Fentanyl Detox in Kokomo, Indiana
When a doctor prescribes a medication to you, he or she includes a dosage amount. If you take a higher dosage, you risk becoming dependent on the drug. What’s more, substance abuse often turns into addiction. Fentanyl is among the most potent drugs that a doctor prescribes. If you or someone you love is taking fentanyl, you should know about fentanyl withdrawal and how detox helps relieve withdrawal symptoms.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a highly potent analgesic. This particular medication is dangerous because of how strong it is while also being easy to access. It’s common for dealers to mix fentanyl into cocaine or heroin, which makes the drug considerably more hazardous when taken. Currently, fentanyl has a Schedule II classification through the Controlled Substances Act.
As a synthetic opioid, fentanyl is upwards of 50 times more potent than morphine. Even though this drug was initially designed to be used for anesthesia purposes, it’s now abused on a recreational basis. According to the NIDA, synthetic opioids like fentanyl were the primary cause of drug overdose deaths between 2015-2020.
The treatment methods that a person receives for fentanyl vary. For instance, medications like methadone and naltrexone are meant to reduce the severity of symptoms. Furthermore, you could go through medical treatment to make sure that your withdrawal symptoms aren’t too severe.
Signs and Symptoms Associated with Fentanyl Abuse
A fentanyl substance use disorder is a serious condition that results from the ability fentanyl has to cause an overdose. Understanding fentanyl addiction signs should help you identify when you or someone close to you is taking too much of the drug. For example, it’s possible to separate these signs into behavioral changes, physical changes, psychological changes, and life changes.
- Not spending time with friends and family
- Being withdrawn in social settings
- Mood swings
- Substantial weight loss
- Worse appearance and hygiene
- Falling asleep regularly
- Relationship problems
- Monetary issues
- Job loss
- Failing school
Fentanyl is known as the deadliest opioid in the world and is the cause of over 50% of overdose deaths. In fact, an overdose may occur after taking just 0.07 ounces of this drug. Understanding the numerous signs of fentanyl overdose helps prevent death. The primary symptoms of an overdose include:
- Gurgling sounds
- Slowed breathing
- Chest pain
- Serious stomach pain
What Does Fentanyl Withdrawal Entail?
As a synthetic opioid, fentanyl is much stronger than morphine and is meant to treat people who suffer from severe pain. In fact, cancer patients regularly receive fentanyl once the cancer spreads and the pain worsens.
When a body is dependent on fentanyl, it will go into withdrawal after not using the drug for a lengthy period of time. The withdrawal process is different for everyone. In many cases, the severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on the severity of the addiction.
Primary Symptoms Attributed to Fentanyl Withdrawal
People who are suffering from a fentanyl use disorder usually experience withdrawal symptoms after they stop taking the drug. Potential symptoms include:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Bone or muscle pain
- Increase in heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Increase in body temperature
Even though fentanyl withdrawal isn’t life-threatening in most cases, the symptoms are highly uncomfortable. If you have underlying mental or physical health conditions, these issues usually worsen during withdrawal. In fact, it’s possible for complications to occur as a result of the withdrawal process.
When someone makes the decision to detox at home, dehydration is much more likely. In this scenario, the risk of heart failure increases. In the event that you relapse after you stop taking the drug, the possibility of an overdose is higher.
Basic Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline
Fentanyl is an immediate-release medication, which is why withdrawal symptoms start around 8-24 hours following the last use. In most cases, these symptoms reach their highest intensity around 36-72 hours following the last dose. A person’s withdrawal symptoms might last anywhere from seven days to several weeks.
It’s common for medications like buprenorphine and methadone to reduce the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms. These medications are usually given during medical detoxification at very small doses.
Possible Causes of Fentanyl Withdrawal
Like most opioids, the effects of fentanyl lead to misuse of the medication being more likely. Fentanyl binds directly to the opioid receptors in the brain. Furthermore, these receptors control emotion and pain. Extensive use of this medication causes the brain to change, which means that you are more tolerant to the drug.
Once a tolerance to this drug is built, larger doses are necessary to obtain the same effects. Along with various withdrawal symptoms, dependence on fentanyl makes it more likely that you will drink or use other drugs to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
What to Expect from Fentanyl Detox
Detoxification is a process that allows you to manage your fentanyl withdrawal with assistance from medical professionals. The purpose of medical detox is to ensure that fentanyl leaves your body without any serious side effects. Even though detox is the first stage of a comprehensive fentanyl treatment plan, it’s not enough for long-term recovery.
The treatment you receive following detox varies depending on the needs of you or your loved one. A combination of individual therapy, group counseling, and behavioral therapy is usually available. If relationships with family members need mending, consider obtaining family therapy during an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. Medications may continue to be given to you beyond the detoxification process.
The amount of time it takes for detox to leave the body differs with each individual. Moreover, the severity and duration of fentanyl use determines how long the detox programs lasts.
There are effective and proven methods a person can use to manage their withdrawal symptoms, which makes it easier to control cravings. Medical professionals focus on alleviating symptoms by making patients as comfortable as possible during withdrawal. The types of medications that are usually given during fentanyl detox include opioid agonists and partial opioid agonists.
An opioid agonist stimulates the opioid receptors in the brain but at a much lower level than fentanyl. As a result, the opioid receptors believe that the body is receiving small amounts of fentanyl. Opioid agonists like methadone alleviate withdrawal symptoms and block cravings.
Partial opioid agonists like buprenorphine center around the same opioid receptors as fentanyl. These receptors partially activate to ease symptoms. In addition to opioid medications, an additional medication known as lofexidine hydrochloride is also given to patients. This is a non-opioid treatment, which may be helpful to patients who no longer wish to take opioid medications.
Coverage for fentanyl detox varies from one insurance plan to another. While some plans provide coverage for as much as 50% of detox costs, other plans provide coverage for just 10% of total costs. Insurance providers determine which services an insurance plan covers. The insurance provider then identifies if the patient qualifies for a service that the plan covers.
Treatments to Obtain Following Detox
Once you or your loved one has been through a detox program, additional treatment is available, which includes outpatient treatment and inpatient rehab. Outpatient treatment means that therapy and counseling are available outside of a residential facility. Patients still attend school, go to work, and maintain their everyday responsibilities. Furthermore, a treatment session usually lasts 2-3 hours. These sessions occur several days each week.
As for inpatient rehab, our program for fentanyl addiction treatment in Kokomo, Indiana takes place in a residential facility, which is where patients stay 24/7 until the program is over. The duration of inpatient treatment depends on the patient’s needs, which means that these programs can last for one month or more than one year.
If you or your loved one is suffering from a fentanyl use disorder, it’s highly recommended that you look into your many treatment options. Here at First City Recovery Center, you can benefit from medical detox, inpatient rehab, or outpatient care. The care you receive is personalized to fit your specific situation. Contact us today to explore your treatment options and take advantage of the resources available to you.
Dr. Vahid Osman, MD is a psychiatry specialist in Indianapolis, IN.
Dr. Osman completed a residency at Austin State Hospital. He has over 32 years of experience in Psychiatry & Behavioral Health. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.