Fentanyl is a human-made opioid that is similar to morphine but up to 100 times more potent. Once relatively unknown outside hospitals, synthetic fentanyl has made its way into the North American drug supply from manufacturers who produce it in illegal labs.
Because it is fast-acting and powerful, fentanyl has a high potential for abuse and addiction. It is responsible for an increasing number of overdose deaths in the United States because even trace amounts can be fatal. If you rely on fentanyl and want to stop, you should prepare yourself for what to expect.
The Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline
Opioids stay in your system for varying periods, based on your weight, metabolism and how much you’ve used. If you have abused fentanyl for a long time, mild withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as the drugs in your system dip below the baseline level your body is accustomed to.
The severity and onset of your withdrawal symptoms may vary depending on factors like your age, gender, genetics, overall health and history of substance abuse. However, you can expect to experience fentanyl withdrawal eight to 24 hours after your last use, with symptoms increasing in intensity 36 to 72 hours later and typically continuing for a week or more.
If you decide to quit using fentanyl, you may feel several unpleasant and even painful physical and mental symptoms as your brain tries to adjust its chemistry in the absence of drugs. Attempting an at-home detox with no medical oversight can be dangerous due to complications like these.
- Flu-like body aches, joint pain and chills
- Stomach and muscle cramps
- Irritability, mood swings and anxiety
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Suicidal thoughts
- Excessive yawning
- High blood pressure
Fentanyl May Worsen Withdrawal Symptoms
While opioid use disorder can be a difficult cycle to break, fentanyl can be one of the most challenging substances to stop using. Research suggests this synthetic opioid may be more likely to cause severe withdrawal symptoms for people who take buprenorphine, one of two medications doctors typically prescribe to help their patients overcome opioid dependency.
Because withdrawal can be so uncomfortable, many people continue using drugs to avoid it. As an opioid partial agonist, buprenorphine has proven to be a safe way to curb drug withdrawals and cravings, which is why it is often a component of medication-assisted treatment programs. Unfortunately, some people who try to stop using fentanyl by taking buprenorphine report that it makes them feel worse. These failed attempts often result in a relapse to fentanyl use, even among people who are motivated to quit. That’s why it’s essential to find a treatment program that can adapt to suit your needs.
California Medically Managed Detoxification
When you are ready to end your reliance on fentanyl, our medically managed detox program is the safest, most reliable way to do so. At Pillars Recovery, we offer medication-assisted addiction treatment tailored specifically to clients’ unique goals and health history. If we see that one medication is not a good fit for you, we will adjust your program accordingly.
The goal of detox is to clear your body and mind of all traces of addictive substances, ensuring you are stable enough to move into the residential treatment phase of addiction recovery. In detox, our experienced health professionals will monitor your physical and emotional symptoms 24/7 and guide you through each step of the process. Contact us today to learn more about our men’s and women’s treatment programs in Southern California.