Fentanyl is a powerful opioid drug that is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. While it is manufactured and used in medical settings to treat chronic and severe pain, the drug has also infiltrated the illegal drug trade and is often found on the streets.
When someone takes an opioid like fentanyl over and over, their brain chemistry begins to change. Over time, the opioid receptors in the central nervous system begin firing–even in the absence of an opioid. If a person doesn’t take an opioid when this happens, they go into withdrawal as the brain struggles to restore balance.
The physical symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal are flu-like in nature and make getting sober incredibly difficult. Fentanyl detox programs in West Palm Beach offer around-the-clock support and detox medications to keep patients safe and comfortable during the withdrawal process.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
Symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal are similar to those of other opioids, however, they may feel more intense due to the potent nature of the drug. As soon as 6-12 hours after taking the drug, flu-like withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings will begin.
Symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal patients can expect to feel during detox include:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Excessive yawning
- Stomach cramps
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal cramping
- Muscle aches
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Difficulty sleeping
- Suicidal thoughts
Due to the severity of these symptoms, many people end up relapsing before finishing detox. This is why medical supervision and a certified addiction treatment program are so important. Although people may experience pain, discomfort, and flu-like symptoms, these can be managed with FDA-approved pharmaceuticals.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline
When fentanyl withdrawal begins depends on many factors, such as how long a person had been using the drug and what form of the drug they used. For example, the fentanyl patch is an extended-release medication that lasts up to 72 hours. And, with a half-life of nearly 17 hours, it can take 1-2 days for withdrawal symptoms to begin.
On the other hand, if someone had been injecting powdered fentanyl they purchased on the streets, they may go into withdrawal as soon as 12-24 hours after taking their last dose. Most people will experience the peak of their symptoms at 48-72 hours. After about one week, most symptoms should subside, and individuals may be ready to move on to a comprehensive treatment program.
How long fentanyl withdrawal lasts and how severe a person’s symptoms are depend on a variety of factors, such as:
- Length of their addiction
- Co-occurring health conditions
- Abuse of alcohol or other drugs
- Severity of addiction
- Metabolism and overall health
Medications Used During Fentanyl Detox
Sudden discontinuation of fentanyl can induce seriously uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. However, continuing to use fentanyl, even in small amounts, may be dangerous. Fentanyl detox centers in West Palm Beach use opioid-replacement medications to help wean individuals off of opioids, prevent relapse, and reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
These FDA-approved medications include:
- Buprenorphine (Subutex or Suboxone) is a partial opioid agonist that binds to opioid receptors in the brain without producing an intense high. It can reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
- Methadone is an opioid medication used to treat pain as well as opioid withdrawal. It is long-lasting and can help eliminate withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Additional medications may be used depending on a patient’s needs. These may include:
- SSRIs for antidepressants
- Clonidine for high blood pressure
- Vistaril for anxiety and discomfort
- Antihistamines for insomnia
- Tums or Pepto Bismol for gastrointestinal distress
What to Expect During Fentanyl Detox in West Palm Beach
It is never recommended to detox from fentanyl without professional help. Patients who attend a fentanyl drug detox program in West Palm Beach go through an initial evaluation to determine their treatment plan. A doctor or substance abuse professional will help individuals develop an individualized tapering and medical schedule to wean them off of opioids slowly.
Throughout detox, patients are monitored by nurses and medical staff. Their vitals are checked on a regular basis, they meet with their doctor each day, and obtain medications safely from the pharmacist. Most detox programs also offer group therapy sessions and other therapeutic activities that may help take the mind off of withdrawal and focus it somewhere else.
Medical detox centers are the safest place to go through fentanyl withdrawal. Medical professionals are prepared to intervene in the case of an emergency and can provide much-needed support to help reduce the risk of relapse.
Lastly, prior to discharge, patients meet with a substance abuse counselor to develop an individualized plan for further care. Patients may attend an inpatient or outpatient rehab program to learn how to stay sober after detox.
In totality, fentanyl detox usually lasts about 5-7 days. In severe cases, it can last up to 10 days. It’s important to stay in detox until discharged by the medical team.
Find a Fentanyl Detox Program in West Palm Beach
Medical detox programs are extremely effective in safely and comfortably removing fentanyl from the body and helping patients achieve optimal health. However, these programs are most effective when followed up with a comprehensive substance abuse treatment program that combines behavioral therapy, counseling, peer support, and medications.
If you or a loved one are addicted to fentanyl, it’s vital to get help as soon as possible. Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous, deadly, and addictive drugs out there, and we’d hate to see your life destroyed by it. Here at Daylight Recovery Center, we have all the services you need to make a complete recovery. Don’t wait another minute. Call us now to get help with fentanyl addiction.