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Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Withdrawal


Why is Fentanyl So Dangerous?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl is a powerful and commonly abused synthetic opioid, one that is between 50 and 100 times more potent than morphine, a naturally derived opiate that fentanyl was designed to mimic. Because fentanyl is so potent and habit-forming, it is generally only used for extreme, acute pain, such as the pain that occurs after a surgical procedure or after a severe injury is sustained. Fentanyl is never prescribed to be taken for more than one or two weeks, seeing as it is so highly addictive. Some of the more common symptoms associated with fentanyl abuse include:

  • Taking more fentanyl than intended and for a longer period than intended
  • Attempting to cut back on the amount of fentanyl being taken but being unable to do so
  • Avoiding friends and family members/increased need for privacy
  • A loss of motivation to complete daily tasks and fulfill personal obligations
  • Stealing medications from friends, family members, and acquaintances
  • Buying fentanyl from others can lead to serious financial issues
  • An increased physical tolerance over time, meaning that more fentanyl is required for the same effects to be produced
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when fentanyl use is stopped abruptly

Fentanyl Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms

Individuals who have been abusing this highly potent synthetic opioid for any length of time will undoubtedly experience withdrawal symptoms as soon as use is ceased. Some of the more common signs and symptoms associated with fentanyl withdrawal include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Chronic constipation
  • Body tremors and uncontrollable shaking
  • Severe stomach cramping
  • Muscle aches and intense joint pain
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Intense anxiety, sometimes leading to panic attacks
  • Depressed mood, sometimes leading to suicidal ideation
  • Flu-like symptoms, including a runny nose, watery eyes, low-grade fever, chills, general feelings of discomfort, and general aches and pains
  • Persistent headache
  • Insomnia, nightmares, and other sleep issues
  • Night sweats
  • Mood swings
  • An increased appetite, which can lead to slight weight gain (this symptom is somewhat rare, but is more common during post-acute withdrawal)

Fortunately, symptoms associated with fentanyl withdrawal can be easily treated in a medically monitored detox facility like Agape Treatment Center.

How Long is Fentanyl Withdrawal?

Those attempting to quit using fentanyl can expect fentanyl withdrawal symptoms to start within 12 hours of last use. The initial symptoms will likely include 

  • stomach upset, including diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea
  • muscle aches and anxiety
  • a runny nose and sweating

The opioid receptors in the nervous system of a fentanyl user will go into extreme distress after the 12-hour mark. As the fentanyl withdrawal timeline continues, the person in the throes of detox may start to suffer hallucinations and suffer from dizziness or lightheadedness.

Is It Safe to Go Cold-Turkey?

Fentanyl is an opioid and highly addictive; your tolerance for the drug will go up quickly and getting high will take more of the drug each time you take it. The detox from this drug can be quite dangerous. Medication to reduce withdrawal symptom intensity could actually save the life of the person in detox.

As you work through detox from fentanyl, you can lose consciousness. Because the person working through detox is also at risk of dehydration and vomiting, the risk of aspiration leading to suffocation cannot be discounted.

In addition, a monitored detox guided by professionals can protect remaining relationships. A person in the midst of a fentanyl detox will be in extreme mental distress. Things said and actions taken during this time can be hurtful and may be dangerous. If someone using fentanyl is trying to detox with the help of friends and family, those family members could be at risk.

Fentanyl Rehab at Agape Treatment Center

At Agape Treatment Center we have extensive experience treating all of the signs and symptoms that are commonly associated with fentanyl withdrawal. While the symptoms of synthetic opioid withdrawal are not typically dangerous, they can prove to be harshly physically uncomfortable – or lead to relapse – when not constantly overseen and treated by a team of experienced medical professionals. We offer a comprehensive continuum of clinical care to men and women who live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and all surrounding areas. Sadly, the state of Florida has been gravely affected by the recent increase in fentanyl. Drug dealers frequently use this potent opioid narcotic to cut other chemical substances like heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine.

This increases the potency of the drug, therefore increasing its street value. However, because fentanyl is so potent and because it can be lethal when anything above the recommended dose is ingested, this commonality very often leads to overdose-related death. It is also relatively common for individuals who have been abusing another chemical substance (like heroin) to inadvertently develop an addiction to fentanyl because they are frequently – however unwittingly – abusing this chemical substance as well.

Get Fentanyl Addiction Help Today

If you believe that you may be suffering at the hands of fentanyl addiction, you must undergo withdrawal in a medically monitored detox facility. For more information on our fentanyl detox program, please feel free to reach out. We are standing by to answer any additional questions you may have and to get you admitted into our effective detox program as quickly as possible.

Call the Agape Treatment Center admissions team at 888-614-0077 to learn more about what our addiction and mental health facilities can do for you or your loved one.

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