Detoxing from home is preferable to having to go to a hospital or rehabilitation (rehab) center for many people suffering from a substance Use Disorder (SUD). However, fentanyl withdrawal can be deadly.
Fentanyl addiction is a newer drug. Also, it is powerful and plays a significant role in the opioid epidemic. As you look for help, do not get discouraged. There are always risks involved in detox. However, with proper medical care and attention, they minimize.
We are here to help you find the best process for you. Call us at 706-480-8733 today. You deserve to be healthy and happy. Remember can do this!
Fentanyl May Be The Most Dangerous Opioid
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid, like morphine, but it is much stronger. It is a prescription drug that is illegal. Like morphine, it can treat patients with severe pain, especially after surgery.
Tolerance occurs when you need a higher and more frequent amount of a drug to get the desired effects.
Other names for Fentanyl are:
- China Girl
- China White
- Dance Fever
- Murder 8
- Tango & Cash
Synthetic opioids have become extremley common in drug overdose deaths throughout the United States. In 2017, 59.8 percent of opioid-related deaths involved Fentanyl compared to 14.3 percent in 2010.
Fentanyl & Overdosing
Yes, a person can overdose on Fentanyl. An overdose occurs when a drug produces severe effects and life-threatening symptoms. When people overdose, their breathing can slow or stop. This leads to oxygen-deprivation. Unfortunately, lack of oxygen can lead to a coma, permanent brain damage, and even death.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment
As with other Opioid Use Disorders (OUDs), medication combined with behavioral therapies has proven effective in treating addiction.
- Medications: Buprenorphine and methadone work by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
- Counseling: Behavioral therapies for OUDs with drugs can help people modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use.
- Motivational interviewing: This is a patient-centered counseling style that addresses a patient’s mixed feelings about change.
Addiction to Fentanyl can cause physical dependence. Dependence means that a person relies on the drug to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Over time, more of the drug is needed for the same effect. This need is called drug tolerance. The more you have, the more you want, the more you need.
How long it takes to become physically dependent varies with each person. When the person stops taking drugs, the body needs time to adjust. This is the time to expect symptoms. However, fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can also occur at any time a long-term user attempts to cut back.
Early symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal, for instance, include:
- Muscle aches
- Increased tearing
- Runny nose
Late symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal, for example, include:
- Abdominal cramping
- Dilated pupils
Symptoms usually start within 12 hours of your last fentanyl usage. How long they last depend upon many factors. For instance, these factors include:
- How much the addict uses
- The length of use
- The potency
However, the suffering is worth it. Although, it may not seem like it at the time. Detox and treatment can be the best thing that has ever happened for you or a loved one.
Fentanyl Detoxing from Home
Withdrawal from these drugs on your own can be challenging and may be dangerous. Treatment most often involves medicines, counseling, and support.
Withdrawal can take place in several settings:
- At-home, using medicines and a healthy support system.
- Using facilities set up to help people with detox
- In a regular hospital, if symptoms are severe.
If you choose to detox at home, potential danger signs include:
- Elevated blood sodium level
- Heart failure
If you see any of these signs, it is time to call us and get help. People can die from fentanyl withdrawal. Do not wait until it is too late. Call us today.
Detox Is Not Enough
Millions of people use drugs to cope with physical and emotional problems. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 20.8 million adults, or nearly 9 percent of the U.S. adult population, were suffering from substance use disorders in 2015. Despite the need, only 11 percent of them received treatment at a specialized facility.
Traditional addiction treatment begins with a process called detox, which is meant to filter drugs from the body while managing withdrawal symptoms. During this time, which can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks, the patient may receive medications such as methadone and buprenorphine to minimize drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
The problem with detox is—it isn’t enough. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, detox alone does little to change long-term drug use. In fact, it increases patients’ risk of death from overdose if they do not transition to substance abuse treatment after discharge. While the assumption is that all patients will transition from detox into an outpatient or residential treatment program, the reality is that few patients do. A 2012 study of more than 200,000 individuals in California found that less than 11 percent of detox admissions were followed by admission into maintenance treatment within 14 days.
In short, there is no quick fix for addiction. Detoxing your body of harmful and addictive substances, whether that’s alcohol, opiates, or even junk food, is only the beginning of a long and arduous recovery process. You will need social and emotional support, and to acknowledge the complex underlying factors that led to these behaviors in the first place.
Home or Ambulatory Detox
Most people identify the home setting as the preferred option for supervised detoxification and many might be more willing to undertake detox if they do not require hospitalization. The option to detoxify at home might be especially appealing to psychostimulant users who are often reluctant to access mainstream treatment services. In addition, as the withdrawals from psychostimulants may be protracted, a hospital setting may be impractical for many individuals.
During home detoxification, the person is supervised in their home by a caregiver and receives daily visits from a registered nurse or a general practitioner. With ambulatory (or outpatient) detoxification, the person attends the local drug treatment service or the local hospital (in some regional areas) daily or sees his/her general practitioner daily or every other day.
The detoxification process should be monitored and appropriate interventions undertaken. The aim of ambulatory or home-based detoxification is to:
- manage the symptoms of withdrawal in a supportive environment
- monitor the person’s mood
- provide an opportunity for early intervention if adverse consequences arise
- educate people about the course of withdrawal and the likelihood of enduring symptoms
- maintain commitment to withdrawal
- plan for and co-ordinate aftercare.
Ambulatory or home detoxification treatment can be considered suitable ONLY if the following criteria are met:
- no severe or complicated withdrawal is anticipated
- no medical complications requiring close observation or treatment in a hospital setting are evident
- psychiatric symptoms such as psychosis or depression can be safely managed in a community setting
- the patient has strong social supports (family members and caregivers require education and support themselves)
- the home environment is drug-free, supportive and stable
- the patient has not previously failed detoxification, and is committed to withdrawal.
Community residential setting
When the home environment is not supportive of detoxification, or where one or more previous attempts at ambulatory or home detoxification have been unsuccessful, the person can be referred to a community residential setting for detoxification. This setting is suitable for persons who meet the criteria outlined below:
- no severe or complicated withdrawal is anticipated
- no medical complications requiring close observation or treatment in a hospital setting are evident; and
- psychiatric symptoms such as psychosis or depression can be safely managed in a community residential setting.
Hospital or specialist detox setting
Admission to a hospital or a specialist detoxification unit may be less warranted for fentanyl than for other drug types, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines. There is also considerable variation in criteria for admission among specialist detoxification settings. The following criteria are intended as a guide only:
- simultaneous dependence on alcohol or other drugs that would satisfy criteria for hospital admission
- severe dependence such that complicated withdrawal is anticipated
- serious medical complications requiring close observation or treatment in a hospital setting are evident
- significant psychiatric complications, specifically psychotic symptoms or severe depression and/or suicidal ideation that pose significant risk to the person or others and cannot be adequately or safely managed in a community setting
- has an unfavorable home environment or homeless
- the person has had multiple previously failed attempts at ambulatory detoxification
Yes, people can die from fentanyl withdrawal. It is generally thought that opiate withdrawal is unpleasant but not life-threatening, but death can, and does, occur. The complications of withdrawal are often underestimated and monitored inadequately.
However, with the proper support system, solid healthcare professionals, and the determination of what is best for each individual, getting clean from fentanyl is absolutely possible! Everyone involved, from the addict to family and friends, deserves to be healthy and happy.
If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at the number below. We want to help you find your road to recovery.
Written by Judith Raschka