America’s opioid crisis continues to rage on. Unfortunately, this has resulted in fentanyl becoming one of the nation’s most prominent and lethal substances. The increase in the use and distribution of this exceptionally addictive drug has led to severe consequences for many. Furthermore, fentanyl overdose rates are only continuing to climb, which is why it is essential that fentanyl detox centers be available. Detox is the first step in getting clean and is a crucial part of an individual’s long-term recovery.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a type of synthetic opioid intended for pain management and prescribed for sufferers of chronic illnesses and terminal conditions. To add, fentanyl is particularly potent, proving to be 50 to 100 times stronger than opioids such as heroin. This relatively cost-effective drug is commonly used to cut other substances, due to its highly addictive nature.
Consequently, combining fentanyl with other drugs has led to higher fentanyl addiction rates and overdose deaths. Prescription fentanyl is distributed in the form of patches, oral and nasal sprays, lozenges, and tablets. Illegal fentanyl comes in the form of a powder, to be later snorted, injected, smoked, or orally ingested. Lastly, it can also be sold in counterfeit tablets, posing as other opioids.
Fentanyl plays a deadly role in America’s ongoing opioid epidemic. Not only is it extraordinarily addictive, but it often leads to lethal consequences as the drug is far too powerful. Fentanyl is so potent that less than two mg of this substance ensures death. To put this into perspective, a fatal dose of heroin equates to about 100 mg.
In 2020, almost 43,000 individuals lost their lives to a fentanyl overdose, with this drug accounting for 53% of the year’s drug overdose deaths. These high rates also reveal how quickly these numbers skyrocketed. In 2012, 2,600 fentanyl overdoses occurred. Men in the 25 to 44 age range have shown the most fentanyl-related deaths, with several of fentanyl’s victims having been high-profile celebrities.
These statistics further show the tragedy fentanyl leaves in its wake, especially when considering the loved ones affected by the drug’s destructive nature. They also highlight the need to detox from fentanyl in a safe and monitored environment. Thankfully, Detox Nashville offers medically-supervised drug and alcohol detox programs in Nashville, Tennesse to help prevent overdose and encourage recovery.
Fentanyl Addiction Symptoms
Identifying dependence and addiction in one’s self or in a loved one is essential in preventing overdose. People who are prescribed fentanyl for health issues or try it for recreation often develop a dependence. With physical dependence, they have to take more of the substance to achieve the same euphoric, pain-blocking feeling. Given the potency of the drug, this dependence soon leads to addiction.
The following signs and symptoms can be indicators of fentanyl misuse:
- Continuing fentanyl use despite seeing its negative emotional and physical effects
- Spending the majority of the time using or recovering from the drug
- Taking fentanyl for longer than prescribed
- Money troubles linked to overspending on substances
- Inability to quit fentanyl use despite numerous attempts
- Changes in sleeping patterns and eating habits
- Struggling to maintain school or work responsibilities
- Social withdrawal
- Engaging in risky behavior (i.e. driving under the influence of fentanyl)
- Confusion, nervousness, and agitation
- Fatigue, dizziness, and headache
- Intense cravings
- Psychological distress
- Withdrawal symptoms surfacing in the absence of the drug
What Happens During Detox in Nashville, TN?
Detox refers to the process of ridding the body of all drugs and toxins, so a person can begin treatment with a healthy body and mind. Nashville Detox offers a medically-supervised detox program to help our clients safely overcome their addiction to fentanyl. Our program starts with an initial assessment in which we learn about one’s history with addiction and any mental or physical health conditions. We also take the client’s general lifestyle and any genetic dispositions for addiction into account at this time.
Then, once we have a full understanding of one’s needs and circumstances, we can begin implementing a specialized detox plan. Our caring staff will monitor someone closely during the duration of detox. This ensures they remain stable and are as comfortable as possible. In addition to monitoring, we will also administer any necessary medications to aid withdrawal symptoms and ease any cravings. Clients remain in our detox program anywhere between five days to two weeks, depending on their personal needs.
Medications often provided through our medication-assisted treatment services include:
- Methadone. This opioid agonist makes the brain think someone is using the drug without getting them high.
- Buprenorphine. This medication works similarly to methadone as it is a partial opioid agonist.
- Clonidine. This medication is helpful in reducing the physical symptoms of withdrawal.
- Antidepressants. These can aid the mental health symptoms individuals might experience in recovery.
- Naltrexone. This relapse-prevention drug keeps users from getting high, even if they use opioids.
It is important to note detox is only the first step in the recovery process. Detox Nashville will be happy to refer someone to a reputable addiction treatment program, so they can continue their journey to a happy, sober future.
How Long Does It Take to Detox From Fentanyl?
Fentanyl withdrawal typically begins 12 to 24 hours after a person’s previous dose. These symptoms commonly peak within 48 hours. They can subside as soon as 72 hours after the individual’s last use of fentanyl. These time estimates are only a guideline as a person’s exact withdrawal timeline depends on several factors such as the severity of their addiction as well as their age, weight, and overall health.
Generally, withdrawal follows the below pattern:
The first in the withdrawal process, the anticipatory stage is associated with intense cravings and drug-seeking behavior. Individuals often feel nervous or fearful in this stage as they prepare for their symptoms to worsen.
The second stage constitutes the start of physical withdrawal symptoms. Early acute symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal may include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, aches, chills, and increased sweating.
Symptoms typically peak in the third stage of withdrawal. Individuals experience heightened cravings and potentially dangerous side effects such as rapid breathing, elevated blood pressure, and increased heart rate during this time.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)
Participating in a proper detox program in which individuals receive MAT and do not quit cold turkey reduces the chance of developing PAWS. This is essential in relapse prevention as those experiencing PAWS are very susceptible to triggers and continue to experience cravings. PAWS symptoms can last for weeks to months after the initial withdrawal process and include feelings of sadness and depression, insomnia, and anxiety.
Fentanyl Detox Withdrawal Symptoms
When an individual stops taking fentanyl, withdrawal symptoms and cravings typically occur. The body becomes accustomed to the drug and must adjust to its previous state. The exact side effects experienced during fentanyl detox and their severity depend on how often the person is using the substance and in what amount.
Generally, individuals can expect to experience the following withdrawal symptoms while detoxing from this particular opioid:
- Chills and excessive perspiration
- Irregular breathing
- Increased blood pressure and elevated heart rate
- Cold-like symptoms (runny nose, watery eyes, nasal congestion)
- General fatigue and weakness
- Sore joints and muscles
- Excessive yawning
- Upset stomach (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping)
- Wide pupils
- Feelings of anxiety and depression
- Uncharacteristic irritability and agitation
Comprehensive Fentanyl Detox Program in Nashville, TN
The time to get help is now as fentanyl addiction is extremely dangerous. It can severely impact your mental and physical health in addition to your professional life and interpersonal relationships. Detox Nashville offers effective detox programs near Nashville as well as Hendersonville, Tennessee. Our services include holistic treatment, wound care, MAT, and aftercare support to ensure you get the treatment you deserve.
To take the first step in your recovery journey, call our facility or visit our admissions page today.