There has been a great deal of news dedicated to the ongoing battle against an opioid crisis. One opiate, in particular, has come to light as one of the most dangerous. Fentanyl was released as a painkiller in the late 1960s, its prevalence as an abused drug has exploded in the last two years.
Fentanyl is only the 218th ranked prescription drug, but in 2016 it accounted for the most deaths by drug overdose in the United States. Here, we’ll explain to you aspects of Fentanyl abuse, symptoms of withdrawal, and why medically supervised detox is critical to treat Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms.
Addiction to Fentanyl
Fentanyl has been used in a recreational capacity since the 1970s. Only recently, as a result of a massive influx of a street derivative, addiction to Fentanyl has reached epidemic proportions. In 2018, the US Drug Enforcement Administration labeled all illicit Fentanyl street drugs under the Schedule I category.
The illicit street versions are referred to as Fentanyl analogs. These illegal non-prescription forms have the potential to be 100 times as powerful as heroin. Since many of the early statistics blended Fentanyl addictions and overdoses in a general opioid category, much of the seriousness of a Fentanyl addiction was lost.
One of the reasons that Fentanyl addiction has become so prevalent is that it is often passed-off to users as other opioids such as Oxycontin. Heroin users will frequently turn to Fentanyl as a substitute when there is no heroin readily available.
Since street versions of Fentanyl can be so much more potent, the risk of becoming addicted is actually higher than it is for heroin. Addiction to Fentanyl has taken an infrequently prescribed drug to the top of the ominous list of dangerously addictive drugs.
What is Fentanyl Withdrawal?
Withdrawal from the opioid Fentanyl is characterized by specific symptoms. The level of withdrawal is predicated on the frequency and magnitude of the addiction. Any time that the drug Fentanyl is misused or abused, some level of treatment is recommended.
Keep in mind, that withdrawal from Fentanyl and addiction are not the same thing. Withdrawal symptoms can happen to someone who is taking the drug precisely as prescribed. When the prescription runs out, or they fail to manage their dose properly, withdrawal can occur.
When Fentanyl is misused and abused, it quickly reaches a precariously addictive level. It is as a result of this addictive use of such a lethal drug that withdrawal from Fentanyl can be so treacherous.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
When someone withdraws from Fentanyl, the symptoms can be varied. Once a level of dependency is reached, these symptoms can be more pronounced. The point where they become dangerous can be very difficult to determine.
Obviously, since Fentanyl is an opioid in the painkiller category, one of the first symptoms is a pain. While many of these pains can be physical, the most serious symptom can be the psychological pain withdraw associated with coming down of a Fentanyl high.
The pain can be so intense it causes extreme nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. When you lose so many vital body fluids so rapidly, dangerously high levels of hypothermia and dehydration can result. Often there are milder symptoms that preclude the more serious warning signs.
Withdrawal from Fentanyl can begin with spells of sneezing and a runny nose. You may experience itchy eyes and uncontrollable hot flashes followed by cold chills. As the withdrawal symptoms from Fentanyl become more serious, so do the health risks.
There are also a number of serious psychological withdrawal symptoms associated with Fentanyl. Like many strong opioids, withdrawing from Fentanyl can cause extreme anxiety. Sleeplessness is almost invariable, which can also have a heavy effect on your emotional well-being.
When you are unnaturally tired, things can seem disproportionately unrealistic. Other psychological symptoms of withdrawing from Fentanyl include tremendous depression and heightened agitation.
Frequently, these psychological issues can pose very serious emotional problems if not addressed with the guidance of a trained professional. As you navigate your way through the difficult process of physically coming down off Fentanyl, having a caring staff to console you will help ease the mental aspects of withdrawal as well.
More serious Fentanyl addictions will experience more serious withdrawal symptoms. The normal period of detox from Fentanyl is approximately one week. The degree that someone may experience each of these symptoms will be different.
Be mindful, there is no one-size-fits-all method of anticipating how serious the withdrawal will be. However, if the level of the addiction was extremely high, or an overdose resulted, a longer period of medically supervised detox may be warranted to oversee more serious withdrawal symptoms.
Because of the potential severity of Fentanyl detox, medical supervision is critical. In 2018, Fentanyl climbed past heroin as the drug responsible for the most overdose deaths in the United States. It has rightfully generated the attention it has received as a dangerous drug when abused.
The Detox period is a critical first step in recovery. The importance of medical supervision cannot be understated because of the risks associated with withdrawing off Fentanyl. It takes very little time to become dependent on the effects of the drug, which makes monitoring the detox period all the more important.
While the gradual process of detox from Fentanyl is recommended, there are medically induced ways that are faster. Rapid detox can be an option for medical professionals when there are inherent risks too great to allow the individual to detox naturally.
The first step in recovering from an addiction to Fentanyl must be a medically supervised period of detox. It is critical that the client is kept comfortable and is closely monitored by professional staff. At a Novo Detox Center, you will be provided with 24-hour medical observation.
You will also be treated with dignity and respect as you begin the process of recovery. If you feel you have a problem with a Fentanyl addiction, make that first call today. A kind and compassionate counselor will help guide you to the next right step towards freedom.