Fentanyl Detox: Why You Should Never Attempt To Detox From This Dangerous Drug Alone & How To Recover From An Addiction Successfully
Unfortunately, because of the increased power of Fentanyl, it’s also more addictive than other opioid painkillers and much more dangerous to use.
Fentanyl was originally synthesized as a treatment for people undergoing cancer treatments to reduce their pain, but it has also been prescribed for many other types of pain. Unfortunately, one of the problems with Fentanyl is that it’s highly addictive and can lead users to use other opioids. Worse, street sellers have realized that they can cut Fentanyl with their other products to create a stronger, cheaper drug.
The issue is that it’s much easier to overdose on Fentanyl than on less potent opioids, making it one of the more dangerous opioids to use and even more dangerous for people who are addicted.
Because it is frequently added to other drugs or sold under different names, people often don’t know that they are consuming Fentanyl.
Fentanyl is most often added to heroin to increase the drug potency. It’s often cheaper and means that users can consume less of the drug for a more potent high. While that increases drug dealers’ sales, it can cause stronger addiction and make heroin that hasn’t been mixed with Fentanyl less effective.
Mixing Fentanyl with other drugs also increases the risk of overdose, so heroin users must test their supply for purity to mitigate risk carefully.
More recently, Fentanyl has been found in drugs such as marijuana and other opioids. When Fentanyl is added to other drugs, the risk of overdose or death increases significantly because individuals do not know that they are consuming Fentanyl with the drugs they thought they were taking.
For example, if someone purchases marijuana laced with Fentanyl and does not know it was laced, they are at serious risk of overdosing accidentally on Fentanyl. That is because ingesting a small amount of marijuana laced with a large amount of Fentanyl can easily put someone into a health crisis, causing them to overdose on Fentanyl and need emergency medical attention.
Many people become addicted to Fentanyl through other opioid drugs or drugs cut or laced with Fentanyl. Fentanyl addiction is a serious issue that needs to be addressed and dealt with urgently and with a clear treatment plan.
Relapses and other addictive behaviors tend to show themselves during withdrawal, so it is important to understand the symptoms and dangers associated with Fentanyl withdrawal.
This article will discuss what happens when you detox from Fentanyl, including the dangers of detoxing from Fentanyl alone, the Fentanyl detox timeline and side effects, and learn about methods to detox from Fentanyl safely.
Dangers of Trying To Detox From Fentanyl Alone
Detoxing from Fentanyl is a crucial step to start living a life free from opioid drugs and other drugs. However, some serious risks and dangers are associated with detoxing from Fentanyl alone.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms and detox can be an extremely uncomfortable, dangerous, and difficult time for an individual. Not only is this a time when relapses and overdoses are incredibly common, but withdrawal symptoms can often put a person in the hospital.
Fentanyl abuse is a common example of substance abuse and a growing epidemic. Opioid dependencies and addictions have been growing over the past years, resulting in many people struggling with withdrawal, addiction, and fighting addictive behaviors every day while they live in recovery.
When people deal with withdrawal alone, they lose the security and safety of medical and professional supervision.
It is hard to tell when Fentanyl withdrawal is dangerous because opioid or Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are intense and uncomfortable. Therefore, it is difficult to determine when something is seriously wrong without medical knowledge.
Because of this, many people dealing with Fentanyl withdrawal become destabilized, dehydrated, or experience other medical issues they cannot treat alone at home.
Dehydration is a serious risk for people detoxing from Fentanyl, which only gets more dangerous when you consider that detoxing can also make you sweat, develop a runny nose, diarrhea, and vomit, all further decrease the amount of water in your body.
More serious side effects from dehydration and detox may need immediate medical attention, which you can’t get if you’re detoxing at home, even if friends or family are helping you detox.
Another huge risk of detoxing from Fentanyl or any drug alone is the risk of relapsing. Opioid drugs and some other types of drugs cause something called drug tolerance. Drug tolerance is when an individual consumes a drug for enough time that it has built up in their body.
Drug tolerance happens when the same chemicals are introduced over and over, and your body stops reacting as strongly. High tolerance levels make it difficult for drug users to achieve the same euphoric feeling as their original drug dosage. Therefore, to feel the same feeling they felt the first time they took the drugs, they need to take more as time goes on.
