviors while also learning to effectively manage triggers and stressors that could otherwise lead to relapse
- Contingency management: This is a rewards-based therapy where you’ll receive incentives for healthy living
- Motivational interviewing: With this patient-centered counseling, you’ll address your feelings toward change
In terms of medications, both methadone and buprenorphine can be used effectively. These medications work by binding to the same opioid receptors in your brain that fentanyl does. Naltrexone is another option. This medication blocks the opioid receptors and negates the effects of fentanyl.
Like all opioid use disorders, fentanyl addiction recovery typically begins with a supervised medical detox.
The sustained use of opioids like fentanyl triggers physical and psychological changes. When you discontinue use, intense withdrawal symptoms manifest as your body and brain become accustomed to the absence of fentanyl.
Detoxifying at a licensed medical detox center gives you access to FDA-approved medications to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings for fentanyl. You will also have clinical and emotional care available around the clock and medical professionals ready to intervene in the event of any complications.
The fentanyl recovery timeline during withdrawal will depend on the amount of the substance use, the duration of abuse, although it will unfold similarly over the course of one week.
Fentanyl detox day 1
As a short-acting opioid like codeine and heroin, fentanyl withdrawal symptoms usually present from 8 hours to 24 hours after the last dose.
The first day of fentanyl withdrawal is characterized by the following array of symptoms:
- Intense cravings for fentanyl
- Loss of appetite
- Muscular aches and pains
- Disrupted sleep patterns
Fentanyl detox day 2
The second day of fentanyl recovery involves a continuation of the above symptoms, in addition to these adverse outcomes:
- Panic attacks
- Upset stomach
- Runny nose
- Increased perspiration
Fentanyl detox day 3
For most people undergoing fentanyl detox, withdrawal symptoms will peak on the third day. This occurs with withdrawal from all short-acting opioids.
During the acute phase of fentanyl withdrawal, expect the following symptoms:
All of the above symptoms may still be present during day three of fentanyl recovery.
Fentanyl detox day 4
With the acute phase of detox complete, expect the following withdrawal symptoms to persist:
- Enlarged pupils
- GI disturbance
Fentanyl detox day 7
All withdrawal symptoms should begin to subside after one week of fentanyl detox.
You may still experience the following symptoms, though:
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Depressed mood
If you experience PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome), some adverse withdrawal symptoms may linger for months after detoxing. The most reported effects of PAWS include:
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Depressed mood
- Strong cravings for opioids
Fentanyl Drug Rehab Programs
If you feel you need help with addiction to fentanyl, you would benefit from engaging with rehab at an inpatient or outpatient opioid treatment center.
For severe opioid use disorders, inpatient treatment is almost always recommended. However, research shows that cases of most mild and moderate addictions respond just as well to intensive outpatient treatment.
If you feel you would benefit from outpatient treatment, what does that involve?
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment at Renaissance Recovery
Whether you feel a loved one has a problem with fentanyl or you’re struggling with opioid addiction yourself, you don’t need to do this alone.
Here at Renaissance Recovery Center, we’ll help you reclaim your life from the shadow of fentanyl abuse without needing to head to residential rehab.
We specialize in the outpatient treatment of opioid use disorders like fentanyl addiction. If you feel a standard outpatient program doesn’t provide the support and structure you need, we also offer more intensive programming, with both IOPs (intensive outpatient programs) and PHPs (partial hospitalization programs) offering more time commitment. A PHP is the next step down from inpatient rehab on ASAM’s continuum of care, and advisable for more severe opioid use disorders.
Additionally, we offer remote access to fentanyl rehab in the form of our virtual intensive outpatient program.
Whichever level of intensity makes the best fit for your fentanyl addiction, you will have access to the following evidence-based treatments:
- MAT (medication-assisted treatment): Opioid use disorders typically respond well to medication-assisted treatment. Several FDA-approved medications can help minimize the severity of cravings of fentanyl, as well as the withdrawal symptoms associated with fentanyl detox.
- Psychotherapies: Psychotherapies are a form of talk therapy beneficial for treating the psychological component of fentanyl addiction. Through sessions of CBT or DBT, you’ll identify what triggers you to abuse opioids like fentanyl. Your therapist will then help you formulate healthier replacement coping strategies.
- Counseling: Group and individual counseling form a core part of our opioid addiction treatment programs.
To remove yourself from the vise of fentanyl addiction, reach out to Renaissance today at 866.330.9449.