In 2017, more than 70,000 people in this country died from a drug overdose in part due to a very dangerous opioid — fentanyl. It’s essential for anyone who knows someone with an addiction to be aware of fentanyl withdrawal symptoms and to understand why this drug is so dangerous.
What is Fentanyl?
Before you can understand fentanyl withdrawal symptoms, it’s important to learn about the drug. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls fentanyl a synthetic opioid pain reliever. It is more potent than other opioids, including morphine. In fact, fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine.
Why is Fentanyl Use on the Rise?
The use of fentanyl is on the rise because it is illegally manufactured and mixed with other drugs. Synthetic drugs like this one are the most common street drugs seen in overdose deaths. Adding fentanyl to another opioid like heroin increases the potency. In some cases, people don’t understand either the power of fentanyl or that is is part of the drug they are using, so they overdose.
Fentanyl does have medical benefits. When prescribed, it is a patch or shot. Sometimes, it is a lozenge or lollypop. Illegally, it is available in powder form. Fentanyl mixed with water is added to blotter paper, ingested from an eyedropper, or even put into eye drops.
What are the Symptoms of Fentanyl Withdrawal?
Like all opioids, fentanyl is highly addictive, whether you use medication prescribed to you for pain or get the drug on the street. When you stop using it, you will experience fentanyl withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Runny nose
- Stomach cramps and pain
- Pain in the joints
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle weakness
- Pupil dilation
Some people experience an elevated heart and respiration rate, as well as high blood pressure. The symptoms are similar for most opioids, and withdrawal typically starts anywhere from 12 to 30 hours after you last use the drug.
Fentanyl Treatment Programs
Any opioid use disorder is powerful, so look for a rehab facility that handles these kinds of addictions. Ideally, you want something that offers residential care, too. Since fentanyl is sometimes added to other drugs like meth or heroin, you may need treatment for more than one kind of addiction, as well, so look for a program that is small and offers personalized service.
Sagebrush Treatment Centers has three residential houses with eight beds each, meaning you get the targeted and personalized care that works best for this condition.
Services there include:
- Residential treatment
- Outpatient care that focuses on outreach
- Gender separate programs
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Private rooms with en suite baths in some locations
- Transitional living
Sagebrush Treatment Centers offer holistic care that focuses on the body, mind, and soul, and the staff can handle all aspects of your care. Common substances seen by the team there include alcohol, opiates, and stimulants, so they are familiar with fentanyl withdrawal symptoms and able to handle more than one kind of addiction.
Along with plenty of treatment options, Sagebrush Treatment Centers provide a home-like and private environment. The transitional living home offers a sober living community that helps you integrate back into your life when the time is right and the support you need as you work towards sobriety. The combination of a small treatment program, a positive approach to healing, and a warm, caring environment will give you the best chance at recovery.