Rapid Fentanyl Detox Risks, Benefits and Options
If you are looking for treatment from fentanyl addiction, the first step is to find an effective detox. Eliminating this toxic drug’s metabolites from the body is often a challenge. Particularly, it causes painful withdrawal symptoms as the body adjusts to the absence of this opioid. Fortunately, there is an effective treatment option called rapid fentanyl detox. With this type of inpatient detox, withdrawal symptoms are medically managed and a complete detox is achieved safely and comfortably.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a man-made compound that is chemically related to other opioids such as morphine or heroin. As one of the strongest painkillers, fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine. The strength makes it effective for relieving severe pain in clinical settings. However, it also makes the drug potentially high-risk for addiction.
As the opioid epidemic continues in the United States, approximately 2 million people are suffering from abuse of prescription pain relievers. In this case, fentanyl is among the most commonly abused substances. Fortunately, quick fentanyl detox is a safe, effective treatment for addiction to this opioid.
Some available brand names and forms of the opioid drug fentanyl include:
- Actiq: a lozenge, used under the tongue like a lollipop
- Duragesic: a patch prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. Its effect can last for up to 3 days
- Sublimaze: an injectable form of fentanyl, mostly given in hospitals sometimes alongside anesthetics
- Subsys: a sublingual spray administered under a patient’s tongue, used for immediate pain relief
- Abstral: a quick-dissolve tablet placed under the tongue for opioid-tolerant patients with breakthrough pain
- Lazanda: a nasal spray, primarily used to treat pain in cancer patients
Tolerance to Fentanyl
Significant dysregulation to the central nervous system is caused by fentanyl use. In brief, this means it causes excessive amounts of dopamine to flood, which chemically alters the normal brain function. The continuous use of an opioid pain reliever creates tolerance, which is the essential need for more of the drug to reach the previous sensations. Sometimes individuals may use opiate drugs, as a result, to temporarily relieve physical or emotional pain. However, given how quickly tolerance and addiction might occur, a temporary fix often turns into a challenging situation.
Signs of Fentanyl Addiction
Fentanyl addiction is characterized by excessive drug-seeking behaviors regardless of the negative results. Some of the most common signs of fentanyl addiction include:
- Spending a significant amount of time thinking of how to get and use the medication
- Taking large amounts of the drug or over a longer time than intended
- Experiencing intense cravings
- Failing to meet obligations at work, home, or school
- Sleep disturbances
- Relationship conflict
- Defensiveness about drug use
- Spending excessive money on fentanyl
- Denial of a problem
- Secretiveness or increasing isolation
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Abuse and Side Effects
People first begin to take fentanyl because of its positive side effects: euphoria, numbing, a “high” feeling, and ability to escape. However, repeated fentanyl use also causes adverse effects. One is a physiological dependence on the drug as your body begins to crave more of the drug to function “normally.” Fentanyl abuse also leads to a range of physical and psychological effects, including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Weight loss
- Shaking or muscle convulsions
- Slowed breathing and heart rate
- Difficulty sleeping
If you notice a combination of these signs in yourself or someone else, they may be indicators of fentanyl abuse. Fentanyl abuse can be deadly, so it is important to seek treatment immediately.
Addiction Risks and Overdose
Fentanyl’s high potency is one of the things that give people the euphoria and numbing they crave. However, it also makes the drug highly dangerous. Fentanyl is a leading cause of overdose in the United States. This is not surprising, because just 3 mg of the drug (equivalent to a few grains of powder) is enough to kill an average adult male. Furthermore, heroin is increasingly likely to be laced with fentanyl and other substances. Unwittingly using heroin laced with fentanyl can cause various side effects, ranging from extremely shallow breathing to death.
As the body develops a physiological dependence on fentanyl, it becomes harder to quit because of the challenging withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal is a physiological response to the absence of the drug.
Fentanyl withdrawal can be particularly challenging. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fast heart rate
- Abnormally high blood pressure
- Runny nose
- Intense muscle aches
Consequently, the desire to avoid these painful withdrawal symptoms is the leading reason that addiction to fentanyl is difficult to quit.
Due to relief from what may have started as a genuine chronic pain condition combined with the highly pleasurable effects of the drug, many individuals do not realize they have become addicted until it is too late.
However, there are effective options for treatment for fentanyl addiction. For a treatment to be effective, it must address physiological dependence and behavioral addiction.
Fentanyl Rapid Detox and Addiction Treatment
Rapid fentanyl detoxification is a medical procedure designed to reverse physiological dependence on opioids. While a patient is sedated in the ICU of a full-service hospital, particular drugs are provided to cleanse the body’s receptor sites. The fast fentanyl detox process allows the patient to overcome the withdrawal phase faster, more comfortably while under constant medical monitoring.
Rapid detox has one of the highest success rates of any medical opioid detoxification process in history. When performed in an accredited hospital by an experienced anesthesiologist, rapid detox is a safe and effective solution for treating fentanyl addiction.
Supportive Aftercare for Fentanyl Addiction
It is crucial to the success of an accelerated fentanyl detox procedure that the patient is professionally assisted throughout the transitional period post-detox because the organs are working hard to find a new baseline. While this phase can be relatively smooth for some, others may find it challenging.
After treating the physiological fentanyl dependency, it is important to address the underlying issues fueling the addiction, such as unresolved trauma, emotional conditions, or unhelpful lifestyle patterns. Generally speaking, a supportive environment for opioid detox and rehabilitation, allows individuals to address some important matters while regaining their physical and psychological strength.