After a few days of withdrawal, the body begins to clear out the drugs remaining in the body. As this happens, the person’s tolerance decreases as the chemicals triggered by the drugs also decrease. Therefore, if a person relaxes during this part of the withdrawal process or after it has been completed, they run the risk of accidentally overdosing.
One of the problems with drug tolerance through detox is that detoxing partially resets your tolerance. That means that if you take the same amount of Fentanyl or another opioid that you would have before detoxing, you’re much more likely to overdose by accident.
When you detox with the help of medical professionals, they can give you medicine to help reduce the intensity of detox, stabilize your worst symptoms, and prevent relapses.
If you relapse and overdose despite medical supervision, they will also be able to quickly administer Narcan and similar rescue medicines to prevent an accidental overdose.
Fentanyl Detox Timeline & Side-Effects
Detoxing from Fentanyl is an intense experience. It is incredibly uncomfortable, dangerous, and can be a challenge both mentally and physically. In addition, several side effects can occur during withdrawal and detox.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of Fentanyl detox:
- New or worsening anxiety
- Runny nose
- Muscle aches and pains
- Excessive sweating
- Stomach pains or cramping
- Increased sensation of pain
- Increased heart rate
Many people experience severe pain in their joints and muscles during Fentanyl withdrawal. Other flu-like symptoms can occur during Fentanyl withdrawal as well.
Perhaps the most intense symptoms of Fentanyl withdrawal are psychological. Many people will experience new or worsening depression or anxiety, as well as sudden changes in mood and demeanor. In addition, many people experience behavioral changes and personality shifts during or after detox.
Depression and panic disorder are two disorders that frequently follow or become prominent during Fentanyl withdrawal.
Medical supervision during this time can help mitigate the psychological symptoms and make the person going through withdrawal safer. They may administer medicines to help keep you calmer or to help you sleep through the worst parts of withdrawal.
Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms typically begin 12 to 24 hours after the last dose of the drug. When Fentanyl is used in a patch form, it is an extended-release drug, which means the withdrawal symptoms may begin 72 hours after usage.
In general, Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms last around four days for less intense addictions and up to 20 days for more severe addictions. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome can also occur in people with extremely serious Fentanyl addictions. This can occur with any opioid withdrawal.
The worst symptoms of Fentanyl withdrawal typically occur within the first few days of detox and begin to taper off after.
How To Detox From Fentanyl Safely
Withdrawing from Fentanyl is dangerous. Even with medical supervision, there are risks, but having medical professionals available to help can make it much safer. It’s not a good idea to try and detox on your own, even if you’ve gone through detox from other medications before. Fentanyl is much stronger, and its hold on your body is more intense, so you will need more support during detox, even if you’ve done it before.
Dealing with Fentanyl detox and withdrawal by yourself opens the doors for relapsing, overdosing, and other medical emergencies. In addition, dehydration is a common killer of people dealing with Fentanyl withdrawal because the symptoms of dehydration get mixed in with the withdrawal symptoms. Without the medical knowledge to differentiate between the two, many tragedies occur.
People struggling with drug use and addiction to Fentanyl usually do not want to admit that there is a problem or take their problem publicly to a treatment center. However, going to a treatment center can be the difference between living a happy, drug-free, and safe life, overdosing, relapsing, or being tied to drugs forever.
If you choose not to seek medical help, you must reach out to trusted friends or family. Having at least one other person around to monitor your symptoms and make sure that you are not in a medical crisis is incredibly important.
The safest way to deal with Fentanyl withdrawal is to go to a professional drug treatment facility where you can have 24/7 care. You get more than just monitoring your symptoms at a drug treatment facility. You get a treatment plan and counseling to help identify what the cause of your addiction is.
It is so important to take care of yourself during this difficult time. So please reach out to Epiphany today to start gaining control of your life and detoxing from Fentanyl as safely as possible. We look forward to helping you soon.
Epiphany has sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations for our references. We avoid using tertiary references as our sources. You can learn more about how we source our references by reading our Editorial Policy.
- Drug Enforcement Administration. Fentanyl. Accessed August 10, 2022. https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/fentanyl
- Mayo Clinic. Partner with your doctor to stop using opioid medications. Mayo Clinic. Published May 20, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prescription-drug-abuse/in-depth/tapering-off-opioids-when-and-how/art-20386036