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How Long Do Fentanyl Withdrawals Last?

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and fact-checked by an addiction expert.
Clinically Reviewed By: Karen Williams, LPC
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and fact-checked by an addiction expert.

How long do Fentanyl withdrawals last? Well, fentanyl is an extremely strong opioid, that presents specific challenges in the detox and withdrawal process. 

Here’s what you need to know about how long fentanyl withdrawals last. 

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Contents

How Long Do Fentanyl Withdrawals Last?

Fentanyl addiction differs for every individual, and so does the withdrawal process. The intensity or frequency of the pain or symptoms an individual with substance abuse disorder will deal with heavily depends on their usage, environment, and family history (genetics1). Note: this might all seem like bad news at first but keep reading; there’s hope.  If you’ve used fentanyl for quite some time and, as a result, are in a weaker physical state, you’re likely to have a harder time going through withdrawal and need more support. On top of this, if you have had a long history of drug abuse, it tends to alter the way your brain works and make individuals more susceptible to cravings and compulsions. So, the longer you abuse the drug, the more likely you will encounter challenges and experience a difficult recovery. These factors do play an important role in fentanyl withdrawal. With each unique case, the withdrawal timeline can shorten or prolong.

A general Fentanyl withdrawal timeline:

· 8-30 Hours:

Mild withdrawal symptoms begin.

· 36-72 Hours:

The most intense symptoms begin with physical pain and mental excruciation.

· 5-8 Days:

The individual might start feeling normal with mild or unnoticeable symptoms.  

· A Few Weeks Later:

The after-effects of withdrawal begin with mild physical pain (more prone to feeling pain) and psychological imbalance (depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety). These symptoms may last for months but can be helped with proper medical care and a supportive, encouraging environment.  

How Long Does Fentanyl Withdrawal Take For Heavy Users?

As discussed above, the withdrawal’s severity and longevity depend on many individual factors, such as genetics, history of usage, and lifestyle habits. If an individual has been misusing drugs for an extended period, it will likely take weeks or months to be stable again. Prolonged drug usage alters how our brain works, meaning that our brain no longer understands how to function without the drug in our body. So the cravings and compulsions to return to the comfort of drugs are pretty attractive. More extended usage also makes the individual more prone to relapse, possibly restarting their withdrawal detox multiple times. Therefore, the duration of withdrawal varies according to the individual, their circumstances, and their case. You would be surprised how resilient the brain and the human body is while going through the withdrawal process. It’s amazing to see someone who thought they couldn’t get through withdrawals, get back to life in a few a weeks time.

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Do I Need To Go To Detox For Fentanyl Withdrawal?

The first step of fentanyl recovery is detox. A medically assisted detox allows individuals to receive medical support and medications that will help ease their symptoms and make withdrawal as comfortable as possible.

Besides the obvious benefits, it is morally encouraging to have a support system and professionals helping you change your life and leave behind damaging habits.

Furthermore, clinical professionals can provide you with appropriate counseling and therapy.

Working with a professional counselor, you can reach the root cause of the problem and eliminate the reason behind the craving to begin with.

Lastly, you will also be taught relapse prevention skills that will ensure you continue living the healthy, positive life you rightly deserve.

Should I Try To Taper Myself Off Of Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful and addictive opioid. Because the vast majority of fentanyl that is on the street today is made in clandestine labs, there’s no telling of a consistent dosage among the pills.

Also, when the intensity of the drug is at such a high level of severity, it is never advised to try to go cold turkey or taper yourself off them.

Drug addiction is a huge stigma in our society that often creates hesitance in asking for help or receiving it.

But it is essential to understand that fentanyl addiction is dangerous and trying to get off of it on your own can result in fatal damages.

Fentanyl can speed up an individual’s heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure.

It is also a drug that quickly alters the chemistry of your brain.

Deciding to improve the quality of your life is a brave step. But immediately after this, one should choose to ask for medical help.

