The opioid crisis has impacted millions of Americans by claiming lives and ripping families apart. There are several opioids that have harmed people, but one drug, in particular, has increased in popularity in recent years and that drug is fentanyl.
Fentanyl desensitizes the brain and is extremely dangerous but recovery from this addiction is possible. When beginning the rehabilitation process there is a withdrawal period that can be very scary for the person recovering and their loved ones. There are several signs that come along with it and they should not be ignored.
Keep reading to learn about fentanyl withdrawal and how to cope with the symptoms.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is traditionally used to treat severe pain. It is a powerful drug and is fifty to one hundred times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl is also made and sold illegally and that has accounted for a lot of its destruction.
Several overdoses and deaths have been caused as a result of the illegally made form of the drug. This form is oftentimes mixed with heroin or cocaine and gives a more euphoric and addictive experience to the user. The drug alone caused over 30,000 deaths in 2018 and is damaging families all over the country.
As powerful as this drug is, the detox process can also take it’s toll on the body with several symptoms that individuals and their loved ones should recognize.
When weening off of fentanyl it is common for people to experience depression. Users can begin to feel empty and hopeless inside and will share many symptoms of clinical depression.
This is a part of the grieving process of the body not being in contact with the drug that it depended on for so long. Depression symptoms differ from person to person but if you notice you or your loved one sinking further into an episode and becoming suicidal, seek help immediately.
Always remember that this is temporary and that the outcome of the withdrawal period will be positive.
Another symptom includes body aches. Your body may experience a series of headaches and muscle pains because it is yearning for the drugs again.
The aches are temporary and usually last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks before getting over the initial shock and the body reaching homeostasis. Individuals may also have seizures and vomit as a form of purging their body of the toxins.
Insomnia is also a common symptom of fentanyl withdrawal. This could last for well over six months before the body establishes a normal sleeping pattern. Insomnia can be a scary symptom to deal with and can lead to other problems such as anxiety.
It’s important to avoid taking sleeping medications due to their addictive nature and to focus on mental exercises to help get sleep. Establishing sleeping rituals such as a set bedtime or taking a relaxing bath at night can help individuals get into a normal routine.
Be Patient During the Fentanyl Withdrawal Period
All of the symptoms outlined are a part of the process of becoming a healthier person for yourself and your family. If you or a loved one are working towards stopping fentanyl usage the most important thing to do is to be aware and be patient.
Fentanyl withdrawal takes time and can be scary, but knowing what to expect can make for a smoother transition.
Check out our website for more information on recovery and the treatment programs that we offer.