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Fentanyl Detox

Fentanyl detox can be a challenging process that requires a great deal of support and guidance. People who choose to detox from fentanyl at a quality drug addiction treatment center can gain insight into their substance abuse while learning strategies to overcome their fentanyl addiction.

Understanding what fentanyl addiction is, how fentanyl withdrawal affects the body, and the value of professional help can offer clarity and comfort to those seeking fentanyl addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one.

fentanyl detox

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that requires a fentanyl detox when abused. It is used both in clinical settings and illicitly. When used incorrectly, this synthetic opioid can easily lead to addiction because of the intense strength of the substance. In fact, fentanyl is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine

Prescription fentanyl medications exist for use in surgical settings due to its powerful sedative effects. It’s prescribed for cancer patients and other anesthetic needs. For this reason, it is only approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a pain reliever, but illicit fentanyl still exists. The substance is highly addictive and dangerous, leading people down the road to fentanyl detox.

What Is Fentanyl Addiction?

Fentanyl is a particularly dangerous synthetic opioid because of how strong it is. As such, it produces a “high” quickly, so it’s often laced with other drugs like heroin or cocaine. As a cheap, man-made alternative to naturally occurring opiates, drug dealers often sell drugs laced with fentanyl to cut costs. As a result, many people end up taking fentanyl without knowing and overdosing. 

People who abuse fentanyl quickly develop a tolerance which leads to an intense physical and psychological dependence on the drug. After someone develops a fentanyl addiction, they are plagued with overwhelming cravings. Once they start experiencing withdrawal, they need to begin detox for fentanyl to remove the toxins and recover.

If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin abuse, please reach out for help today.

The Dangers of Fentanyl Abuse

Fentanyl first entered the medical scene in 1960. However illicit fentanyl primarily took off as a street drug in 2013. Illegal fentanyl is distributed in two main ways: sold illegally outside of medical communities or crossed with other drugs, like heroin. Fentanyl is often made in illicit drug labs and circulated in drug markets. Forms of fentanyl include liquid, powder, pills, and patches that are meant for pain relief. 

Fentanyl is a contributor to the opioid crisis, the overdose epidemic we are currently experiencing. In reality, fentanyl use significantly helped give rise to the third wave of the crisis that took off in 2013. Almost 107,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2021 and more than 75% involved synthetic opioids. Of course, the majority of cases are due to illicit fentanyl, although illegal sales of pharmaceutical fentanyl do occur. 

What Is Fentanyl Withdrawal?

Fentanyl withdrawal happens when a person has formed an addiction and stops using it. Like any other synthetic drug, fentanyl creates a positive response in the brain that feels good. Opioids bind to brain receptors, which are responsible for feelings of pain or pleasure. They operate the release of noradrenaline (NR), a chemical responsible for alertness. Less NR leads to less sharpness in the brain and body.  In the case of an analgesic like fentanyl, the response is feelings of relaxation and euphoria. 

The more one takes fentanyl, the more they build tolerance so higher doses are needed to achieve the same effects. This dependence on the drug soon leads to addiction. 

How Long Does Fentanyl Withdrawal Last?

In effect, withdrawal symptoms can begin a few hours after the last dose, urging the person to take more.  Symptoms of withdrawal vary by person depending on unique factors, but some general ones are common. How deeply an individual experiences symptoms can also depend on the person. Some factors include:

A more in-depth picture of withdrawal can be seen based on the standard withdrawal timeline fentanyl detox follows.

Symptoms of Fentanyl Withdrawal

People can experience a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms during fentanyl withdrawal. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms often include:

Common fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include:

Severe symptoms can include:

Since each person is different, they may experience all or some of these symptoms in varying degrees of severity. An important distinction is the difference between short- and long-term symptoms. Short-term symptoms are those that occur shortly after the last dose, like during the first week. Long-term symptoms are the more lasting effects that can continue to occur even after one is sober. Of course, the timelines can vary but tend to follow general patterns.

Short-Term Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

Short-term withdrawal, also called acute symptoms, spans from one’s last dose throughout the early detoxification stages. During detox,  people can experience a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms during fentanyl withdrawal. 

Common short-term fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include:

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms often mimic severe cold or flu symptoms. There’s no set timeline for how long withdrawal symptoms will last, but it could be between months and years. Due to the extreme levels of discomfort, detoxing off of fentanyl shouldn’t be attempted alone. These first stages of withdrawal are when individuals trying to detox alone may relapse.

For a successful and safe fentanyl detox, it’s important to receive help from substance use professionals. The most effective way to detox off of fentanyl is in an inpatient detox facility. There, medical staff will help you set a foundation for recovery.

Long-Term Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

Unfortunately, fentanyl withdrawal may continue beyond the short-term effects. The length people experience symptoms varies, but it can stretch from days to months. In certain cases, protracted withdrawal lasts for a very long term. Although the substance is removed from the body, the effects it has on the brain while used make quitting harder. 

