Understanding Fentanyl Withdrawal from a Personal Perspective
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In recent memory, there are very few drugs that have caused as much damage as fentanyl. People are overdosing and dying of fentanyl left and right. I’ve suffered from substance abuse most of my adult life, and fentanyl really did me in. It almost killed me. Actually, it did kill me, a few times, but luckily I was able to be brought back with Narcan so I can share my story with you.
If you’re here to find out answers about how long does it take to detox from fentanyl, stick around. You are in the right place! I’ll break down the detox process, as well as shed some insights on what it was like from my personal perspective.
When I arrived at Changes Healing Center, I was going through brutal fentanyl withdrawal symptoms and was barely clinging to life. But I had hope on my side and a great medical supervision team. If I hadn’t gone through substance abuse treatment at Changes, I might not be here to write about my experiences!
Fentanyl Addiction: What You Probably Already Know…
Although this has been covered a lot in the media, I will review some facts for loved ones who might be reading as well. Here’s the basics: fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is fifty to a hundred times more powerful than morphine. It has become much more accessible in recent years and has led to a huge increase in overdose deaths across the United States.
And as we all definitely know, fentanyl carries with it unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that include physical and psychological symptoms. Both physical symptoms as well as mental ones can be extremely uncomfortable.
Depending on your level of use, fentanyl dependence can include mild withdrawal symptoms or severe withdrawal symptoms. It’s not a drug that is easy to detox from.
Medication-assisted treatment is most often recommended to overcome a fentanyl addiction. To find out how I and many others have overcome their fentanyl addiction, here’s a bit of my own background.
Becoming A Fentanyl Addict: A Litle Bit About Me
I suffered from opioid use disorder for many years, using Percocet, oxycodone, and other opioids. I eventually graduated to heroin and was exposed to fentanyl not long after my heroin addiction began. A lot of the heroin I was using was cut with fentanyl. When my fentanyl use began, I quickly began gambling with my mortality.
Fentanyl is a much more potent opioid than any of the others you will find on the street. Because it is so powerful, it is very easy to overdose on. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are also much more intense than any of the other withdrawal symptoms I’ve experienced with other drugs.
How it Started: Misusing Painkillers
A person’s risk of abusing fentanyl is heightened if you already have substance abuse issues. Fentanyl is legally prescribed to people suffering from chronic pain or other severe physical disabilities. Because it is such a powerful opioid, it is easily abused by those who are prone to drug abuse.
For me, I had been given Percs and Oxys after a car accident, but only found fentanyl later on. When I did, it was love at first shot. I am fortunate to have gotten clean, especially now when you can find blue fentanyl pills sold for a few dollars in pretty much every city in Arizona.
As I mentioned above, taking fentanyl regularly puts you at an increased risk of overdose. A fentanyl overdose is very dangerous and can lead to death much faster than most other opioids. The World Health Organization has pinpointed drugs like fentanyl and other synthetic opioids as being the cause of the rise in opioid-related deaths.
Getting Past the Worst of the Withdrawal Symptoms
Fentanyl withdrawal comes with all kinds of uncomfortable ailments. Common withdrawal symptoms associated with fentanyl include aches and pains, irritability, insomnia, chills, runny nose, and stomach issues. I’ve gone through acute withdrawal symptoms on multiple occasions, and they are ailments I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
When I got to Changes Healing Center, I had all the normal symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal. Going through fentanyl detox was by far the worst part. Once I got the drug out of my body, it was time to work on getting the drug out of my mind. I had a lot of high hopes when I got through the detox because I was able to focus on my recovery journey and not how sick I felt.
I’d been to addiction treatment programs in the past, but none had the level of support and compassion I found at Changes.
How Long Does Fentanyl Withdrawal Really Last?
The fentanyl withdrawal timeline isn’t the same for everyone, but the most acute symptoms usually last one to three days. A fentanyl withdrawal is very similar to any other opioid withdrawal. But for me, it was much harder to come off fentanyl than to detox from heroin, as the withdrawals seem to come on a lot more quickly and stronger.
The symptoms arise within a few hours following your last use. I’ve seen so many people addicted to fentanyl struggle with getting clean because the withdrawal symptoms are so bad and so uncomfortable.
The people at Changes know exactly how to help manage withdrawal symptoms and give you the strength that you need to work your way through it. The detox process is never going to be easy. It will always be a struggle, but you don’t have to do it alone. I’ve never met anyone who was able to get off a drug like fentanyl cold turkey.
The Lingering Mental Withdrawal Symptoms
Many people trying to recover from fentanyl addiction will experience the urge to use it again. As a matter of fact, anyone who has suffered from opioid abuse knows how intense the mental game can be. Even though an opioid addiction is primarily physical, there is something to be said about the mental withdrawal symptoms.
While physical fentanyl withdrawal occurs and is dealt with fairly quickly during detox, the effects in my mind continue to this day.
I have been clean for two years from all opioids, and I still have moments where my brain desires it. It will stop me in my tracks sometimes. Even if I’m in a great mood and around supportive people, the urge pops up randomly. It’s simply the escapism that addiction is so rooted in. Many addicts abuse drugs to escape something. It’s usually either past trauma or future responsibilities, for me it was both.
Detox from Fentanyl and Riding the Emotional Rollercoaster
When you fall victim to drug addiction, it changes your brain. You train your brain to require that dopamine release. You push your mind and body to its limits, and anytime you do that you are going to suffer from some kind of emotional damage. When I was newly clean, it didn’t take much for me to suffer from mood swings and depressive thoughts.
Part of any ongoing recovery is emotional support and therapy. If you don’t work through your emotional and/or mental issues, it’s very easy to fall back into drug abuse. A large portion of addicts who get clean end up relapsing at some point. Addictive substances have a way of creeping back into your life if you are not vigilant, regardless of how much progress you’ve made through recovery.
Embracing Sobriety and Guarding Against Relapse
I had a great treatment plan in place at Changes, and I was consistently put to the test. Attending support groups has helped me tremendously, even if it hasn’t always been easy. You have to own up to your addiction and the mistakes that you’ve made. A huge part of recovery is taking responsibility.
Admitting that you’ve hurt people, including your family is difficult. I know I have caused pain to people that I love. I knew that when I was actively using drugs, but it was easy for me to avoid dealing with those feelings because I could just go get high. Not having drugs in your life anymore makes you have to face these things and own up to them.
Reach Out to Changes and Start Your Own Recovery Story!
The more I started talking and being honest about the pain I caused myself and my family, the better my recovery went. It was amazing to watch my progress in real-time. The more you commit to recovery, the easier it becomes. It isn’t the easiest process, but it is by far the most rewarding thing I’ve ever achieved in my life.
In reading a bit about my story and the detoxification process I went through, I hope you have hope for your own recovery, or to get help for someone you care about. Getting clean is very possible, and if I can get two years off fetty, so can anyone!
Reach out to Changes Healing Center and give them a call. Do it today, and see what support options they can offer. I know that single call made so much difference in my life, and I bet it can for you too!