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Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline

If you happen to be dependent on fentanyl, the mere thought of withdrawal symptoms may be enough to send shivers down your spine. However, becoming sober may be much easier than you might think, thanks to various fentanyl rehab programs. At Harmony Ridge Recovery Center VW, we specialize in helping patients overcome their addiction in a safe and comfortable manner. Our team of medical professionals can provide you with 24/7 medical care and support, as well as help you learn and develop healthy coping skills. If you want to make the entire rehab process even easier, you may want to know about the fentanyl withdrawal timeline, what to expect, as well as any physical symptoms that may occur. Luckily, that is exactly what this article is here for!

Fentanyl withdrawal – What to expect?

Before you even think about fentanyl rehab centers, you may want to know a bit more about the drug. Fentanyl is an opioid that is used to treat severe, chronic pain. For this reason, you can acquire the drug via prescriptions. Fentanyl comes in a patch form and is absorbed via the skin. From there, it gets to the bloodstream and crosses the barrier between the blood and the brain, binding itself to opioid receptors in the body. The end result is the feeling of euphoria and the masking of pain.

person taking fentanyl with a glass of water
Fentanyl is a very common medicine for pain relief.

However, the issue with fentanyl is that the drug itself is extremely addictive. In other words, over the course of time, your body becomes reliant on the drug to function. While this may not be an issue when you take the drug in recommended doses, fentanyl abuse can lead to potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Furthermore, people who abuse this particular drug often mix it with other prescription drugs or alcohol, significantly increasing the risks.

Luckily, fentanyl addiction is quite reversible. All you need to do is undergo fentanyl detox treatment at one of the detox centers. However, as substance addiction is usually followed by other mental health issues, you may need to continue your treatment from there. The duration of the treatment will depend on your medical history, substance abuse history, and a variety of other factors.

As for fentanyl withdrawal itself, there is a common timeline that can be observed in most patients.

Fentanyl withdrawal timeline

During the fentanyl detox treatment, you will start to slowly experience withdrawal symptoms. The exact timeline varies from one person to another. That being said, most people start to feel the symptoms around 12 to 24 hours after their last dose. These symptoms usually peak within 48 hours and may be present for a week or more. Furthermore, some patients report that they experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms for much longer than that, even years in some cases.

Timeline breakdown

The general timeline of fentanyl withdrawal is as follows:

  • First 30 hours – This is where you may start to experience mild withdrawal symptoms
  • 36 to 72 hours – After 36 hours have passed from the last fentanyl dose; you will start to experience the worst physical symptoms. This is the time when they will be at their peak.
  • 5-8 days – After five days, most of the primary withdrawal symptoms will fade away. This is the time when you will start returning to your normal functioning mode. Do note that, for some people, this time may be extended to a few weeks.
  • Several weeks after – After several weeks have passed, you may still experience a few odd physical symptoms. You may exhibit increased sensitivity to pain, for example, or you may struggle with depression, increased cravings, irritability, or even anxiety. This is called a protracted withdrawal phase and may last for years. The best thing you can do to minimize the chances of this happening is to undergo treatment at a professional fentanyl rehab center.
numbers 1975, 1976, and 1977 in black letters
Some fentanyl withdrawal symptoms may persist for several years.

However, the actual timeline for your particular case may vary. There are numerous influencing factors, such as frequency and intensity of use, as well as the formulation used in the first place. Furthermore, anyone attending a substance abuse treatment WV program will also need to manage the inherent risks, as well as find a way to cope with it all.

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms, risks, and how to cope

Throughout fentanyl rehab, you may experience numerous psychophysical symptoms. This is perfectly normal, even though it might be uncomfortable at times. The severity of the symptoms, again, depends on your fentanyl use history.

Most of these symptoms are not unique to fentanyl abuse. In fact, alcohol rehab for seniors involves a similar set of symptoms. The fact of the matter is that your body has become dependent on the drug. These symptoms simply occur due to the body slowly returning to its normal state.

Physical symptoms and risks

Here are some of the most common symptoms you may experience:

  • Yawning
  • Runny nose
  • Insomnia/poor sleep
  • Sweating
  • Teary eyes
  • Irritability
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Goosebumps
  • Diarrhea
  • Dysphoria
  • Opioid cravings
  • Chills
  • Uncontrollable leg movements
  • Vomiting
the forehead of a person sweating before fentanyl rehab
Increased sweating is one of the most common fentanyl withdrawal symptoms.

The primary reason why it is in your best interest to visit a fentanyl detox center for your treatment is the fact that you will receive 24/7 care and support from a professional medical team. Some of the above symptoms can even be life-threatening if they are not managed properly. Aside from fentanyl withdrawal symptoms, there are emotional issues to consider as well.

Possible emotional issues

Undergoing fentanyl rehab is a challenging experience. Not only will your body experience harsh withdrawal symptoms, but your emotions will be affected as well. It is perfectly natural to experience random mood swings throughout the treatment, as well as feelings of anxiety. Some patients may also experience bouts of depression and intense cravings. Lastly, due to the nature of fentanyl detox and the effects it has on the mind and body, you may also experience cognitive problems and memory issues.