Lingering post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) can cause people to relapse and even overdose. An estimated 90% of former opioid users struggle with PAWS. 

For this reason, it is important to undergo opioid detox in an inpatient facility because you’ll set the foundation of sobriety. Having help during symptom management ensures a smoother road to recovery. Likewise, fentanyl detox programs can prevent relapse by teaching healthy coping mechanisms and exploring the deeper causes of addiction.

Self-Assessment: Am I Addicted?

Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline

As mentioned, fentanyl withdrawal is likely to follow a general timeline, but again, each person and their experience is different. Basically, opioid detoxification can be broken down into 4 stages spanning from the time of the last dose. The breakdown is:

Each stage comes with its own unique challenges in the process of detoxification, like progressing symptoms.  

First 24 Hours

In the first few hours after the last dose, people feel the early stages of withdrawal. At this point, a key symptom is cravings for the next fix. Other generally mild signs start, like cold symptoms, restlessness, irritability, and aches and pains.

Within 24 to 36 Hours

Symptoms over the next 24-36 hours are likely to steadily grow in urgency and intensity before peaking around day 3. They can heighten to include nausea, panic attacks, stomach pain, and appetite loss. Since it’s the hardest phase, people often give up their detox around this time.

Days 4 through 6

In general, fentanyl withdrawal symptoms should start to improve around 4-6 days after the last dose. Lighter symptoms may continue, like fatigue, cravings, and irritability, and psychological symptoms are common, like anxiety and depression.

A Week and Beyond

The last phase of fentanyl withdrawal occurs a week after the last dose. With the drug fully removed from their system, effects going forward may be more psychological than physical. Known as post-acute withdrawal symptoms, or PAWS, people may experience cravings, depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and chronic pain that can last for weeks.

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Detox for Fentanyl & Treatment for Fentanyl Withdrawal

Clearly, withdrawal isn’t a comfortable process. Yet, detox is an imperative process of removing toxins from the body that trap individuals in the cycle of addiction. Opioid detox is the first step in treatment for fentanyl addiction and other opioid use disorders (OUD). Fentanyl detox is the only way to achieve lasting sobriety and eventually move past withdrawal symptoms. 

Due to these symptoms, it’s important not to attempt detox alone. Medically-supervised withdrawal makes the process more comfortable and more likely to be successful. Detox facilities help guests undergo withdrawal in manageable ways through monitoring, medication assistance, and treatment interventions as needed. Also, the process is safer, as a team of medical experts monitors and assists in one’s detox for fentanyl.

Drugs Used for Fentanyl Detox

Fortunately, withdrawal in a treatment center includes the convenient option of medication assistance. Withdrawal management for opioid dependence during detox treats the side effects of fentanyl withdrawal that make people want to quit. 

Typical management services for mild opioid withdrawal don’t utilize medication but instead follow important health practices. Medical professionals monitor detoxing guests and administer vitamin supplements to help reestablish healthy nutrition levels. They also watch fluid levels, since many can be lost through increased sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea. Generally, a higher water intake is recommended during detox. 

When it comes to moderate and more severe opioid withdrawal, greater measures need to be taken. Therefore, typical management services in these cases include adding medications like Clonidine to treatment. Medication-assisted withdrawal treats physical symptoms such as:

Such symptoms can scare people off from detox, which is why medicine is valuable as a comfort medication. These comfort medications for withdrawal treat fentanyl side effects so guests can focus on getting better quickly. The process goes smoother when side effects like cravings are reduced, which is why medications for opioid addiction diminish symptoms.

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Fentanyl Withdrawal

Undergoing detox for fentanyl isn’t easy, as shown. Fortunately, the option for medication-assisted treatment exists to make the process more manageable and more comfortable. Yet, a lot of misinformation about MAT sometimes scares people away from receiving medication assistance. 

People fear they’d be trading one addiction for another, but comfort medication simply assists in the recovery process. It’s also carefully prescribed and implemented. In reality, MAT incorporates medication into treatment on a case-by-case basis. The combination of MAT, drug addiction counseling, and behavioral therapies makes a lasting difference. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved multiple medications for the treatment of opioid use disorders (OUD). Effective MAT medications for fentanyl are:

Buprenorphine is a beneficial medication for opioid treatment because it reduces withdrawal cravings. It is sometimes used as a medical taper in the detoxification stage, as well as a part of long-term MAT.

Naltrexone is an opioid blocker used to treat opioid and alcohol addiction. It blunts the euphoric effects of opioids and helps reduce cravings. 

Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist that restricts the positive feelings created by opioids like fentanyl and also reduces withdrawal cravings.

