Understanding Fentanyl Detox: Risks, Process, and Recovery

Fentanyl spelled with chalk

Why is Fentanyl Detox so dangerous

To understand what a Fentanyl Detox is, one must understand what fentanyl is, how it is used, and why it is so common in society. 

What is Fentanyl? 

The DEA defines Fentanyl as “a potent synthetic opioid drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as an analgesic (pain relief) and anesthetic.” 

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid up to 100 times more potent than morphine. It’s possible to overdose on a few grains of fentanyl. It is typically prescribed to hospice or cancer patients, as it is very effective at managing pain. 

However, because of its potency, it is highly addictive even when taken as prescribed. However, Fentanyl has not become ubiquitous on the black market because of its FDA approval; instead, it is because of its cheapness to produce and manufacture . It is important to note that some drug dealers combine fentanyl with other substances like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and MDMA.

How is Fentanyl Used? 

Fentanyl comes in many forms. The illegally used form of fentanyl commonly linked to recent overdose cases is synthesized in laboratories. This synthetic fentanyl is unlawfully sold in various forms, including as a powder, infused onto blotter paper, contained in eye droppers and nasal sprays, or manufactured into counterfeit pills resembling legitimate prescription drugs that are commonly abused.  One may ask, “Why would a drug dealer use fentanyl in their product?” 

The answer is simple. Money.  Due to its relatively low cost to manufacture  and its astonishing potency, illicit sales of fentanyl or fentanyl infused products present potentially massive profit margins for those willing to sell an incredibly dangerous drug. Even the foreseeable tragedy of fentanyl overdoses does not significantly alter a drug dealer’s financial calculations; even if drug dealer’s customers die, they can be easily replaced by new customers eager for a highly addictive product with low overhead. ,

Why is Fentanyl So Common? 

Fentanyl is common in street drugs for a variety of reasons. Commonly abused drugs that are remanufactured in cook labs, such as Heroin, Percocet, Xanax, Adderall, and more, are more commonly ‘laced’ with fentanyl. This method of ‘lacing’ drugs is primarily driven by the fact that minimal amounts of fentanyl can induce a powerful high, making it a more cost-effective choice for labs and dealers who want to decrease their cost overhead by lacing their more expensive substances with the far cheaper and more addictive fentanyl . The increasing ubiquity and profitability of fentanyl has one inevitable consequences: more avoidable deaths of consumers.  

Person frustrated by getting a "Game Over" screen in a video game
Overdoses are tragic But they are preventable

Getting Help

We at Better Tomorrow want to do the right thing. We want to stop the cycle of those overdoses and help users get the help they need to live a better life and live to experience a better tomorrow. 

The potency of fentanyl makes it highly dangerous, with the potential to cause addiction, overdose, and even fatalities when misused. If you or someone you know is struggling with fentanyl addiction, it is crucial to undergo a safe and supervised detoxification process with medical oversight. The impact of fentanyl misuse is alarming, as evidenced by the fact that in 2018, synthetic opioids like fentanyl accounted for over 28,000 deaths, comprising more than 70% of all opioid-related fatalities in the United States.

In individuals who are addicted to fentanyl and stop using the drug abruptly, withdrawal symptoms are extremely common. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms may include anxiety, depression, insomnia, muscle aches and pains, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, cold sweats, and fever. These symptoms can also spur the user to other drugs to alleviate the symptoms of chemical withdrawals, further complicating the process of ridding a body of fentanyl. The duration of fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person. In some cases, symptoms may last for a few days to a week, while in others, they can persist for several weeks or even months. 

The severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms can be influenced by factors such as the individual’s level of dependence, the duration of fentanyl use, and their overall health.

How Better Tomorrow’s treatment programs can help

If you find yourself or a loved one addicted to an opioid like fentanyl, it is crucial to undergo detoxification under the supervision of medical professionals. Medical detox programs are designed to assist individuals in safely tapering off addictive substances like fentanyl.

Our staff continuously monitors a specialized medical detoxification program and will monitor an individual’s vital signs. Our detox program includes medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to alleviate distressing withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse during the initial phases of recovery. 

This approach is particularly critical because early recovery stages are made fraught by the risk of early relapse and accidental overdose because of high cravings and diminished tolerance levels.

Medical detox programs usually span 7-10 days. After detoxification, individuals can transition to intensive outpatient or residential treatment, depending on their specific needs and circumstances.

Our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) has been designed to promote the personal growth we believe is essential for lasting recovery. Better Tomorrow’s Intensive Outpatient Program offers additional services such as client progress reports, gender-specific care, and wellness activities once individuals have established a routine. The program also includes drug and alcohol testing, life intervention skills, community involvement through support groups, and engaging in activities with individuals who have succeeded in their recovery journey. Our IOP is designed with group therapy meetings three or more times per week focusing on relevant topics and skills covering: 

  • Healthy Living
  • Good Nutrition
  • Managing Work-Life Balance
  • Mental Resilience in the Face of Adversity
  • Spiritual Development
  • Addiction and Treatment-Specific Topics
  • Family and Loved Ones

Get help today!

Abruptly stopping fentanyl without medical supervision is not recommended. Seeking professional help from a medical detoxification program is crucial to ensure a safe and supportive environment during the withdrawal process. Medical detox programs can provide appropriate medical care, monitoring, and medication-assisted treatment to help manage withdrawal symptoms and increase the chances of a successful recovery.

Better Tomorrow West Palm Beach rehabilitation center is committed to enhancing the lives of men and women living with the devastating effects of drug addiction by providing quality mental health and substance abuse treatment in an atmosphere that enhances healing and promotes compassion and well-being for all. We encourage you to contact us for a conversation about recovery, whether for yourself or a loved one. Please don’t hesitate to call us at (844) 989-1451.

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