Fentanyl Addiction Rehab: Detox, Treatment and Recovery

Fentanyl addiction treatment is absolutely necessary in order for someone to heal after continually abusing this drug. This involves two types of treatment; detox and rehab. Together, they have the ability to provide the tools to make a for a successful recovery long-term.

Fentanyl is a drug that has certainly had its fair share of media attention. It is being found laced in all types of drugs. Of course, it is also prescribed by doctors to treat severe pain. That means that some people are getting addicted to it purely by accident. Others may be abusing it because they enjoy the intense high and euphoria from it.

Either way, it can be very difficult to recover from a Fentanyl addiction. But that does not mean that it is impossible. With the right treatment support, it can be done. It is important to opt for a rehabilitation program that addresses both sides of the problem; meaning the physical and psychological addictions to this drug.

Fentanyl Detoxification Programs

The first step in the recovery process is to go through Fentanyl detox. This will address the physical side of the addiction, which means treating withdrawal. This is a powerful drug, and a lot of people underestimate its potency because it is available by prescription. Some may even be convinced that they are strong enough to withstand withdrawal symptoms and get through them without treatment.

The reality is that Fentanyl withdrawal can become quite severe very quickly. Treating the symptoms is critical because otherwise, the person is not likely to recover. They typically return to using once again just to get some relief.

Drug detox is a form of addiction treatment that specifically addresses withdrawal symptoms. There are many different methods that can be used, and doctors decide the best option on a case by case basis. We will talk in more detail about the various options in just a moment.

Going through drug detox is a process of removing toxins from the body that are related to the drug use. It takes time for them to build up, and it takes time to break them down and flush them out.

Because drug detox addresses withdrawal, people usually experience a number of things. They often find that the severity of their symptoms is drastically minimized. They may also notice that they go away faster than they would if they were to skip this form of treatment.

When a person is detoxing from Fentanyl, they are at risk of many of the complications that can occur during opioid withdrawal. Vomiting and aspiration is one of those complications. The individual is also likely to experience diarrhea, and both of these can lead to dehydration. In addition, an individual’s blood sodium level can dramatically increase to dangerous levels. This can lead to heart failure.

Because of these potential complications, in some cases, Fentanyl withdrawal can be life threatening. That is why detoxing from this drug is so important. It takes a little bit of time, but that time is well-invested.

Fentanyl is a drug that can cause severe withdrawal symptoms, as we discussed earlier. They can even occur in someone who has been taking it appropriately for a period of time because this is a very strong drug.

Some of the most common Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Feeling restless
  • Lacrimation (excessive tearing of the eyes)
  • Rhinorrhea (runny nose)
  • Excessive sweating
  • Excessive yawning
  • Chills
  • Irritability
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Body weakness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiratory rate

Please note that some or even all of these symptoms can occur even with the dosage of Fentanyl is lowered. A person is not just at risk when stopping the drug. Fortunately, with the right treatment, withdrawals can be minimized.

Drug Detox Program Options

There are many different drug detox options that a person can choose from. While these options exist, they are not all recommended by many experts. There are some that could be dangerous; especially with a drug that is as potent and potentially dangerous as Fentanyl.

When a patient presents with a Fentanyl addiction, most doctors will immediately recommend medical detox. There are several medications that have been FDA approved to treat opioid withdrawal. This form of treatment gives them access to these medications to help with their specific symptoms.

For example, because nausea and vomiting is quite common, the patient may be given a drug to help with these symptoms. But there are other medications that have been specifically approved to treat opioid withdrawal as well. This is called medication assisted treatment, or MAT.

When MAT is used in combination with counseling, the results are usually very good. Many of the drugs doctors recommend are actually opioids themselves, so they attach to the opioid receptors in the body. This helps to eliminate withdrawal completely in a lot of people.

The drugs that are most often recommended for use during MAT include:

There is also a newer drug on the market called Vivitrol that has had a lot of success in treating opioid addiction. It is an injection that is given once a month, and it works very well.

In addition to using medical detox, holistic detoxification methods are also very important for recovery. This is because for someone who struggles with any type of addiction, they probably have not been eating the right types of foods. Their bodies can actually be deficient in many of the necessary vitamins and minerals. That means that their kidneys and liver are not capable of detoxing the body well.

