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What Does Fentanyl Withdrawal Feel Like?

When experiencing withdrawal from any substance, it goes without saying that it can be an extremely uncomfortable experience. Fentanyl withdrawal is no different. What is fentanyl withdrawal like? Well, this question can be answered by understanding what fentanyl is, how it affects the body, and how the body reacts when the drug is abruptly removed. Having medical supervision during the detox process can help those who struggle with fentanyl potentially avoid relapse in the future. Learning triggers and ways to cope with them has proven to be a wonderful form of relapse prevention for fentanyl users seeking to recover from their addiction.

When it comes down to it, fentanyl overdose can be fatal, and those who struggle with this drug should seek help immediately and safely withdraw to minimize side effects from fentanyl withdrawal.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful opiate that is generally prescribed to treat chronic pain. However, it can also be purchased illicitly and abused for the effects it produces. It is considered to be a Schedule II drug, which means that it has medical use, but it also has a high risk of being abused, causing dependence and addiction. Fentanyl comes in patch form, which can be placed on the body and absorbed into the bloodstream. There is also a powdered form, which can be smoked, snorted, or mixed with water and injected directly into the bloodstream. Any of these methods of use can lead to overdose, and fentanyl overdose is dangerous and can lead to death.

Fentanyl binds to the brain’s opioid receptors to alleviate pain. The portion of the brain where these receptors are located also controls emotions. Therefore, fentanyl can relieve pain as well as give the illusion that everything is perfect emotionally. Long-term use can result in difficulty experiencing any pleasure in any form other than using the drug. What fentanyl withdrawal is like can be affected by this. The brain needs to rewire itself to regulate emotions and pain without the drug. Other effects of fentanyl can include:

  • Sedation
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Constipation
  • Confusion

These side effects of the drug can be warning signs that someone is struggling with fentanyl. People who struggle with this drug tend to isolate themselves, and there may be other warning signs like stealing, lying, legal issues, or visible marks (tracks) on the body from injecting the drug. Seeking help for fentanyl abuse is recommended for those who struggle. Withdrawal can be uncomfortable and painful for those going through it.

What is Fentanyl Withdrawal?

When the drug is taken away, the body reacts with physical symptoms. This is what fentanyl withdrawal is like, the physical reaction to the abrupt ending of use can be uncomfortable and cause some mild to severe symptoms that medical professionals should monitor to prevent complications.

Symptoms of Fentanyl Withdrawal

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. There are different factors that can make some people feel symptoms that others don’t. Length of use, method of use, and the amount being used are great factors in what fentanyl withdrawal is like. Any underlying health problems can also cause complications. Symptoms can include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite or increased appetite
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Chills and sweats
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting

Generally, withdrawal from fentanyl is not life-threatening. However, some fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable. The detox process is best done under medical care to prevent some potentially serious complications that can occur. Dehydration can occur and potentially lead to heart failure, increased anxiety and depression, which can lead back to drug use, and after a period of time without the drug, using again can lead to fatal and nonfatal overdose. 

Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline

What fentanyl withdrawal is like, how long it lasts, and when it begins can depend on a number of factors. There is a general timeline for fentanyl withdrawal that can be used as a guide for when the most uncomfortable feelings of detox will be over.

  • Eight to 14 hours: At this point, the beginning signs and symptoms can begin to be experienced. Symptoms like runny nose and chills and sweats can begin.
  • 36 to 48 hours: This is when the worst of the withdrawal symptoms generally begin. Someone may be experiencing muscle cramps, restlessness and nausea and/or vomiting. This can last seven to ten days. 
  • Seven to 10 days: At this point, the symptoms should be alleviated, and the individual should begin to feel better than before. The body has pretty much adjusted to life without the drug. Sometimes these symptoms can be prolonged and last for a few weeks. 

Finding Help for Fentanyl Withdrawal in Marietta, GA

Fentanyl withdrawal can be mighty uncomfortable and oftentimes leads to relapse in order to not feel the symptoms associated with detoxing from this drug. This is why being monitored by medical professionals can be crucial to successfully recovering from addiction to fentanyl. Here at Empowered Recovery Center, our team provides care for those who need it, and want it. Providing a safe and comfortable environment for detox, our professionals can address any concerns you may have. Contact us today, and begin your journey of recovery.

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    3651 Canton Road,
    Marietta, GA 30066

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