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Addiction Treatment, fentanyl withdrawal

The Dangers of Fentanyl Withdrawal

dangers of fentanyl withdrawal

As with other highly addictive substances, the dangers of fentanyl withdrawal can be quite severe. In addition, as the drug is purged from the body, it can cause undesirable side effects that could result in relapse or even death in extreme cases. Therefore, fentanyl withdrawal and detox should always be supervised by an appropriate health professional. 

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is in the opioid drug family. However, it is synthetically made to mimic the effects of naturally occurring opioids, like codeine and morphine. It is a very powerful synthetic pain reliever that can be up to a hundred times stronger than morphine. 

When used responsibly, fentanyl is used to treat severe pain and chronic painful conditions. However, when fentanyl is abused by someone that does not require it, it is easy for someone to become addicted to the drug after abusing it a single time due to its powerful effects. 

Why Do People Get Addicted to Fentanyl? 

Similar to naturally occurring opioids, fentanyl causes chemical changes in the brain and how it functions. When abusing fentanyl, the drug will cause an increase in the release of the feel-good hormones found in the brain’s pleasure center.

As a result, fentanyl use is reinforced as a positive behavior. The euphoric feelings one experiences further enhance and reinforce fentanyl use. Unfortunately, as with other substance abuse, the body develops a tolerance to fentanyl.

As such, to continue to experience the euphoric sensations one enjoys, a larger dose of fentanyl has to be taken. Gradually, the body develops a tolerance for the larger dose. So, the cycle continues until the person has developed a dependence on and addiction to fentanyl. 

Sadly, discontinuing fentanyl use is not something that can be done easily. The powerful effects of the drug can cause a person to develop a severe addiction. All that matters is having access to fentanyl and being able to use it whenever they notice the slightest withdrawal symptoms. 

What Are the Dangers of Fentanyl Withdrawal?

The chemical changes fentanyl makes in the brain alters its functionality to the point that the brain craves the drug just to function. Should you discontinue fentanyl use, the brain goes through a period where it has to readjust how it functions so it can function once again without the drug. 

As it does, the body starts to experience withdrawal symptoms, that could include any of the following:

  • Muscle Cramping
  • Stomach Cramping
  • Body Aches 
  • Body Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Extreme Anxiety
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Extreme Irritability and Anger
  • Hallucinations
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Extreme Mood Swings
  • Uncontrolled Shaking
  • Hot and Cold Flashes
  • Profuse Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Furthermore, the longer the person abused fentanyl, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms will be. There are risks of going into a coma or even dying without supervised detox in some cases. In addition, one could experience extreme pain and discomfort that could lead to once contemplating suicide.  

How to Avoid the Dangers of Fentanyl Withdrawal

The best way to avoid the dangers of fentanyl withdrawal is to ensure your detox is supervised by a medical professional. For example, you were prescribed fentanyl by your doctor for a painful injury from an accident. 

As your body heals, your doctor should begin to wean you off fentanyl by lowering your dosage gradually. Doing so makes it easier to discontinue fentanyl usage and not have to worry about the potentially dangerous side effects.

On the other hand, suppose you have a substance abuse problem and develop an addiction to fentanyl. Then, to safely discontinue fentanyl use, you, too, need to be weaned off the substance gradually by a medical professional. 

If you were to start detox and not be weaned, it would be very dangerous because your body would not know how to function without the drug. However, taking a gradual approach and slowly reducing your fentanyl usage allows your brain time to slowly readjust to lower doses and eventually be ready to return to normal functioning without the use of fentanyl. 

Can MAT Be Used for Fentanyl Detox?

MAT (Medication-Assisted Treatment) for fentanyl addiction is available to assist with detox and overcoming addiction to the substance. Several different medications can be used based on the severity of your addiction and cravings for fentanyl, including:

  • Naltrexone
  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Suboxone

These medications can help reduce withdrawal symptoms, suppress fentanyl cravings, block the effects of fentanyl, and mimic some of the effects without the addictiveness of fentanyl. 

Fentanyl Withdrawal with Supervised Detox in Beverly Hills, CA

When you want to avoid the dangers of fentanyl withdrawal and be safely weaned from the drug, supervised detox is available in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, CA, through MD Home Detox. We provide concierge-level detox treatment with MAT you can do from the comfort of your home. 

Once you have been safely detoxed from fentanyl, we can recommend ongoing addiction treatment through our extensive network to help you create a customized treatment plan. To start your at-home supervised fentanyl withdrawal and detox treatment options, please feel free to contact us today!

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