Fentanyl Detox & Withdrawal
Fentanyl is a powerful prescription drug that is primarily used for pain and considered more potent than heroin and morphine (NCBI). Recently Fentanyl has been linked to a rise in deaths in the UK owing to this painkiller being combined with illicit drugs.
The following guide explores fentanyl detox and withdrawal to assist those who are struggling to overcome the use of the prescription drug.
What is Fentanyl Detox?
The process in which Fentanyl is safely and gradually removed from the body is known as detox. Fentanyl detox is usually performed in a medical facility or rehabilitation centre with the assistance of doctors and nurses. Individual health and safety are monitored throughout, and medication provided to reduce the physical and psychological discomfort associated with withdrawal.
Fentanyl detox can last between 5 and 10 days; however, this can differ depending on the severity and the frequency of drug use. It will also be influenced by factors such as the use of illicit drugs (heroin) in combination with Fentanyl.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
Because Fentanyl is a drug that is so quickly metabolised by the body, it can create a very fast “high.” While the prescription painkiller is used in very small doses in a medical emergency, when it is combined with illicit drugs and illegally dealt on the street, it makes for a fast-acting drug with rapid withdrawals.
Withdrawal symptoms can develop a mere 2 hours after use and 24 hours for those with a Fentanyl patch. Fentanyl withdrawal includes physical and psychological symptoms:
- Muscle pain
- Excess sweating
- Negative emotions
- An inability to feel pleasure
- Feeling out of touch with reality
How to Detox from Fentanyl Safely?
It is important that one not decide to go cold-turkey or to try to detox from Fentanyl alone. Even with the motivation to overcome the use of Fentanyl, the withdrawal makes it challenging and uncomfortable. Detox performed with the assistance of your GP or in a professional medical facility can help you in your
Speak to your GP
Fentanyl is only given to patients in tiny doses when clinical emergencies such as a broken arm or dislocated shoulder present. It is also given to terminally ill patients who are in tremendous pain. While Fentanyl is a prescribed drug for pain, it is not issued to patients for personal use at home unless they are provided a patch which slowly releases controlled doses into the body. If you are struggling with Fentanyl usage or you wish to learn of safer alternatives, speak to your GP for assistance.
If You are Abusing Fentanyl
Dependence usually occurs when fentanyl is either sought illegally or when one starts using Fentanyl outside of its prescribed medical scope. Because of the potency of this drug, it significantly increases your risk of overdose. If you or someone you care about is abusing Fentanyl, reach out to your GP or a rehabilitation facility for assistance. An important part of overcoming dependence/addiction is first taking the steps to a medical evaluation and detox. If you have any concerns about the process or where to find help, please speak to us and our dedicated professionals will provide the support and advice that you need.
If You are Using Fentanyl or Other Opioid Substitutes
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that has emerged on the UK street market placing more individuals at risk of fatal overdoses (Health Europa). There is also the risk of seeking illicit drugs such as heroin with many unsuspecting individuals being provided Fentanyl cuts instead. If you are using Fentanyl or other opioid substitutes, you can reach out to keyworkers in the UK. Their role is to help you find the appropriate treatment along with daily and weekly support. Because they are available to work with you, keyworkers play an integral part in recovery and can help you through the challenges of detox, withdrawal, and relapse for those dependent on the opioid.
Detoxing From Fentanyl at a Rehab Facility
For those who have developed addiction to Fentanyl or are abusing the synthetic opioid, it is recommended to pursue help and detox from a medical or professional rehabilitation facility. The process starts with a physical and psychological evaluation to determine the nature and severity of dependence. The next stage of recovery is detox where individuals are monitored round the clock by professional medical staff and doctors. The purpose is to ensure that individual wellness needs are met and you are provided clean and sober opportunity to pursue your recovery.
How Much Does a Fentanyl Detox Cost?
The cost for Fentanyl detox will differ based on individual cases and where the detox is performed. Medical detox performed in a hospital will include charges for the hospital stay, the medication used to manage withdrawal, and the services provided by the medical staff. If you were to enter residential rehab, the detox is factored into the cost for rehabilitation treatment; however, it often requires an inpatient stay. Detox and a 28 day treatment may cost between £6,000 and £10,000.
You can also pursue a free medical detox through the NHS, but you will need a referral from your GP and you will be placed on a waiting list depending on availability.
Quitting Fentanyl Cold Turkey
If you quit Fentanyl cod turkey you will experience sudden and difficult withdrawal symptoms. Tapering off of the drug through specialised detox is recommended because it will help cope with the onset of withdrawal and it can reduce the possibility of relapse. The length of time it will take to taper off the effects of Fentanyl will depend on how it was taken, the level of addiction or whether dependence has developed, and whether other mind-altering substances are being used in combination with the prescription painkiller.
Treating the Underlying Causes of Fentanyl Dependency
Fentanyl is primarily used in medical settings under controlled or monitored use but even then, there is a risk of abuse and forming addiction. The powerful synthetic opioid has come under much contention because it is becoming increasingly available as a street drug and readily combined with alternative opioids such as heroin.
Treating the underlying causes of fentanyl dependency include an assessment of individual physical and psychological health. Individuals who are addicted to Fentanyl to manage pain can learn about safer medications and therapies that address the source for their discomfort rather than rely on the drug that is described as 100 times more powerful that morphine (Medical News Today).
Individuals who are managing chronic pain and using alternatives such as the Fentanyl patch are encouraged to learn about their options for pain management. Apart from reliance on the prescription medicine, manual therapies including physical therapy can be introduced as a long term solution for relief and a stronger, healthier, and balanced mind and body.
Fentanyl abuse and addiction treatment can be sought from a residential rehab. Because this opioid painkiller comes in many different forms, it requires individualised treatment to get to the underlying cause for addiction and its misuse. The treatment plan will also be determined by the severity of addiction and whether other substances are involved in the dependence.
Private or residential rehab is an inpatient program often including a supervised detox. Individuals will remain at the facility to receive the appropriate therapy within a scheduled programme and timeframe. For Fentanyl addiction involving pain management and mental health problems, individuals are often advised to seek a holistic healthcare plan. Holistic programmes will combine physical therapy and mental healthcare to provide intervention on all levels. It is more effective than traditional therapy helping individuals improve their physical and their emotional health before returning to everyday life. Therapy is developed to help individual patients on multiple levels improving the chances of recovery while minimising relapse.
Outpatient Services & Support Groups
The NHS and similar charities also provide therapy programmes for those who are struggling with substance dependence, abuse, and mental health issues. This includes the ability to enter an outpatient service which provides flexibility to continue to attend work and care for your family. There is also access to support groups help affected individuals connect to others who are going through a similar struggle and experience.
To access the support programmes and therapies provided by the NHS and similar organisations, one must receive a referral from their GP. It is often not a straightforward process because of the nature of referral and ensuring that your GP helps you find the best possible treatment. Referrals are at the sole discretion of your doctor and do not involve patient input, professional consultation with keyworkers, or professional staff at the relevant care and therapy centres (NCBI British Journal of General Practice).
If you need assistance with Fentanyl addiction treatment, it is important to consult with your GP and to be honest about your symptoms and your ability to cope. With dependence and synthetic opioid use linked to thousands of deaths in the UK, it is becoming increasingly important for individuals to find help for themselves or for those they care about where abuse and addiction are prevalent (BBC.com).