There are many different types of treatments that can be used to improve one’s overall health. They include nutrition therapy, meditation, physical exercise and activity and Yoga. Of course, there are many more as well.

By using holistic detox methods in a medical setting, the individual will find that they feel better a lot faster. The treatments really make a huge difference in their recovery.

Rapid and even ultra-rapid drug detox has really become quite popular because of how quick it is. But that does not mean that it is safe, or that it should even be attempted by someone with a Fentanyl addiction.

Rapid detox involves the process of quickly eliminating drugs from the body. It is most often used by those who need to detox because of an opioid addiction. The patient is placed under general anesthesia and given medications to rid their body of those harmful toxins.

The entire process takes about an hour, but there are some issues with it. People generally need to stay overnight, or at least for several hours while they continue recovering. There may be residual withdrawal symptoms that linger as well.

Rapid and/or ultra-rapid detox sounds like it might be the best option, but in reality, it can be dangerous. This is especially true for those with pre-existing medical conditions that might not tolerate it well.

There are several detoxification centers that offer their services on an outpatient basis. Again, this method is attractive because people like the idea of being able to continue to live at home while they get treatment. But, like some of the other methods we have mentioned, it still has its issues.

Most addiction treatment professionals agree that detoxing should never be done on an outpatient basis. This is especially true for someone who is addicted to a potent drug like Fentanyl. There are just too many things that could possibly go wrong.

Outpatient detox programs leave the patient on their own for a significant period of time. It is very easy for the person to relapse during that time, which could lead to an overdose. Or, they could end up suffering from complications but be unable to seek out treatment.

Outpatient detox may work for some, but in general, it is safer to go through this process in a medical facility. That way, the individual can be monitored and treated for any issues that may arise because of withdrawal.

How Long Does Fentanyl Detox Take?

There are a number of factors that influence how long it takes to detox from Fentanyl. They include:

  • How much of the drug a person is taking.
  • How long they have been taking it.
  • How often they take it.
  • Personal factors, such as height, weight and gender.
  • Whether or not they also have to detox from another drug at the same time.

Every addiction is different. There are people who will be able to get through the detox phase in a matter of a few days to a week. Others might take as long as two weeks to begin to feel more like themselves.

In most cases, the Fentanyl withdrawal timeline will tend to follow a specific pattern. On average, most people will find that it goes something like the following:

  • Symptoms Begin – Most people should expect symptoms to begin anywhere between 6 to 36 hours following their last dose of Fentanyl. At first, withdrawal should be fairly mild. Only a few symptoms might be present, but these will increase in severity with time.
  • Later Withdrawal – This stage occurs approximately one to two days following the last dose of the drug. Early symptoms will become more severe, and newer symptoms will appear as well. The overall withdrawal experience will become more difficult to deal with.
  • The Peak of Withdrawal – Most people have experienced the peak of withdrawal from Fentanyl around the third day. For some it may happen sooner; for others, it may take longer. At the peak, the severity of symptoms will be the worst it will become.
  • Symptoms Subside – In many cases, Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms will subside by the 7-10 day mark following the last dose of the drug. The person will feel much better, and will be ready to move on to the next stage in their recovery journey.
  • Protracted Withdrawal – Not everyone experiences protracted withdrawal, and this is often referred to as PAWS. That stands for Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. This is where the recovering addict experiences a sudden increase in the severity of withdrawal symptoms. There is no way to tell who might be at risk for PAWS, but with a drug like Fentanyl, the risks are greater.

Is it Safe to Detox From Fentanyl at Home?

Quite often, people will tell themselves that they want to try to recover at home before attempting a professional treatment program. If it does not work, then and only then will they commit to getting help. This approach sounds like it might make sense, but when the drug is Fentanyl, it can be a dangerous gamble.

Fentanyl Addiction Information

It is not safe to detox from drugs like Fentanyl at home. There are simply too many risks involved, and there could be severe complications that arise as a result. Still, people usually want to try, and there are various methods they will use.

There are some drugs that are OK to quit cold turkey. Marijuana, caffeine and tobacco are just some examples. But it is not safe to quit using Fentanyl cold turkey at all.

This method is often seen in people who were taking the drug by prescription, and they were using it appropriately. Once they find out that the drug is addictive, and that they are addicted to it, they begin to panic. They did not mean to get addicted, and so, they stop taking it abruptly.

