Fentanyl is an opioid drug available on prescription. It works by binding to your opioid receptors to relieve pain, which is why it is prescribed to treat severe pain or chronic pain – for example, in cancer patients for pain relief, or during an operation. You may be prescribed fentanyl if other opioid painkillers such as codeine have become less effective.
Because fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, it can be a dangerous drug that can lead to severe dependence. Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, should always be used under the guidance of a medical professional.
Taking too much fentanyl or misusing fentanyl can increase the risk of not only developing an addiction to fentanyl but having a fentanyl overdose/ opioid overdose.
If you think that you or a loved one has an addiction to fentanyl or other opioids, you must seek treatment sooner rather than later. Addiction is a progressive disease – if you’re looking to turn your life around and take back control, then a fentanyl detox is what you need.
But what exactly is a fentanyl detox? And what should you expect when withdrawing from a strong opioid such as fentanyl? That’s what we’re going to explore on this page.
Read on to learn more about fentanyl addiction, fentanyl withdrawal, and fentanyl detox. We’ll also be discussing how our team of addiction experts at Help4Addiction can help you overcome your addiction.
Fentanyl addiction falls under the term ‘opioid use disorder’ – which ultimately refers to opioid-specific substance use disorder. Substance abuse/ drug abuse also falls under this umbrella term. Many activities can be classified as fentanyl abuse – for example:
Abusing fentanyl can increase the risk of having an overdose. Pharmaceutical fentanyl (prescription fentanyl), and illicitly-manufactured fentanyl are the two types of fentanyl.
Illicitly-manufactured fentanyl is particularly dangerous and is unregulated – and can hugely increase the risk of having an overdose.
An opioid overdose can be fatal, and often, urgent medical care is needed. If you or somebody you know takes fentanyl or other opioids, it’s imperative you know the signs of an overdose. Some signs of an opioid overdose/ fentanyl overdose include:
Even if you take fentanyl for a short period, you can still develop a tolerance to the drug. When you have a tolerance to prescription medication, you’ll need to take a higher dose to feel the same effect.
Fentanyl is extremely addictive and potent – and tolerance can quickly lead to physical dependence as well as a psychological addiction. Read on for some signs that you may be addicted to fentanyl.
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Drug addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disorder that is characterised by the lack of control over taking a drug, or using it despite the negative consequences it can have.
It is recognised as a brain disorder due to the functional changes in the brain associated with addiction that occur – for example, reward, stress, and self-control.
Ultimately, if you lack control when taking fentanyl – or you continue to take the drug despite the negative effects it may have on your life, you may have an opioid addiction.
Likewise, if you experience withdrawal symptoms when you lower your dose or suddenly stop taking it, then you have a physical dependence on the drug.
There are a few physical symptoms that can indicate addiction. However, these symptoms are often comorbid with other medical conditions – so these signs alone do not confirm that you have an addiction. The signs are:
There are many more signs that indicate addiction. If you notice that you are displaying these signs, contact us today to learn more about how to overcome your addiction. See ‘Book a Fentanyl Detox’ to learn more about how Help4Addiction can help you.
Once you have become physically dependent on fentanyl, you’ll begin to experience opioid withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop taking it.
The fentanyl withdrawal timeline can vary from person to person, often depending on medical history and addiction history. Although fentanyl withdrawal is rarely life-threatening, the symptoms can be uncomfortable.
The severity of the symptoms can vary depending on factors such as the length of time you’ve been taking the drug, the dose you are used to, as well as any underlying medical conditions(physical and mental health).
Primary withdrawal symptoms can last for around a week, and often include symptoms that you began using fentanyl to treat. If you have post-acute withdrawal syndrome, symptoms may persist for longer. Often, addiction therapy can address these symptoms.
Therapies such as CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), counselling and group therapy can help to ameliorate extended psychological withdrawal symptoms. Read on to learn more about what symptoms to expect when withdrawing from fentanyl.
When you are withdrawing from opioids, you may experience a range of mild symptoms and moderate symptoms, as well as physical, behavioural and psychological/ emotional symptoms.
In some cases, you may experience severe withdrawal symptoms, and effective withdrawal management will be needed – which may include medication-assisted treatment. We will be exploring this further in the next section of this page.
Some symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal include:
Detoxification is the first stage of substance addiction treatment – it is the act of cleansing your body of a substance. A fentanyl detox aims to combat the physical addiction to the substance.
When withdrawing from opioids, symptoms of withdrawal can be particularly uncomfortable. We don’t usually recommend that you detox from opioids at home – instead, you may benefit more from completing an inpatient detox at a residential facility.
A medical detox can streamline this process – you may be given detox medication to help you deal with withdrawal symptoms. You may also detox under medical supervision at a detox facility, which is considered a safer way to detox from opioids.
It’s important to note that detox alone does not address the psychological, social and behavioural aspects of addiction – this is something that is addressed as a larger treatment plan. Read on to learn how to book a fentanyl detox and find a quality fentanyl rehab centre.
Coming to terms with your addiction can be difficult, and reaching out for help can be even harder. However, at Help4Addiction, we understand the difficulties that people face when addressing their addiction – and we aim to make it easier.
We have been helping people overcome their addiction for years, and can help you combat your fentanyl addiction.
Contact us today to get the ball rolling on the admissions process. We will listen to your preferences and requirements to find not only the best rehab plan for you but the right local rehab facility.
If you wish to undergo a detox, we can help – and if you wish to undergo detox as part of a larger rehab plan, we can help with this too.
Detoxification is just one stage of rehab – addiction therapy and secondary treatment are also important stages of fentanyl rehab.
Therapy addresses psychological dependence, and can improve your confidence, mental health, and general well-being. Therapies such as CBT can also teach you coping mechanisms that can ultimately prevent relapse.
Secondary treatment, also known as aftercare, has the aim of providing you with ongoing support throughout your recovery – and helping you to achieve emotional sobriety. This can take the form of telephone support, online support, counselling, and even support groups.
Contact our friendly team at Help4Addiction today to learn more about rehab, and begin your recovery journey.
Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.
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