Opioid prescriptions are typically used to treat pain. There are many different types of opioid prescriptions. One well-known type of opioid prescription that’s used to treat severe pain is fentanyl. Because of how strong fentanyl is, people can develop a dependency on it that causes them to experience fentanyl withdrawal symptoms when minimizing or discontinuing their use of the substance. Further misuse of fentanyl after already suffering from fentanyl dependency leads to the development of fentanyl addiction. The best way to treat fentanyl addiction is to attend fentanyl detox followed by fentanyl addiction treatment.
What Is Fentanyl?
As mentioned earlier, fentanyl is an opioid prescription that relieves severe pain. Fentanyl is actually a synthetic opioid. Despite being synthetic, fentanyl is 100 times stronger than morphine. That’s because fentanyl was created to treat extreme levels of pain. In fact, people with cancer are known to use patches of fentanyl to help alleviate the severe pain that they feel.
Unfortunately, like many strong substances, some people choose to misuse fentanyl for their own reasons. One reason why some people choose to misuse fentanyl is that the substance gives off short-term, euphoric effects. Thus, many people choose to misuse fentanyl to forget about their problems and experience feelings of euphoria.
Other individuals with access to fentanyl in labs choose to secretly deal out fentanyl. Many dealers will offer to mix fentanyl with other addictive substances for buyers, which is extremely dangerous and can lead to an overdose. Illegal labs exist where people create and sell fentanyl without any real medical supervision or permission.
Common Types of Fentanyl
There are different types of fentanyl. Each type was created to treat different levels of severe pain from different types of medical conditions. Although pharmacies create these different types of fentanyl legally, many people choose to sell fentanyl illegally.
The most common and well-known types of fentanyl include:
- Actiq – A form of fentanyl that’s attached to a stick and placed underneath the tongue to relieve pain.
- Duragesic – A patch of fentanyl created in the 1990s that doctors prescribed to individuals with moderate to severe pain.
- Sublimaze – An injectable form of fentanyl that medical professionals prescribe to people that are going through extreme pain. In fact, many people use Sublimaze to help manage pain from surgery.
4. Subsys – Fentanyl spray that doctors put underneath the tongue.
- Abstral – This is a fentanyl tablet that doctors also place underneath the tongues of patients. People who already have a tolerance for opioids and other substances, such as cancer patients, often use this form of fentanyl.
- Lazanda – A nasal spray for individuals that are experiencing cancer pain.
Oftentimes, dealers find ways to illegally sell many of the forms of fentanyl in the list above. Fentanyl often comes in a powder-like form. Because of this, people who misuse fentanyl often mix it with other substances.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
When people choose to misuse fentanyl, they start to become dependent on the substance to the point in which they experience withdrawal symptoms anytime they minimize or discontinue their use of it. These fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are often so severe that many people will continue to misuse more and more amounts of fentanyl just to avoid experiencing them.
Some of the severe fentanyl withdrawal symptoms that people experience include:
- Extreme irritability
- Blurry eyesight
- Mental need to itch
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Excessive sleeping
- Urinary constipation
- Issues breathing
People that suffer from fentanyl dependency can experience fentanyl withdrawal symptoms within 12 hours of the last time that they used the substance. The most intense fentanyl withdrawal symptoms usually occur 24-48 hours after the last time that people used the substance. In fact, many people that suffer from fentanyl addiction develop an anxiety or mood disorder after 48 hours of withdrawal.
Lingering fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can continue to persist for years. Many people that suffer from fentanyl addiction will even develop a mental health disorder if they don’t have one already. Once that happens, such individuals are officially suffering from co-occurring disorders.
These individuals aren’t alone as 9.2 million U.S. adults receive a dual diagnosis each year. There is a way to overcome fentanyl withdrawal symptoms and fentanyl addiction. The first step iis to attend fentanyl detox followed by fentanyl addiction treatment.
Fentanyl detox is the process of ridding one’s body of fentanyl. That way individuals can be sober when entering fentanyl addiction treatment.
The best way to detox from a substance as strong as fentanyl is to wean oneself off of the substance gradually. This means gradually using less and less fentanyl until there is no fentanyl left in the body and the individual can manage without it.
Because fentanyl is such a strong substance and fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are so severe, individuals that attend fentanyl detox will need to use medication-assisted treatment to be safe. Some of the medications that individuals will likely need to take while using medication-assisted treatment during fentanyl detox include methadone, buprenorphine, suboxone, or naloxone.
