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Fentanyl Detoxification

The National Institute on Drug Abuse refers to fentanyl as a “powerful opioid analgesic,” one that has a structure similar to morphine. However, fentanyl is between 50 and 100 times more potent than morphine, and it can do extensive and irreparable damage in an exceedingly short period of time. In recent years, fentanyl has gained media traction seeing as it has become responsible for thousands of overdose-related deaths on an annual basis. An increased demand for heroin has led many drug dealers to cut their product with fentanyl in order to increase its street value. In most cases, fentanyl will be used to treat severe or chronic pain in a hospital setting. It is very uncommon for this medication to be prescribed, even for the treatment of moderate to severe pain-related disorders, because it is so potent and habit-forming.

Just like other potent opioid narcotics like morphine and heroin, fentanyl works by binding to opioid receptors within the brain, blocking feelings of pain and stimulating feelings of euphoria. After using this specific drug several times, changes will begin to take place within the brain. After prolonged use (weeks, months or years depending on the individual), sensitivity within the brain will be diminished, making it nearly impossible to feel pleasure without fentanyl. At CuraWest we understand how serious fentanyl addiction is and how severe the symptoms of withdrawal can be. For this reason, we have carefully developed a program of quality clinical care geared towards pain-free fentanyl detox and consistent client comfort. Our private, homestyle retreat lends itself to physical, emotional and psychological healing.

About Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid, most commonly used to treat moderate or severe pain – either chronic or acute. This specific medication is typically confined to a hospital setting, and used to treat the pain that follows an invasive surgical procedure or a significant accident. Individuals who use this drug for any extended period of time will begin to develop a tolerance, meaning that more fentanyl is required in order for the same physical result to be produced. For this reason (amongst others), fentanyl is rarely used as anything other than a short-term solution.

The fentanyl that is associated with thousands of annual drug-related overdose deaths is not the same as the fentanyl prescribed by medical professionals. This fentanyl is man-made in a lab and sold illegally. Because this drug is so powerful, it only takes a very small amount in order for a high to be produced, which is why so many drug dealers are combining it with other chemical substances, like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. At CuraWest we understand how severe and life-threatening a fentanyl addiction can be, regardless of the amount of time an individual has been actively abusing the drug. We have carefully developed a quality clinical detoxification program, where men and women of all ages and walks of life can safely withdraw from this potent substance in a homestyle retreat. The level of clinical care and comfort we are dedicated to providing cannot be found in a state-run facility or a traditional hospital setting.

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Fentanyl Abuse and Addiction

The American Journal of Psychiatry published an article discussing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) criteria for substance abuse and dependence disorders. According to the DSM-5, fentanyl addiction occurs when any of the below-listed symptoms occur within a 12 month time period.

Common symptoms of fentanyl addiction include:

  • More fentanyl is taken that anticipated. Perhaps an individual attempts to take the medication as prescribed, but ultimately ends up taking a higher dose without originally planning to
  • There is a desire to cut back or quit, coupled with an inability to do so for any extended period of time
  • A good portion of time spent obtaining and using fentanyl and recovering from fentanyl use
  • Psychological cravings to use fentanyl are consistently present, and can be overwhelming at times
  • An individual begins to experience personal consequences as a result of long-term fentanyl abuse
  • The individual continues to use in spite of these consequences
  • A tolerance will eventually develop, meaning that more fentanyl is required in order to produce the same “high.”
  • Withdrawal symptoms occur when fentanyl is not available or when the individual attempts to quit suddenly

Fentanyl Withdrawal – Signs and Symptoms

There are many symptoms associated with fentanyl withdrawal, all which need to be overseen by a team of experienced medical professionals and treated in an inpatient medical detox facility. They typically take hold within 12-30 hours after the last use, peaking in severity within the first 24 hours.

The more common symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal include:

  • Flu-like symptoms, such as watering eyes, runny nose, stomach cramping, night sweats, tremors and fatigue
  • Elevated heart rate, which can lead to heart palpitations if left untreated
  • Insomnia and other sleep-related issues
  • Severe gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and chronic constipation
  • Extreme anxiety and depression, which can lead to panic attacks or suicidal ideation
  • General feelings of physical discomfort
  • Intense psychological cravings (Which can lead to relapse if not treated in a medical detox facility – this is one of the main reasons why medical detox is necessary. At CuraWest we effectively treat psychological cravings with a combination of Medication Assisted Treatment, psychiatric intervention and intensive therapy.)

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Why is Medical Detox Necessary?

When it comes to fentanyl withdrawal, medical detox will always be necessary While the physical symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal are not typically life-threatening, they can cause extreme physical and psychological discomfort when left untreated. At CuraWest we utilize a proven combination of medical, therapeutic and holistic detox methods. Individuals who have been suffering from fentanyl abuse or dependence very often benefit from Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that numerous medications are effective in treating the more severe symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal, including our most often prescribed withdrawal medication buprenorphine (Suboxone). NIDA also suggests that a comprehensive approach to detox is the most effective. At CuraWest we provide one of the most integrated and highly individualized detox programs available – one that far exceeds the level of clinical care one might receive in a state-run facility or in a traditional hospital setting.

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    Our Simple Admissions Process

    At CuraWest every single step of our medical detox program – from the admission process to the eventual transition to a higher level of clinical care – is simple, straightforward and stress-free. As soon as you become willing to seek the help you need and deserve for fentanyl dependence, give us a call and we will set to work developing admission plans. Our Treatment Advisors are standing by 24/7 to help in every way possible. They conduct brief over-the-phone assessments to determine whether or not medical detox is the logical next step, and if it is deemed to be clinically appropriate they will conduct a free, no-obligation insurance benefit check to determine whether or not your medical detox will be covered by your insurance carrier. We will establish travel plans for you when a time for admission is set. To begin your personal journey of fentanyl addiction recovery, give us a call at CuraWest today (888) 693-1794.