Quitting Fentanyl cold turkey is only going to throw the person into withdrawal very quickly. Because they have no way to treat their symptoms, they are likely to go back to using to get some relief from them. This is how a lot of people overdose on opioids. Their bodies can no longer handle the drug in large amounts, and they do not realize that their tolerance levels have changed. It is not a method that should be used with any type of opioid drug; but specifically, it should never be used with Fentanyl.

In this day and age, there is so much emphasis being placed on doing everything “the natural way.” People would much rather turn to home remedies to help themselves get off drugs than turn to a professional program.

Again, natural drug detox sounds like it might be effective, but when the drug is Fentanyl, it can be extremely dangerous. There are a number of different home remedies that people may try, such as:

  • Acupuncture
  • Drinking plenty of water and other fluids
  • Healthy diet
  • Exercise
  • Fasting food

None of these methods have been proven to be effective. They may help, but because withdrawal from Fentanyl tends to be severe, they carry serious risks.

Drug detox kits are expensive products that claim to do miraculous things for the body. They can be found online, in pharmacies and in many larger department stores. They are quite expensive, and they rarely do everything they promise to do.

Many of them state that they can help people pass drug tests because of how they work in the body. They may dilute the urine or increase the person’s metabolism. Some even include various chemicals that only mask the presence of the drug for a short period of time.

There are no drug detox kits that have been approved by the FDA. That means that they have not been shown to be effective, and they lack the clinical testing that is needed to determine their safety.

There are so many other detoxification methods that people use as well. Some people will attempt to self-taper off Fentanyl. If they are using the Duragesic patch, they will cut it in half, or just keep making it smaller over time. Doing this is not only ineffective, but it might also be dangerous. People can taper too quickly and end up throwing themselves into severe withdrawal.

There is a lot of information available online about using other, supposedly less harmful drugs, to detox off opioids. For instance, Kratom and marijuana are two substances that a lot of people use. There is some research that shows that they may be effective, but again, they are not FDA approved for that purpose. They can also be highly addictive themselves, which is something that people need to keep in mind before trying them.

Going to a Fentanyl Rehab Center and Why It is Important

After going through professional drug detox, the next step in recovering from a Fentanyl addiction is to go to rehab. Many drug rehabilitation centers offer both types of treatment under the same roof, which makes it very convenient.

Rehab is a critical part of the recovery process for many reasons. It addresses the psychological part of the addiction, and that is so important. People need to find out why they became addicted to the drug in the first place. Some of them got addicted because they had Fentanyl prescribed for them for too long, and they never meant to. But others became dependent upon the drug for an entirely different reason.

Fentanyl is a known drug of abuse. It causes euphoria because of the way it increases dopamine levels in the brain. That feeling alone can lead to an addiction because over time, people lose the ability to make dopamine on their own. They often find that the drug helps them feel better in the short-term, not realizing that in the long-term, it is doing a lot of damage.

Getting to the root cause of the addiction, healing from it, and then preventing it is the purpose of drug rehab programs. Without them, people are much more likely to relapse even if they successfully get through detox.

Types of Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Programs

Drug rehab is not a one-size-fits-all solution to addiction recovery. There are a lot of different types of rehabilitation programs, and not all of them will be right for everyone. It is so important for each person to research their options and choose the one that they feel will work best for them.

Inpatient drug rehab programs are, by far, the most common type of treatment. Patients stay at a facility for about 28 days, but this can vary depending on the treatment center. During their stay, they will go through detox if the program offers it, and then they will receive various types of therapy.

Inpatient programs tend to work really well because the patient is in a secure facility while they get the help they need. They get lots of support from the staff members, and they have the opportunity to learn more about themselves and their addiction.

For most people, inpatient treatment is the best solution. But again, it is not right for everyone. It is considered to be the “gold standard” in drug rehab, and because of that, it is where a lot of people begin.

For a person who is new to getting any form of formal addiction treatment, an outpatient rehab is generally not the best place to begin. That is because it involves meeting and working with a therapist on a semi-regular basis while living at home.

In most cases, people need to have more support when they have never been in any type of treatment before. Some may need to be away from their homes because they present too much of a temptation to use again. This type of treatment is probably best for those who have already had a higher level of care first.

Even though inpatient programs are frequently viewed as being the best, they are not right for everyone. Some people cannot commit the time to them, which can make them feel as though they will never recover. Fortunately, they can opt for intensive outpatient programs instead.

