How to Stop Taking Fentanyl Safely
When it comes to quitting the synthetic opioid drug fentanyl, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, but there are certain things that everyone struggling with addiction can do to increase their chances of success. These include tapering their dose, using medication-assisted treatment, and working with a healthcare provider to support their mental and behavioral health.
Quitting fentanyl can seem impossible, but it’s within reach. To find the right fentanyl addiction treatment center for you, search Zinnia Health locationsonline or call (855) 430-9439 to speak with our team of admissions specialists.
What Are The Steps to Quit Fentanyl?
If you are looking to quit fentanyl, you can take the following steps.
Step 1. Assess Your Use of Fentanyl
Understanding your relationship with fentanyl will help you determine the best approach to quitting.
It’s important to reflect on why you use it and its effects on you, so you can work toward a balanced lifestyle. A mental or behavioral health professional can help you understand the underlying reasons behind your addiction.
Step 2. Decide Your Preference for Treatment
Once you decide to quit fentanyl, don’t try to stop cold turkey. The withdrawal timeline is different for everyone, but you can expect it to last 2-3 weeks.
Given the potency and severe side effects associated with fentanyl use, you should seek out a confidential, judgment-free detox center where you can go through the initial withdrawal process.
Once you complete the detox, you can choose from inpatient care at a residential facility or outpatient care, where you attend appointments on your own time. This part of the recovery can take a few months or more.
Step 3. Find a Treatment Center in Your Area
After deciding how to move forward with treatment, the next step is to reach out to a facility you trust.
Aside from assessing their ability to support you through the process, consider their distance to your work/home (especially if you’re considering an outpatient program) and their ability to provide medication-assisted detox and other services.
Can You Quit Fentanyl Cold Turkey?
You don’t have to quit cold turkey, and it can actually be dangerous if you try to just stop taking fentanyl after your body has become dependent on it. Quitting cold turkey can lead to severe discomfort, cravings, and a higher risk of relapse.
Instead of trying to quit on your own, which can feed into the addiction cycle, ask a healthcare provider about opioid use and recovery. Substance abuse is a complex problem, and many evidence-based programs are out there to help you get through the recovery process safely.
How Long Does It Take to Quit Fentanyl?
The amount of time it takes a person to recover from fentanyl addiction depends entirely on the individual.
The following can all change your recovery timeline:
- How long you’ve been taking fentanyl
- The amount of fentanyl you take
- Whether or not you’ve been mixing fentanyl with other substances
Co-occurring disorders, such as pain, depression, and anxiety, can also change the approach to recovery and the total length of time it takes to quit. It’s also important to think about what you consider “quitting” to be.
The initial detox process may last 2-3 weeks, and this is the period in which you’ll stop taking fentanyl and give your body time to adjust to being drug-free. However, the recovery process in the following months is just as crucial to preventing relapse and steadying you on the path to a sober life.
Developing a plan of action can make quitting fentanyl easier and help you stay focused on your goals. If a plan feels like too much right now, try taking small steps like gathering more information or setting up an appointment with a healthcare provider.
Is It Hard to Get off Fentanyl?
Fentanyl addiction can be difficult to overcome, especially when considering its potentially severe withdrawal symptoms. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), some of these symptoms may start as soon as a few hours after the last dose and include muscle and bone pain.
Quitting fentanyl can be one of the most challenging steps you ever take, so it is important to remember that you don’t need to face this alone.
There are many resources available to help you on your journey to recovery. Plus, certain medications can effectively treat fentanyl use disorder in individuals looking for a more medically-minded approach to quitting.
Can Someone Taper Off Fentanyl?
Tapering off a drug is sometimes recommended to minimize severe withdrawal symptoms and make the transition into recovery easier. Alternatively, your treatment program may suggest a MAT program.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can help manage fentanyl withdrawal symptoms while immediately taking you off of fentanyl. This is sometimes preferred due to the serious risks of fentanyl. Some of the medications a program may use include:
- Buprenorphine: A partial opioid agonist that can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It works by activating opioid receptors in the brain, but to a lesser extent than fentanyl.
- Methadone: A full opioid agonist. It has a longer duration of action than fentanyl, which can help reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
- Naltrexone: An opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids on the brain. Doctors use it to help reduce cravings and prevent relapse in people who have completed detox.
It is important to note that these medications should only be used under the supervision of a medical professional, as they can also be addictive. The best medication for fentanyl withdrawal depends on the individual’s specific needs and circumstances.
What Happens to Your Brain When You Stop Taking Fentanyl?
The side effects of fentanyl withdrawal are serious and include opioid withdrawal syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by dependency on opioids.
Symptoms can include:
- Runny nose
- Flu-like aches
Having a professional medical team involved in any detoxification process is essential, as it dramatically reduces the risks of severe withdrawal symptoms, which can include more serious complications such as seizures or heart attacks in some cases.
Seeking help for opioid dependence also improves your chances for successful treatment of the condition, leading to better physical and mental health outcomes in the long term.
Fentanyl use carries an extremely high risk of overdose and death. If you are seeking help for yourself or someone else, it’s crucial to understand the risks and signs of an overdose.
Signs of a fentanyl overdose include:
• Slow or shallow breathing
• Unresponsive to outside stimulus
• Pale or blue-tinged skin
• Loss of consciousness
• Slurred speech
• Shaking or tremors
Working with a medical professional to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your needs is essential.
How to Get Help for a Fentanyl Addiction Near You
It’s true that overcoming an opioid addiction isn’t easy, but it’s possible if you stay on track with your plan and persevere through the challenging moments.
It may seem overwhelming, but if you remember to seek supportive resources like a rehab center, support group, or therapy, you’re more likely to remain committed to your goal.
Remember that setbacks are just a part of life and often an opportunity for growth. With enough courage and determination, you can overcome these bumps in the road and ultimately achieve the freedom from fentanyl addiction you’ve been hoping for.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, it’s essential to understand that help is available. Fentanyl is dangerous, but quitting is possible with the right support and resources. If you’re ready to take the first step, search Zinnia Health locations online or call (855) 430-9439 to speak with our admissions specialists.