Prescription opioids like fentanyl are widely abused substances, often requiring an individual to undergo processes like fentanyl recovery. These drugs are used to treat chronic and severe pain, but unfortunately for the patient taking the substance, they can become highly addictive.
This article will cover the five most common things to expect during fentanyl recovery, such as withdrawal symptoms, and how to combat these symptoms, alongside some processes and situations an individual overcoming addiction should prepare to experience.
Whether you know someone attempting to overcome their addiction or you’re on the journey to recovery yourself, the information you’re about to read should help you gain more insight into what you should look out for during your recovery.
What is Fentanyl?
Before anything, it’s important to learn about the drug itself and its impact on the body.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Initially, this drug was developed in a patch form to manage pain in cancer patients.
Fentanyl makes the user feel relaxed and euphoric, and helps relieve pain. But, abuse can lead to symptoms such as the following:
- Urinary retention
- Pupillary constriction
- Respiratory depression
This drug’s potency brings significant health effects, and aside from the ones listed above, it can lead to more severe effects like seizures and death.
Expect Withdrawal Symptoms During Fentanyl Recovery
As with any drug, a person overcoming addiction can expect to deal with some withdrawals. As far as fentanyl withdrawal symptoms, an individual may experience the following:
- Aches and pains
- Stomach pain
- Excessive yawning and exhaustion
- A runny nose and teary eyes
- Trouble breathing
- Increased heart rate
They may also experience the following emotional withdrawal symptoms:
- Mood swings
- Intense cravings
- Cognitive issues
Emotional symptoms can make the physical ones seem even more intense, so it’s essential to have a strong support system that the individual can rely on when things get tough.
Expect to Use Medications to Counteract Withdrawal Symptoms During Fentanyl Recovery
In some cases, a person overcoming addiction may need to take a different opioid agonist to combat withdrawal symptoms. One of the most common — and FDA-approved — partial opioids used in recovery is buprenorphine.
Brands like Bunavail, Suboxone, and Zubsolv all contain buprenorphine and naloxone. These drugs act on opioid receptors in the brain like fentanyl, but to a lesser degree; this helps lessen the withdrawal symptoms without producing a high, making it easier to wean the individual off fentanyl.
Alongside opioid agonist drugs:
- Antidepressants can help with mood.
- Antihistamines can help with insomnia or restlessness.
- Gastrointestinal medications can help with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps.
- Nonsteroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs can help with muscle aches.
- Blood pressure medications like clonidine help regulate heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.
Medical detox is a highly effective way to treat withdrawal symptoms, but a persons should always do it with the help of a professional. Detox centers offer programs that can help individuals tackle withdrawal symptoms safely and effectively.
Expect the Recovery Process to Take Time
Quitting a drug cold turkey isn’t just difficult, but it can actually be harmful. An individual overcoming a fentanyl addiction should expect the process to take a while, even with the help of a recovery center. Tapering off a drug with the help of medications, as we covered, is going to be the best way to wean off the drug.
Recovery takes time, and a lot of hard work. But, with patience and trust in a support system and rehab program, a person can expect to make significant process and even overcome their addiction over time.
Expect a Potential Relapse During Fentanyl Recovery
Relapse is a very real possibility during the recovery process. Of course, there are ways that an individual can reduce the chances, but it’s difficult at the beginning. It’s important for an individual ro remember that sometimes, a relapse is just part of the recovery process and just because they may fall into one, that they haven’t failed.
It can be easy for someone overcoming addiction to feel as if all hope is lost after relapsing. The best thing to do is to accept it and see if there are other steps that you can take to avoid another relapse in the future. Having a strong support system is perhaps the best way to avoid further relapses.
Expect to Detox with Help
Overcoming addiction by oneself is extremely difficult, and attempting to detox alone can be dangerous. There are certain things that a person going through detox may need to know. For example, they shouldn’t be having caffeine. Without the right support system and professionals overlooking the process, an individual could relapse or put themselves at risk of a fatal mistake.
A person looking to overcome addiction will be assigned a group of dedicated doctors, therapists, and social workers when they check in to a rehab center. This team of professionals works closely together with the patient to guide them through the recovery program. At the same time, a strong support system will help tremendously while the individual is at home.
Get the Care You Need At Ardu Recovery Center
Like any form of recovery, fentanyl recovery can be challenging. The withdrawal symptoms, alongside the physical and emotional damage it brings, can be detrimental to a person’s well-being. Luckily, recovery programs exist to help individuals get the care they need.
If you or someone you know is trying to overcome a fentanyl addiction, contact us at Ardu Recovery Center. Our facilities in Provo, Utah, have the programs and services you need to get your life back on track. Don’t hesitate to reach out today at 801-512-0086 or fill out our form for more information on how our rehab program can help you or your loved one rise up against addiction.