What is Fentanyl Rehab and Recovery?
Fentanyl is the strongest opioid (painkiller) available. It was made to treat severe pain in people who had built up a tolerance to other pain medications. Because it is so strong, fentanyl is only available legally with a prescription, however illegal fentanyl has flooded the United States and is responsible for the majority of overdoses every year.
Treating fentanyl addiction requires a combination of steps. Fentanyl rehab begins with a medical detox at a facility to help treat withdrawal symptoms. The next step is a live-in rehab program where people can attend therapy and other action based treatments to identify and treat the causes of fentanyl addiction. Finally all treatment plans end with a maintenance plan to provide ongoing support.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and very habit forming. When prescribed legally, fentanyl is most commonly used as a patch (Duragesic), lozenge (Actiq), or injection (Sublimaze). Originally created in 1960 by a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, fentanyl works by binding to receptors in the brain responsible for pain and emotions. As a result, the brain cannot receive pain related signals.
Signs/Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse
- Having to use more fentanyl to the create the same effect
- Using fentanyl despite experiencing negative physical, mental, social, or financial consequences
- Worrying about having fentanyl
- Trying and failing to stop fentanyl use
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after quitting fentanyl
Identifying fentanyl can be tricky. Especially illegal forms. However fentanyl test strips are an easy and affordable way to test something for fentanyl. Although, if you believe you have found fentanyl, proceed with caution. Fentanyl patches, lozenges, and liquids can be absorbed through the skin.
Side Effects of Fentanyl
You can also look for some of the side effects of fentanyl use if you think someone may be abusing the drug.
Side effects of Fentanyl
- Pain relief
- Intestinal discomfort
Fentanyl Recovery & Rehabs Near Me
There is no quick recovery from fentanyl addiction. While physical withdrawals usually end in under a week, the emotional withdrawal symptoms (also called PAWS) can last for up to a year.
Particularly for those unaware of PAWS symptoms, emotional withdrawal can prompt people to seek out fentanyl just to end the symptoms. Because of how strong fentanyl is, relapsing once a person’s tolerance has decreased carries a significant overdose risk.
Fortunately, there are several ways to make fentanyl recovery easier and more successful. Statistically people who use a program to recover are nearly twice as likely to stay sober for at least a year. There are also ways to decrease the length and severity of emotional withdrawals.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment
Studies on long term sobriety success suggest that fentanyl recovery should start with detox to end physical withdrawals. After detox, sobriety rates increase if a person spends at least 90 days in a rehab program. Every addiction is as different as the person it affects. Recovery professionals create a unique plan for you. After rehab, a person needs a maintenance plan designed for their specific everyday struggles that triggered substance abuse.
After detox, a person will not have physical withdrawals without fentanyl. During detox, medical professionals provide medications that greatly decrease withdrawal symptoms until fentanyl leaves the body.
However, detox is not the same thing as treatment. That’s why it’s critical that detox is followed by a comprehensive rehab program. Those who end treatment after detox, experience significantly higher relapse rates compared to those who seek treatment.