Fentanyl is a deadly opioid drug that is a leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States. The city of Atlanta—and the entire state of Georgia—is not immune to this crisis. According to the Georgia Public Department of Health, “From 2019 to 2021, fentanyl-related drug overdose deaths increased 124%, from 614 to 1,379.”
Because detox from fentanyl can be distressing—and dangerous—many people struggle to quit without professional help. Buckhead Behavioral Health offers solutions to help you or your loved one detox from fentanyl safely and successfully.
If you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl addiction, reach out to us now at (470) 460-6789. Our fentanyl rehab in Atlanta can help you get off of this addictive substance and begin your life in recovery.
How Long Do Fentanyl Detox Programs Last?
Fentanyl detox programs usually last from one to two weeks. The time it takes to detox from fentanyl depends on factors unique to each person, such as:
- Length of time the person has been addicted
- Amount of fentanyl a person consumes
- The person’s tolerance for fentanyl
- Underlying mental health conditions
- Mixing fentanyl with other drugs or alcohol
In addition, detox programs keep a person safe from relapsing because they will have support and supervision when going through peak withdrawal symptoms.
What Are Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms?
Fentanyl—and other opioids—act on the opioid receptors in a person’s brain. These receptors are responsible for feeling pleasure and reducing pain. The brain releases natural opioids to bind to opioid receptors to reinforce certain behaviors. According to MedlinePlus, “When opioids attach (bind) to the receptors, the interaction triggers a series of chemical changes within and between neurons that lead to feelings of pleasure and pain relief.”
However, fentanyl hijacks this natural chemical system. Fentanyl releases an unnatural amount of opioids into this chemical system, binding to opioid receptors and creating artificial feelings of euphoria. Over time, the chemical system adapts to fentanyl misuse and cannot function normally without the drug. So, when a person stops using fentanyl, they have fentanyl withdrawal symptoms until their natural chemical reward system returns to normal functioning.
Symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal include the following:
- Cravings for fentanyl
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Difficulty sleeping
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Mood swings and irritability
- Fever and chills
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Muscle aches and joint pain
- Profuse sweating
Withdrawal symptoms occur through progressive stages of intensity during fentanyl detox. Drug detox programs help clients go through each stage safely.
What Are the Stages of Fentanyl Detox?
Clients can expect to go through similar stages of detox when they stop using fentanyl. While there may be some variance in when symptoms begin, the progression of withdrawal symptoms won’t vary much from person to person.
The following are the stages of detox from fentanyl:
- First 12 hours: Most people won’t begin going through withdrawal until about 12 hours after they stop using fentanyl. They might begin to feel cravings and urges to take fentanyl. Physical symptoms can include sweating, nervousness, headaches, and irritability.
- Days One to Four: From a full day off of fentanyl to about four days after, clients will go through peak withdrawal. This means that symptoms increase in intensity to the point of feeling unbearable. Many people relapse during this stage when they try to detox alone because they cannot handle the symptoms. However, with professional support, clients can make it through this challenging stage.
- Days Five to Ten: Physical symptoms taper offer after their peak. Most people stop having physical symptoms by the end of the first week, though some symptoms could linger for nearly two weeks.
- Days Ten and Beyond: After a person’s physical symptoms subside, they typically display mental and emotional health symptoms. This is because many people misuse fentanyl to mask underlying issues. In addition, some people have post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), where symptoms linger for much longer than usual.
Throughout detox, clients get medical and psychological support to manage withdrawal symptoms. One of the most effective treatments for fentanyl withdrawal combines medications with behavioral therapy called medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction?
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for fentanyl addiction uses FDA-approved medications to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and lower the risk of relapse. MAT programs can help a person throughout detox and the first months or years of recovery from fentanyl addiction.
Medications used during our MAT program include:
Clients at Buckhead Behavioral Health can continue MAT after detox to help them engage in treatment following detox.
What Happens After Fentanyl Detox?
After fentanyl detox, clients begin to work on their long-term recovery from addiction. While detox programs are a critical step, clients are at risk of relapsing if they don’t continue treatment afterward. Clients must address the underlying causes of their addiction, learn how to manage relapse triggers, and find healthy coping mechanisms to manage everyday stress to fully recover from addiction.
The following are programs that we offer at Buckhead Behavioral Health after fentanyl detox:
- 90-day drug and alcohol rehab
- Outpatient drug rehab programs
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- Alumni program
Quit Fentanyl Misuse Today
Many people addicted to fentanyl never intend to become addicted. Rather, they misused the drug to relieve underlying physical pain or mental health symptoms. However, over time, fentanyl misuse can lead to an addiction and negatively impact every aspect of a person’s life.
Detox from fentanyl takes time and isn’t easy. But, you are not alone.
Buckhead Behavioral Health is here for you when you are ready to quit fentanyl. Contact us today to begin your recovery from fentanyl addiction.