Luckily, there is something you can do. During the course of fentanyl rehab, you will be able to undergo various types of mental health treatment. For example, you can undergo cognitive behavioral therapy for substance use disorders, attend art therapy sessions, or take advantage of any of the other psychotherapy options. What you want to do is find an option that allows you to cope with the entire process in an easier way.

How to cope with Fentanyl withdrawal

Even though you might be attending rehab at one of the fentanyl rehab centers, that does not mean that the entire process will be completely comfortable. Yes, it will be infinitely easier than if you were to undergo the entire process at home, but there will still be numerous challenges that you will need to overcome.

Fentanyl withdrawal usually involves some degree of pain and discomfort. To tell the truth, fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can be so daunting that many people stop their treatment and start using fentanyl again. That is why you need to understand that you are going to have a hard time, at least initially. A full understanding of what might happen is one of the best ways to cope with fentanyl withdrawal.

person climbing on a pile of rocks with the sea in the background
Fentanyl rehab will be a challenge, but it is one that you can overcome.

Luckily, there are numerous treatment modalities that can help you. For example, you can undergo dialectical behavior therapy for addiction and develop healthy coping skills prior to, during, and after fentanyl rehab. It is not a bad idea to start slowly and build your defensive mechanisms before you commit to full detox. That being said, it is usually in your best interest to act on your desire to get sober as soon as possible.

Fentanyl detox

Fentanyl detox treatment is there to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with opioid withdrawal. Most of the time, this is done through the usage of FDA-approved medications, psychotherapy, and other pharmacologic and behavioral treatment options. That said, there are three things that you might want to know about when it comes to fentanyl detox:

  • Withdrawal process
  • Individual factors
  • Medically-assisted Fentanyl detox

Furthermore, you also need to understand that fentanyl rehab is not the same for everyone. For example, drug rehab for young adults follows similar, yet different, procedures when it comes to managing withdrawal symptoms, as opposed to drug rehab for seniors. Every treatment center worth its proverbial salt will customize the treatment program according to the unique needs of the patient. At Harmony Ridge Recovery Center, for example, we treat every single one of our patients as a unique case.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the three most important questions concerning fentanyl detox.

What does the Fentanyl withdrawal process look like?

When you first arrive at a fentanyl detox center, you will undergo a full psychophysical assessment. The medical staff will assess you for any mental health or physical health issues to determine the best course of treatment. After that, you may be evaluated for polydrug use and any specific circumstances that may interfere with the entire process.

Following the assessment, you will be assigned a dedicated medical team. The team will involve both doctors and therapists, as well as social workers if there’s a need for them. Throughout the entire withdrawal process, your team will work closely with you to manage the symptoms and make the entire experience easier for you. They will create and shape a unique treatment plan, one that allows you to learn and apply ways to adjust to life without fentanyl.

Your team will also recommend any other treatment modalities that might be beneficial. A prime example of this is family therapy for addiction, which may be extremely beneficial in some cases but highly detrimental in others. All in all, your fentanyl withdrawal process will be customized to your specific needs.

a happy family posing for a photo
Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms may be easier to handle with family support.

What are the individual factors that influence the timeline?

Speaking of specific needs, the fact of the matter is that everyone is different. That means that no two fentanyl rehab programs are exactly the same. Some of the individual factors that may influence the course of treatment include:

  • Age
  • Metabolic rate
  • Weight
  • Overall health
  • Underlying psychophysical issues

Furthermore, it is very important that you understand that addiction to fentanyl is not a character flaw, it is a disease. Your mental state can (and will) heavily influence the success of the treatment, after all. That is why fentanyl rehab usually involves psychotherapy.

However, aside from any mental health issues, there’s the fact that fentanyl withdrawal produces extremely harsh symptoms. In most cases, going “cold turkey” is all but impossible. What you need is something to bridge the gap between using and being sober. This leads us to the last question about fentanyl detox.

Why do most people opt for medically-assisted Fentanyl detox?

Almost every fentanyl rehab program is medically assisted. While medications are not strictly necessary in most cases, the fact is that most people choose MAT instead of other treatment options. The reason for this is that medications allow for a smoother transition to treatment.

The medications used in fentanyl detox depend on a variety of factors. While all of the medications are FDA-approved, there is some variation between treatment centers and medications used. For example, some treatment centers may prescribe opioid agonists (buprenorphine, methadone), while others may offer beta blockers, antidepressants, and even replacement fentanyl.

Fentanyl detox at Harmony Ridge Recovery Center

Since fentanyl rehab is different for everyone, it is extremely important that your recovery center knows how to customize your treatment. That is why Harmony Ridge Recovery Center is one of the best options in WV when it comes to custom treatment options. Our goal is and always will be to provide the best possible treatment to our patients. Over the years, our dedicated, emphatic team of medical professionals has helped countless individuals on their road to recovery. In fact, Harmony Ridge can provide you with practically everything you might need to start living a sober life! Contact us today, and we will help you overcome your fentanyl addiction!