Withdrawal symptoms range from mild craving, anxiety, drug-seeking behavior, yawning, perspiration, runny eyes and nose, restless and broken sleep, and irritability.
The eyes may not respond properly to light (i.e., pupils will remain dilated in the presence of bright light).
More severe symptoms are extreme craving, muscular twitches, gooseflesh, hot and cold flashes, abdominal cramps, rapid breathing, fast pulse, chills, and lack of energy, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and lack of energy.
Not everybody suffers all the symptoms or the most severe ones; the severity of symptoms usually depends on the length and frequency of fentanyl abuse.
Fentanyl comes in various prescription forms, and street forms.
Today’s heroin can come in 2 varieties:
- Heroin with fentanyl
- Heroin with carfentanil
Fentanyl Detox Meds
Regardless of origin, fentanyl is one of the most powerful opioids on the planet.
In fentanyl withdrawal, relief during the five to ten days of these symptoms can be provided through various medications including:
- Buprenorphine (Subutex or “subs”)
- Buprenorphine with naloxone (Suboxone or “subs”)
These detox medications aim to ease the physical discomfort and help the recovering addict get some sleep.
Warm baths, mild exercise, electro-chemically balanced nutrition, and the compassionate support of recovery-sensitive physicians, nurses, and counselors help ease a person through withdrawal.
The last item is not the least important because your drug counselor will facilitate your entry into the most important part of fentanyl withdrawal, recovery-sensitive therapy, the moment you are able to participate.
Fentanyl detox medicine, such as buprenorphine, should be discontinued as soon as possible because buprenorphine maintenance can change into buprenorphine addiction.
How do we know?
In the 1960s, methadone was used to detox heroin addicts, just like buprenorphine has been used since about 2004.
Back in the 60s most heroin addicts graduated therapy-impoverished-heroin-detox with methadone addiction labeled “methadone maintenance,” which highlights the hazards of getting buprenorphine from an outpatient buprenorphine licensed physician that is not part of a comprehensive recovery-sensitive therapy treatment program.
Methadone maintenance programs became popular as a means of detoxifying heroin users, and of helping them through withdrawal.
Methadone is also addicting, but like oxycodone (oxy) it doesn’t cause as much sedation (methadone & oxy yield more opioid-receptor-derived dopamine than heroin).
In addition, since its longer acting than heroin, methadone relieves addicts of the need for a “fix” every few hours. Therefore, switching to methadone can seem to allow a heroin addict to lead a relatively normal life. Ideally, the methadone dosage is reduced to nothing, thus weaning the addict from all drug use. However, methadone dependence is notoriously hard to kick.
Long-term recovery for fentanyl users is often made difficult by malnutrition, sexual infections, and diseases associated with intravenous drug use.
These diseases include acquired immune deficiency (AIDS) and hepatitis. In fact, intravenous drug users in many areas of the country are the group with the highest risk of developing AIDS.
“Denial” is one less thing to have to focus-on during fentanyl recovery-sensitive therapy/rehab.
That’s because the marijuana addict struggles with the idea that: “I’m not at all like an opioid addict.”
While the alcoholic struggles with the idea that: “I’m not at all like an opioid addict.”
Fentanyl addicts rarely— if ever- say: “I’m not as bad as other opioid addicts.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse problem, please reach out to our addiction specialists for guidance and support, at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Our addiction specialists make themselves available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.