Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine. It’s possible to overdose on a few grains of fentanyl.
It is typically prescribed to patients in hospice or cancer patients, as it is very effective at managing pain. However, because it is so potent, it is easy to get addicted to fentanyl, even if you take it as prescribed.
Opioid addiction is a severe epidemic sweeping the nation. Fentanyl, in particular, has become a serious issue in the United States and is a highly addictive drug.
The Dangers of Fentanyl
Because fentanyl is so potent, it is also hazardous. When misused, it can lead to addiction, overdose, and death. If you or a loved one is addicted to fentanyl, it is essential to detox safely under medical supervision.
In 2018 alone, over 28,000 people died from synthetic opioids like fentanyl—that’s more than 70% of all opioid-related deaths in the US.
Signs and Symptoms of a Fentanyl Overdose
Fentanyl poses a very high risk for overdoses. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “fentanyl was involved in more overdose deaths than any other opioid drugs in 2016.”
Some of the signs and symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include:
- Slow heartbeat
- Shallow breathing
- Loss of consciousness/coma
- Bluish skin coloration
- Cold, clammy skin
If you suspect someone has overdosed on fentanyl, it is vital to call 911 immediately and give the person naloxone if you have it.
Naloxone is a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose if given in time.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
If you are addicted to fentanyl and stop using the drug abruptly, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and even painful. They can also last for weeks or even months.
Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cold sweats
Withdrawal from opioids like fentanyl can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, so it is essential that you detox under medical supervision.
Medical Detox for Opioid Addiction
The role of a medical detoxification program is especially crucial when it comes to potent opioids like heroin or fentanyl since withdrawal from these drugs can cause extreme discomfort or even be life-threatening.
If you are addicted to an opioid like fentanyl, it is important that you detox under medical supervision. Medical detoxification programs help an individual wean off from addictive substances like fentanyl.
A professional medical detoxification program will monitor an individual’s vital signs around the clock and offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help alleviate uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse during the early stages of recovery.
This is crucial because the early stages of recovery are when people are most likely to relapse and accidental overdose due to their lack of tolerance.
Medical detox programs will typically last for 7-10 days. After you have completed detox, you will be able to start intensive outpatient treatment or residential treatment if necessary.
Find a Fentanyl Detox Program
If you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl addiction, you may wonder if detox is the right step. If you are struggling with fentanyl addiction, medical detox followed by treatment can be a lifesaving step. For more information, contact our addiction treatment helpline today.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Understanding Drug Overdoses and Deaths
Health and Human Services (HHS.gov) – What is the U.S. Opioid Epidemic?