Fentanyl Addiction & Withdrawal
Fentanyl is a very powerful drug that can be compared to morphine. The problem is that the drug is up to 100 times more potent. It is a prescription drug, and it is used to treat patients who are experiencing severe pain. This is especially the case after surgery. Fentanyl is sometimes used to treat those who have chronic pain but are tolerant to other kinds of opioids. Tolerance occurs when you need a higher dose of the drug to get the desired effect.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that was originally introduced as an alternative painkiller to morphine. When it was developed in the late 1950s, it was used to ease the pain of terminally ill patients. It’s still used medically in some cases to treat severe pain after surgery, for those who have a tolerance for opioids, or for managing pain in end-of-life care. Because it’s still considered to have acceptable medicinal uses, it’s classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. That does not, however, mean that it’s safe. Very far from it.
Fentanyl is very similar to drugs such as morphine, heroin and various other opioids. It essentially binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, and this controls both pain and emotions. After you have taken opioids a number of times, your brain will then adapt to the drug and this will diminish the overall sensitivity you have. It then becomes difficult to feel the pleasure that the drug is giving you, and this makes you more inclined to take more.
Symptoms of Fentanyl Use
If you, or someone you know is taking fentanyl then you may notice the following side effects:
· Extreme happiness
· Breathing issues
What is Fentanyl Withdrawal?
Opioid or fentanyl withdrawal happens when you stop taking drugs after your body relies on them. It can affect you in a large number of ways. Opioids begin by attaching themselves to the receptors and nerve cells in the brain and in your spinal cord. This blocks any messages that your body is sending to the brain. During this process, dopamine gets released, which is the chemical that makes you feel good. Opioid drugs, such as fentanyl, morphine or oxycodone can all help you if you have pain after surgery, but some people choose to use the drug in its illegal form, which can include heroin. Prescription opioids are very safe to use if you only take them for a short period of time and if you do so as directed by your doctor.
What Causes Fentanyl Withdrawal?
When you take any kind of opioid medication for a very long time, your body will become desensitized to it. Over time, you need to take more of the drug so that you can then obtain the same effect. This can be dangerous because your risk of accidental overdose increases. Prolonged use of the drug can change the way that your nerve receptors work. If you become physically sick when you don’t take drugs, then this is a strong indicator that you are now physically dependent and that your body finds it hard to function without the drug. Many people become dependent on drugs as it helps them to avoid pain or even withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes people don’t even realize that they are now dependent because they think that they have come down with the flu or any other virus/condition.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
Some of the most common fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are as follows:
· Body aches
· Stomach cramps
· Watery eyes
· Rapid heartbeat
· High blood pressure
Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline
The timeline for withdrawal can vary depending on you as an individual, but usually, the symptoms begin after around 12 hours. Peak symptoms will occur after around 48 hours, and they can linger for up to a week. Post-withdrawal symptoms are also common, and they can linger for up to a month after your withdrawal period has ended. It is crucial that you get ongoing help if you feel as though you are trying to quit fentanyl because this will reduce your chances of relapsing and it will also give you the help you need to deal with any withdrawal symptoms. Learn More here.
Hallucinations During Fentanyl Withdrawal
It is entirely possible that if you are going through fentanyl withdrawal then you may experience symptoms such as irritability, auditory hallucinations, visual hallucinations, and even delusions of parasitosis. Symptoms can of course fluctuate, and they are not often at the same time or present at all times. It is possible to treat hallucinations through anti-psychotic drugs, so it is important to keep in mind that there is help out there if you need it.
The Dangers of Going Cold Turkey
The definition of going cold turkey ultimately means having an abrupt and complete withdrawal from an addictive substance. The physical part of the withdrawal is often too much for someone to go through and handle on their own, and as a result, it is recommended that you undergo a medical detox of the drug. If you are going at it alone, then you may find that you end up taking fentanyl to try and stop the symptoms, even if you have a very strong intention of quitting. Another danger is overdosing. When people stop using fentanyl, they often find that their tolerance for the drug decreases and this means that less of the drug is needed to get you high. When people relapse, they often overdose because they do not realize that their tolerance has lowered.
When going through a withdrawal, you may find that you experience vomiting and diarrhea. You may also find that you experience depression and anxiety. The mental feelings alone can make you want to self-harm or relapse. If you want to protect yourself against this, then it is vital that you detox slowly and that you seek professional help when you feel as though you need it. This is the best way to ensure that you are able to get the best result out of your detox and then your recovery.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment in Colorado
If you feel as though you are ready to get help, then it is strongly advised that you contact us today. Filling out this contact form is another way you can reach us if you don’t want to chat with someone. We can’t wait to help you and we are always here to give you the help and support you need to get the clean start you are looking for.