All of the medications that individuals must take during fentanyl detox to manage their withdrawal symptoms are FDA approved. On top of that, all of the medications that individuals must take during fentanyl detox, other than naloxone, are opioids.
Although opioids, the medications used during medication-assisted treatment aren’t as addictive as fentanyl. This is due to how many of these medications function. Still, addiction to these medications is still very much possible. Therefore, fentanyl detox programs that administer medication-assisted treatment must have clinicians and licensed substance use specialists on standby to monitor each patient’s detox journey.
Going through fentanyl detox is worth it, though. This is because medical detox helps minimize fentanyl withdrawal symptoms and cravings. This can, in turn, help prevent individuals from relapsing and overdosing while trying to detox. This is a significant benefit of medical fentanyl detox since synthetic opioids are responsible for the majority of drug overdoses.
Reasons Why People Develop Fentanyl Addictions
There are many reasons why people may develop fentanyl addictions. One common reason why people develop fentanyl addictions is that they were prescribed fentanyl to help them manage severe pain and overused their prescription.
One way that people often overuse their fentanyl prescriptions is by taking more fentanyl than they were prescribed to take. People often do this because they are in such excruciating pain that they think that taking more fentanyl than prescribed will help. Another way that people often overuse their fentanyl prescriptions is by taking them for a much longer period of time than they are supposed to.
Individuals that suffer from mental health disorders may choose to misuse fentanyl to cope. Individuals with mental health disorders often do this because they feel that the euphoric symptom of fentanyl will help them feel better. Unfortunately, over time, fentanyl misuse will worsen the symptoms of mental health disorders and cause individuals to develop dual diagnosis disorders.
Individuals that already misuse milder substances such as cocaine, heroin, ketamine, molly, or some other illicit substance may develop a tolerance to those substances. As a result, such individuals may feel the need to use an even stronger substance to get by.
Because it’s one of the strongest substances, these individuals often start to misuse fentanyl. This eventually causes these individuals to develop fentanyl addictions. The only way to overcome fentanyl addiction is to attend fentanyl detox followed by fentanyl addiction treatment once that happens.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment
Fentanyl addiction treatment looks slightly different for each individual that is recovering from fentanyl addiction. It’s vital though that people that suffer from fentanyl addiction receive both fentanyl detox and fentanyl addiction treatment.
Medication-assisted treatment is a necessary aspect of fentanyl detox due to how addictive and strong a substance fentanyl is. Individuals that need to may even continue using medication-assisted treatment during fentanyl addiction treatment to help them manage their cravings for the substance.
Common types of addiction therapy that people receive during fentanyl addiction treatment include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Some rehab centers will even incorporate holistic therapy into their fentanyl addiction treatment programs.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Programs
Fentanyl addiction treatment programs as a whole come in the form of inpatient or outpatient treatment programs. Most of the time, fentanyl addiction treatment programs come in the form of inpatient treatment, though. This is because inpatient treatment programs are for individuals that are recovering from severe addictions like the ones that most people that suffer from fentanyl addiction are dealing with.
Individuals that attend inpatient fentanyl addiction treatment programs must live in a rehab center and receive 24/7 care and monitoring during treatment. People that attend inpatient fentanyl addiction treatment must also attend rehab for anywhere from 30 days to a year.
Individuals that attend outpatient forms of addiction treatment don’t live in rehab facilities during treatment. Instead, such patients get to live in the comfort of their own homes in-between rehab sessions. Outpatient forms of addiction treatment are for individuals with mild to moderate addictions. Individuals with severe addictions, such as most individuals that suffer from fentanyl addiction should attend inpatient treatment.
Attend Both Detox and Addiction Treatment At Phoenix Rising Recovery
Phoenix Rising Recovery offers various specialized and individualized detox services and addiction treatment. At Phoenix Recovery we work hard to provide our patients with recovery options that truly revitalize their minds and bodies. This includes making sure that each patient receives treatment that fits his or her specific needs.
We also make it our mission to provide authentic, compassionate, and innovative care. Thus, you can rest assured that you’re in the best hands when attending addiction treatment at our facility.
To learn more about Phoenix Rising Recovery and the various detox and addiction treatment programs, therapies, and services that we offer, contact us today! We are more than willing to answer any questions that you may have.