Prolonged usage of any opiate or synthetic opioid will cause withdrawal symptoms once regular use has ceased. Fentanyl is no different in this regard, but with potency nearly 80 times stronger than morphine it has the potential to accentuate withdrawal symptoms and dependence. Once an individual uses Fentanyl for an extended amount of time then discontinues use, they will experience withdrawal from the opioid. Even those who take Fentanyl as recommended by their doctor can experience these symptoms if they have been using the drug regularly.
Physical Symptoms of Fentanyl Withdrawal
There are many different physical symptoms of Fentanyl withdrawal. These symptoms can range from mild to extreme cases depending on length of use and amount consumed. Common symptoms include; abdominal pain, headache, muscular discomfort or joint pain, restless legs, nausea, diarrhea, decrease in energy, dry mouth, runny nose, watery or teary eyes, insomnia, chills, over -sensitivity in the body, decreased appetite, increased heart rate, and overall weakness in the body. These are the most common symptoms of withdrawal from prolonged Fentanyl abuse. Individuals vary in which symptoms affect them the most.
Psychological Effects of Fentanyl Withdrawal
Not only do the physical symptoms of Fentanyl abuse and withdrawal have an effect on an individual, but psychological problems may arise as well. When someone acquires a tolerance, or dependence, to Fentanyl it may have an effect on his or her brain chemistry. An individual coming off the drug may experience depression or high levels of anxiety. It is very common among those who abuse the drug to experience those psychological symptoms. Suffering from these symptoms increase the possibility for continued abuse and addictive behaviors. With the combination of physical withdrawal, as well as psychological problems due to withdrawal, Fentanyl withdrawal can be a very dangerous situation for those who have used or abused the drug for an extended period of time.
Treatment for Fentanyl Abuse
In cases of severe dependence, medical detoxification is recommended to ensure that the patient acquires the professional attention need to safely and comfortably come off of the drug. Generally, patients will receive medication specific to opiate abuse to assist in creating a comfortable transition from dependence to abstinence. A medical detox facility greatly reduces the chance of relapse as most of the physical withdrawal symptoms are decreased due to medication.
Inpatient addiction treatment centers are among the most successful options when combating Fentanyl addiction. Most treatment facilities offer a variety of therapy options to help the addict realize the root of their addiction and various programs to ensure long term sobriety is achieved. Many addicts have realized success through 12-step meetings. Continued care is recommend to increase chances of long-term sobriety. Sober living homes offer a safe place for addicts to transition back into society while still holding them accountable to their sobriety and maintaining structure. Outpatient treatment has also been successful in helping addicts achieve sobriety. Outpatient services may include group and individual therapy, case management and random urinalysis testing.