For individuals undergoing fentanyl detox, our substance abuse professionals carefully assess the need for medication assistance on a case-by-case basis. Our clinicians thoroughly evaluate the nature and severity of addiction, while taking into account the person’s medical history and overall health. This comprehensive approach ensures that treatment is tailored to each individual’s unique circumstances.

Our medication-assisted treatment (MAT)  offers vital support for guests undergoing fentanyl detox. By alleviating withdrawal symptoms and cravings, it plays a crucial role in their treatment. Additionally, MOUD aids in relapse prevention by blocking the euphoric effects of opioids, discouraging any temptation to use heroin.

Our MAT services go beyond medication, integrating behavioral therapies and drug addiction counseling into each guest’s personalized treatment plan. This comprehensive approach ensures that guests receive holistic care for fentanyl detox and addiction treatment, supporting their healing journey in the weeks and months ahead.

Continuing Care in Residential Treatment

Detoxification is often hailed as the hardest phase of recovery. However, after fentanyl detox the process isn’t complete. If you aren’t intentional with your follow up steps, you may be tempted to relapse. Continuing your time in treatment is important if you want to set yourself on the path to long-term sobriety. In the next steps after detox, you can learn valuable skills and self-awareness. At Royal Life Centers, our focus in recovery treatment includes:

Aftercare and Long-Term Recovery

There are ample benefits to continuing your time in treatment after detox. Significantly, people who stay in recovery through aftercare and outpatient services learn valuable skills for managing lasting symptoms and triggers. When difficult situations occur, guests are prepared to face them without falling into relapse. At Royal, our continuing levels include:

To begin with, guests practice real-life usage of healthy coping methods they can use when dealing with triggers and cravings. This prepares them for the challenges they’ll face outside the facility walls. Guests hone their relapse prevention skills to avoid the risks of relapse and overdose. Additionally, each person continues to work with their case manager to establish basic life skills, job readiness, and financial preparedness.

Guests build upon their initial work in detoxification and residential treatment and engage in individual and group therapies. Along with traditional psychotherapies, guests can take part in additional complementary therapies. Some include equine therapy, adventure therapy, and music therapy, where guests utilize an in-house recording studio, Sober Studios. Through it all, guests are in close contact with medical professionals and have a supportive recovery community behind them.

The goal of recovery is always to prepare people for the real world and smoothly transition them back into daily life. But staying longer in treatment ensures a more successful eventual return.

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Fentanyl Detox and Treatment at Royal Life Centers

At Royal Life Centers, we understand how difficult it is to recover from opioid addiction. This is why you can come to us for every part of your addiction treatment, from detoxification to aftercare. Our comprehensive program walks you through each crucial step. As part of your recovery, you will start with fentanyl detox with the option for MAT treatment. From there you’ll move into residential inpatient treatment where you’ll embark on a personalized care plan. You’ll focus on developing life skills and engage in therapy sessions to uncover the root of your addiction. In the same way, our aftercare programs continue group therapy and meetings with your case manager.

Each level of integrated care teaches new skills and builds self-confidence and self-reliance. Above all, Royal follows a holistic approach where guests are treated as people first. We want every person to follow a program tailored to their needs. If you’re ready to start living a fulfilling sober life, we’d love to help you get settled into a personalized treatment plan at one of our Centers.

Find a Fentanyl Detox Near Me in Washington State

We have established numerous recovery centers across Washington to ensure exceptional care that is easily accessible to our guests. As part of Royal’s nationwide addiction treatment programs and centers, The Haven and Sound Recovery play a vital role in our commitment to providing comprehensive support and assistance.

The Haven offers a comprehensive detoxification and residential inpatient program that empowers individuals to overcome alcohol and drug dependence. Sound Recovery, on the other hand, serves as a continuing care option, guiding those who have completed detox through the various levels of drug and alcohol rehab.

In Washington, we offer the following detoxification and residential facilities:

We have established a network of aftercare and outpatient treatment centers throughout Washington state. Once guests complete their detox program, they have the option to transition to these centers. At these centers, they will continue to receive support from a dedicated care team and be surrounded by an encouraging community.

Our aftercare facilities in Washington are:

When you’re ready to conquer your fentanyl addiction and start the journey to a fulfilling life of sobriety, we’re ready to walk that road with you. Because We Care, we are here for you 24/7 by contact form or phone. We can help with insurance verification and answer any questions you may have about the detox programs at our detox center. Call our addiction treatment center at 888-568-5998 today and learn more about our treatment programs!

Looking for Fentanyl Detox Services?

If you or someone you love is struggling with fentanyl addiction, please reach out to us to find out more about how our fentanyl detox services can help. We work with most private insurance policies and we have affordable self-pay rates if you do not have insurance. Give us a call and we will figure out the best treatment plan for you or your loved one.
Because We Care.

fentanyl detox

Would you like more information?

If you or someone you know has a substance use disorder, we hope you’ll begin your journey with us at Royal Life Centers.

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