An intensive outpatient treatment program (or IOP) can provide a lot of support to someone who has a Fentanyl addiction. They require attendance at regular meetings, which are usually held between 3-5 times per week. Many IOPs are held in the evening hours. That leaves the daytime hours free for people to go to work, attend school, or care for small children at home.

Research has shown that IOPs can be just as effective as inpatient programs. For many, they are the optimal choice for addiction treatment.

Sometimes inpatient programs do not work simply because they are not long enough. There are those who need more time in order to be successful in recovery for a number of reasons. For these individuals, long-term treatment or sober living may be the best solution.

Long-term rehab offers people the ability to enter into a facility for a much longer period of time. In fact, they can stay for several months while they get the help they need. For someone with a history of relapsing, or with a longer history of addiction, this might be the best option.

Getting Treated for a Co-Occurring Disorder

An addiction treatment therapist’s job is to uncover the root cause of the addiction, which we mentioned previously. For some people, they started using Fentanyl because they suffered from a co-occurring disorder.

co-occurring disorder is a mental health issue that led to their addiction. For someone who is addicted to Fentanyl, they may be suffering from:

So many people are completely unaware that they have co-occurring disorders. All they knew was that they felt a certain way, and using Fentanyl helped them feel better. That alone was enough encouragement to keep them going back to the drug to get relief.

What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Not every rehabilitation program offers dual diagnosis treatment, which is the process of treating addictions and co-occurring disorders simultaneously. When they are treated together, people have the chance to see how their conditions impacted their choice to use substances. It allows for their mental health condition to be treated successfully, and it reduces their risk of relapsing later on.

How Much Does Drug Rehab Cost?

It is very difficult to pinpoint a price for drug treatment because there are just so many options. Every addiction is different, and people require various forms of treatment in order to recover.

That said, there are ways for treatment to become more affordable. It all begins by taking a look at one’s health insurance policy.

The Affordable Care Act is a healthcare law that was passed in 2010. It requires all health insurance companies to provide benefits to help cover the cost of addiction treatment. That includes both detox and rehab. So many people are not aware that their insurance offers this type of coverage because it never did in the past.

Because of the ACA, many people are finally able to get the help they need. They may even find out that their treatment is covered in full.

Yes, it is, and this is because of grants that are available through SAMHSA. This grant money is set aside each year to help fund rehab programs for people without health insurance.

There are many other ways that people can cover the cost of addiction treatment as well. They include:

  • Asking for a loan from a friend or family member.
  • Taking out a personal loan from a bank or credit union.
  • Using one’s personal savings to cover the costs.
  • Getting information about financing options for rehab.
  • Talking with someone at the local Department of Social Services for assistance and direction.

Is Drug Treatment Right For Everyone?

The simple answer to that question is no. It is not right for everyone; even though it might be the best option in general. But there are other programs that are designed to help people recover from Fentanyl addiction.

Narcotics Anonymous Meetings

Narcotics Anonymous offers weekly support groups for anyone with a drug addiction. There are no fees for the meetings or for membership.

SMART Recovery Meetings

SMART Recovery is a different approach to recovering from addiction. They do not rely on the 12-Step program, but instead, they teach alternative methods to help people get and stay clean.

The Next Steps After Fentanyl Rehab is Complete – Aftercare

One of the most important parts of recovering from a Fentanyl addiction is aftercare. Once a person finishes with rehab, they will be given a personalized aftercare plan. They should make it a point to attend all of their appointments, and this will help them stay on track with recovering.

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

Fentanyl Treatment Can Lead to Recovery and Help is Available

The right treatment program can change everything for someone with a Fentanyl addiction. This drug requires professional treatment, and it should include both detox and rehabilitation services.

At Northpoint Washington, we understand the severity of a Fentanyl addiction. We know that it is hard to beat it, but we also know that doing so is not impossible by any means. We have been able to help many people overcome it and go on to live full and productive lives.

You are not alone if you are addicted to Fentanyl. Even if you got addicted accidentally, the right kind of help is available to assist you in your journey to recovery. It only requires you to take the first step, which may include getting in touch with us for a free phone assessment. This will help us determine what type of treatment you need.

Do you need to know more about Fentanyl rehab and recovery? Please contact us.

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