Fentanyl Withdrawal & Detox
In Colorado, which is a state that’s been hard hit by the opioid crisis, there’s a drug that’s until now been less heard of but is causing tremendous problems and often death throughout the state. That drug is fentanyl, which is a highly potent and dangerous opioid.
In this state, there has been a spike in overdose deaths related to fentanyl, and in many cases, people didn’t even know they were using the substance. It’s often added to other opioids or even drugs like marijuana.
Fentanyl is so dangerous that first responders in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs and the rest of the state are being warned to avoid unknown substances because just a speck of the drug can cause adverse reactions and even overdoses from breathing it in or coming in contact with it.
Fentanyl, like other opioids, is a drug that’s not only incredibly addictive psychologically, but you can become physically dependent on it quickly as well. Physical dependence on a drug means that your body depends on having it to feel normal. You might not even feel high when using it at this point, but if you stop using it your body experiences a type of shock, which is what withdrawal is.
If you’re someone who’s struggling with fentanyl abuse, you may be wondering where to turn or what you should do next. First and foremost, you will likely need to attend a professional, medically-supervised detox program as you go through fentanyl withdrawal, and then once you’ve done that successfully you can begin treatment.
The following provides information about fentanyl withdrawal including fentanyl withdrawal symptoms, and the fentanyl detox timeline you can expect.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
The withdrawal symptoms of fentanyl are similar to other opioids, and for most people, the first symptoms begin just a few hours after the last time the drug is used. Some of the worst and most uncomfortable fentanyl withdrawal symptoms will usually begin within about 12 hours, and for most people, fentanyl withdrawal symptoms stop around 4 to 5 days after the drug is used for the last time.
For people who use multiple drugs such as heroin and fentanyl, the withdrawal symptoms may linger for slightly longer and up to 10 days.
Some of the initial fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include:
- Insomnia and sleep disturbances
- Runny nose
- Achy muscles
Symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal that occur later can include goose bumps, nausea, vomiting, cramping, diarrhea and dilated pupils.
For some people, there may be some extended fentanyl withdrawal symptoms that are primarily psychological and mood-related, such as continuing anxiety and insomnia.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline
Not every person is going to have the same fentanyl withdrawal symptoms timeline, but in general, this is an overview of what you can expect with this drug:
- Stage one of the fentanyl withdrawal timeline usually lasts for one to two days and starts anywhere from 6 to 12 hours after the last time someone used the drug. During the first stage of the fentanyl withdrawal timeline, people will have the most severe and difficult symptoms. Thee can include anxiety, insomnia, sweating, and achiness.
- During stage two of the fentanyl withdrawal timeline, the symptoms may start to dissipate, and the person is likely to feel more comfortable, but there still may be some minimal symptoms that linger. Stage two of the fentanyl withdrawal timeline usually occurs anywhere from three to five days after the last time a person used the drug.
In general, the fentanyl withdrawal symptoms duration can be around five days, although the majority of symptoms appear during days one and two.
What about fentanyl withdrawal after short-term use?
With short-term use, the withdrawal symptoms are likely to begin more quickly after the last time the drug is used because it’s not built up in the body. Also, the symptoms will likely be less severe and the detox period will be shorter for someone who didn’t use fentanyl for a long period unless that person was also abusing other opioids.
During fentanyl withdrawal treatment, people will usually either follow a course of tapering down or cold turkey withdrawal. Tapering down can involve lowering dosages of fentanyl, or using drugs like Suboxone to lessen symptoms and make withdrawal easier and safer. Cold turkey fentanyl withdrawal can be incredibly uncomfortable, and can also lead to problems like dehydration and constipation since the drug is stopped so suddenly.
Withdrawal From the Fentanyl Patch
The fentanyl patch is a version of this opioid drug that is intended to be used to treat severe pain in people with chronic cancer pain or people who are opioid resistant to other drugs. It’s applied directly to the skin, and the fentanyl patch contains a medicated gel that’s released into the skin and bloodstream gradually over an extended period of time.
Unfortunately, while the objective of the fentanyl patch was to reduce the likelihood of abuse, there are ways people do abuse it. They may take the medication gel out and inject or ingest it, or wear multiple patches at one time. They may also change out the patch more often than they’re supposed to.
Withdrawal from the fentanyl patch is different in that it may take longer for symptoms to appear because of the time-release nature of the patch.
Fentanyl Detox in Colorado
So how can you detox from fentanyl?
The best thing is to attend fentanyl detox treatment at an accredited facility such as The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake, located in Colorado.
There can be complications that occur as you detox from fentanyl, regardless of the form you used. The fentanyl detox symptoms can be uncomfortable, and detox is one of the biggest roadblocks to recovery for a lot of people. Detox from the fentanyl patch or any other type of fentanyl abuse can be successful if you have the right treatment program.
At The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake, the team understands detox from fentanyl and also the specifics of the fentanyl detox timeline, and can provide the necessary therapeutic and medical interventions to help mitigate the risk of relapse.
Our Colorado facility treats patients from Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs and all of the state, as well as patients from around the country.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.