Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid narcotic that is between 50 and 100 times more potent than morphine. This prescription medication is sometimes prescribed for the short-term treatment of severe pain, especially following surgery. However, fentanyl is also made and distributed illegally. In recent years, illicitly manufactured fentanyl has been contributing to increased rates of opioid overdose across the country. The potent synthetic opioid is currently responsible for the majority of overdose deaths throughout the U.S. Fentanyl detox in Orange County can help you or your loved one overcome dependency once and for all.
If you or someone close to you has been struggling with fentanyl addiction, seeking professional help is essential. At Pacific Sands Recovery, we have developed a fentanyl detox program that is both integrated and individualized. While medical detox is an important initial step, it must be immediately followed up by a higher level of care to be truly effective. For this reason, we also offer residential addiction treatment at our Orange County fentanyl rehab. Contact us today to learn more or to begin your personal healing journey.
What is Fentanyl?
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) describes fentanyl as, “A potent synthetic opioid drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as an analgesic (pain relief) and anesthetic. It is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic.”
Similar to other opioid analgesics, fentanyl works by binding to opioid receptors within the brain, leading to feelings of relaxation, pain relief, and euphoria. When taken in large doses, fentanyl also leads to a host of side effects including nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, pupillary constriction, and respiratory depression.
When taken as prescribed, fentanyl is effective for the treatment of severe, acute pain. However, overdosing on the substance is easy because of its potency. When a person experiences a fentanyl overdose they might experience cold and clammy skin, dangerously decreased heart rate and blood pressure, respiratory depression, coma, and death. In some cases, overdose can be reversed if emergency medical help is immediately sought.
Fentanyl can be snorted or sniffed, smoked, or used orally in a tablet or pill form. When manufactured illegally, the synthetic opioid is generally sold alone or in combination with heroin and other substances. Fentanyl has been identified in a range of counterfeit pills, which mimic pharmaceutical drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. In fact, the majority of people who overdose on fentanyl are unaware that they are consuming the drug.
Fentanyl is highly addictive because of its potency. Medical professionals generally prescribe the synthetic opioid for no longer than two weeks. However, physical dependence can occur even when fentanyl is taken exactly as prescribed.
What Happens During Fentanyl Detox?
Fentanyl addiction is treated with a combination of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and behavioral therapies. While medications for opioid use disorder are effective and life-saving, they must be coupled with a comprehensive recovery program. Active addiction impacts all areas of life. Therefore, mental, emotional, and spiritual health must be addressed once physical stabilization has been achieved.
Medications approved for the treatment of opioid use disorder include:
Methadone — A full opioid agonist, methadone works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and reducing drug cravings and symptoms of withdrawal.
Buprenorphine — An opioid receptor partial agonist, buprenorphine works by reducing symptoms of opioid withdrawal and eliminating drug cravings.
Naltrexone — An opioid receptor antagonist, naltrexone prevents fentanyl from attaching to opioid receptors, thereby rendering it ineffective (blocking its effects).
At Pacific Sands Recovery, we focus on mental, emotional, and spiritual healing, taking a whole-person approach to recovery. While MAT is an important piece of the puzzle, evidence-based therapies are just as vital. We offer Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), contingency management, and Motivational Interviewing (MI) as part of our curriculum of clinical care.
Visit the admissions page at Pacific Sands Recovery today to learn more about detox.
Fentanyl withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable, though it is rarely life-threatening. When treated appropriately, symptoms of opioid withdrawal tend to resolve completely within one to two weeks. Symptoms associated with fentanyl withdrawal include:
- Profuse sweating/night sweats.
- Muscle aches and joint pain.
- General feelings of physical discomfort.
- Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- Body tremors/uncontrollable shaking.
- Insomnia and other sleep-related issues.
- Anxiety and panic attacks.
- Severe and overwhelming drug cravings.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline
The severity and duration of fentanyl withdrawal depends on several factors, including:
- The frequency of fentanyl use.
- The amount of fentanyl taken on a daily basis.
- The presence of pre-existing conditions.
- Whether or not fentanyl was being used in conjunction with other substances.
In most cases, severe symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal peak within the first 48 hours after the final dose. Symptoms persist for around one week but can last longer in certain cases.
- 24 to 72 Hours After the Final Dose — Acute withdrawal symptoms develop. These symptoms must be treated in a medical detox center.
- Day 3 to 7 — Severe physical symptoms subside. Drug cravings are still intense.
- Day 7 On — A person might experience post-acute fentanyl withdrawal, which can consist of sleep-related issues, drug cravings, and mild anxiety or depression.
Fentanyl Detox In Orange County
In addition to providing our clients with a safe and comfortable detoxification experience, we provide them with the services they need to maintain sobriety. Physical stabilization is the main priority of medically monitored detox. However, at Pacific Sands Recovery, we believe that comprehensive healing should begin as early as detox. For this reason, we offer therapeutic intervention and dual-diagnosis treatment options. If you or someone you love has been battling a fentanyl addiction, we are here to help. Our fentanyl detox program focuses on more than safe drug withdrawal. We help our clients lay a solid foundation for continued success in sobriety. Our main priority is helping people of all ages in Orange County, California, and surrounding areas go on to lead to healthy, happy lives they deserve. Contact us today to begin your healing journey.