Overcoming an addiction to fentanyl, a potent opioid many times stronger than heroin, is a challenging but crucial journey toward reclaiming control of your life. The question of how to quit fentanyl is not just about stopping drug use. It’s about understanding the depth of addiction and the comprehensive approach needed for effective and lasting recovery.
Fentanyl addiction is a condition that thousands of people across the country are facing. Fentanyl addiction is claiming the lives of people daily, and many people don’t know how to effectively quit fentanyl. According to NCDAS, fentanyl was a contributing factor to more than half of the overdose deaths in the country in 2020. Consequently, playing a role in over 47,000 overdose deaths.
What is fentanyl, though? Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid. It was initially developed for medical use. However, over the years it has become illicitly manufactured and distributed. Fentanyl addiction occurs due to the drug binding to the opioid receptors in the brain. Eventually, an individual will begin to develop a tolerance to the drug. Thus, resulting in needing more and more to achieve the desired effects.
As higher and higher quantities are used, the body then develops a dependence on the substance. When someone abruptly stops using, they begin to exhibit uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Fentanyl withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable for individuals who are experiencing it.
Some people attempt to stop using cold turkey. Fentanyl addiction comes with its own set of struggles. However, stopping use suddenly, without professional help does as well. The cold turkey method is a way of going through the necessary stage of detoxification. During this process, the body rids itself of the toxins that fentanyl introduces, removes the substance from the system, and allows the individual to begin recovery.
However, when someone chooses to go cold turkey, it means they do so without proper medical care and supervision. Not only does this make the entire process extremely uncomfortable for them, but the decision to go through this without withdrawal management can lead to serious complications. Fentanyl detox can be dangerous without proper care, and going cold turkey contributes to the dangers.
Everyone heals differently and at different paces. Fentanyl detox is no different. Not everyone will experience the same symptoms at the same intensity as they go through this process. Whereas, there is a general time frame that can be followed as far as what to expect during fentanyl detox.
Generally, the individual undergoing detox can expect to begin feeling withdrawal symptoms within the first 12-24 hours of detox. Mild symptoms begin at this time and begin to peak. Then, within 72 hours of the last use, these symptoms should have peaked and begun to dissipate. Within 1 week of the last use, the majority of the withdrawal symptoms should have passed and the person can begin to feel normal again.
Detox programs typically use a tapering method for individuals who are ending substance use. When wondering how to quit fentanyl, this method should be considered. This method slowly removes the substance from the system, allowing the body to adjust to lower doses as time passes, rather than a shock of nothing being introduced. Medications used during the tapering method in a detox setting are safer and monitored by professionals to prevent complications. Also, these medications do not contain fentanyl.
Treatment for fentanyl addiction can make a world of difference for the individual seeking recovery. After the individual goes through the detox process and removes the substance from the body, they can fully engage in treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT )and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are proven methods that help in maintaining long-term recovery. When an individual learns positive and productive coping skills through treatment, they have a better chance to live a healthy and happy life. In addition, this helps to prevent fentanyl overdose by promoting recovery.
Family and loved ones of someone who is struggling often consider interventions. These can be highly successful if done properly. Having a certified and professional interventionist at their disposal increases the odds of success. The interventionist helps guide loved ones in productive ways of approaching and addressing the problem with their loved ones.
Rehab can be beneficial for those wondering how to quit fentanyl. Rehab provides a safe and supportive environment to begin a journey of recovery while promoting learning necessary tools and skills. These life skills and tools help the struggling individual to turn to positive thoughts and behaviors. Whereas, their actions would normally lead to using fentanyl. It all begins with reaching out and getting the proper care and support to maintain a life of recovery.
Treatment and medications for quitting fentanyl are available to those who need it. The treatment process begins with removing the substance from the system. Detoxification is a necessary process for overcoming fentanyl addiction. Different medications may be given at this point to help alleviate some of the discomfort of withdrawal, as well as treat underlying conditions.
After this, there may be different medications used to treat other conditions. Depression and anxiety are often contributing factors to using drugs like fentanyl, and antidepressants or antianxiety medications may be prescribed to help prevent relapse. Those struggling should reach out for professional help with quitting fentanyl, and learn new, positive skills to maintain recovery.
Fentanyl addiction is something thousands of people struggle with daily. Affecting communities across the United States, fentanyl can lead to severe impacts on a person’s lifestyle and can be fatal if left untreated. For those who are struggling, there is help available. If you or a loved one are struggling with fentanyl, we can help. Here at Empowered Recovery Center, we offer personalized care for individuals to begin their journey of recovery.
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