Medical and clinical professionals understand fentanyl abuse disorders and how to treat them properly. They will know how to treat the condition using medications and therapies and provide aftercare for long-lasting support.

The treatment provided by a doctor is likely to result in no chances of relapse, a healthy recovery, and a desire to live your life to the fullest again.

Can I Use Other Opioids To Help Me Come Off Of Fentanyl?

While it might be tempting to try to use a less powerful opioid to come off of Fentanyl, the truth remains that it’s still unsafe and will likely not work.

The object contributing to the disease cannot also be the treatment of the disease. Using an opioid to taper off another is only considered safe when administered under supervision of a doctor.

The only medication that you should use during your withdrawal are ones prescribed by the doctor .

Besides these medications, the doctor might prescribe an antidepressant, sleeping pills, beta-blockers, or painkillers as they see fit.

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If You’re Addicted To Fentanyl, Please Know This

The recovery process will be challenging, and there will be many times when it will seem like you can’t push through.

It might seem the easier, softer way to go back to fentanyl use and maybe try again later.

It is essential to understand that Fentanyl use disorder is a mental health disorder.

Getting yourself the help you deserve might seem scary, but it will save your life.

The benefits of recovery are not just limited to you but also those around you.

You will notice that when you treat yourself with kindness and generosity, you can also do the same for others.

If you decide to get help, your relationship with your family members and loved ones will improve. You will find a support system and will be able to hold genuine friendships that are not based around procuring and using drugs.

By unlearning damaging patterns and understanding the root cause of the problem, you will be able to overcome the challenges of your substance abuse disorder.

Where Should I Go To Get Help With Fentanyl Withdrawal?

Once you have decided to recover, the first step would be to consult a drug and alcohol rehab. Cornerstone Healing Center is a fentanyl rehab in Scottsdale, Arizona that has years of experience treating Fentanyl addiction.

If we can’t help you for any reason, we will direct you towards a treatment center that can.

The recovery process begins with detox. Detox usually takes a week, after which the individual is kept in a residential program.

 These programs will allow you to completely step away from your daily life routine and give yourself the time to focus on your recovery.

During this period, you will go through therapy and counseling, where you are treated daily. You will also take part in group therapy and family therapy to build up your support system.

You will learn how to prevent relapse and how to push through temptations and cravings.

After a residential or inpatient program, you can move on to an outpatient program.

The last stage of recovery will begin with aftercare. The clients are often required to visit their therapist and are provided with a plan to ensure long-term success.

What is important to remember during your recovery is that you are not alone. You have the moral support of your family, friends, and medical professionals, who are rooting for your success.

Cornerstone Healing Center Specializes In Fentanyl Addiction

The fentanyl crisis2 in the US is at an all-time high, with a recorded high of 90% of overdoses caused by fentanyl and 65% of overdoses caused by opioids.

In just a year, there has been a 15% increase in the cases of overdoses in the US. Out of a total of 108,000 patients, 70,000 involved fentanyl usage.

With the crisis increasing, it is essential to put all the resources into use to halt the numbers.

Cornerstone Healing Center has been a constant pillar of support during times of crisis.

The center is filled with highly competent doctors who are experts in treating Fentanyl addiction.

The center provides the clients with a compassionate and helpful environment where they can understand their addiction and learn how to manage it confidently.

Sources

[1] Genetics and Addiction Study

[2] DEA: Fentanyl Awareness

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Published On: 10/19/2022

Author: Susana Spiegel

Author: Susana Spiegel

Susana is a recovery, mental health, and addiction education enthusiast with other 7 years of experience in addiction recovery herself. Susana holds a Bachelor of Arts from GCU. She is anti-addiction stigma and believes that accurate and factual information is essential to beginning the recovery process.

Clinical Reviewer: Karen Williams, LPC

Clinical Reviewer: Karen Williams, LPC

Karen is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 15 years experience. She not only specializes in addiction, but is in recovery as well. Karen is our clinical director.

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