When those who suffer from substance abuse disorder become deeply intertwined with a severe habit, things can quickly become unmanageable. For a user that’s hit or close to rock bottom, the worst possible place of existence is feeling like you’re stuck with nobody to help.

The reality is that after someone becomes dependent on a drug like fentanyl, rarely do they continue enjoying the use of the drug. Initially, the drug was used for the euphoric feeling. Eventually, it becomes a habit one must engage in to feel normal.

Most people with substance abuse issues dream of quitting one day. However, they’re prevented from achieving this either by a lack of a support system or a lack of resources for enrolling in treatment.

24 Hour Fentanyl Rehab Hotline

Luckily, rehab for fentanyl is much easier to enroll in, thanks to legislation passed concerning insurance. Nobody with the goal of recovering should have to suffer without access to treatment, and Emerald Isle seeks to provide help to as many people as possible.

Making the step to enter treatment is frightening, and it takes courage to pull the trigger finally. The following article outlines treatment options for fentanyl and what to expect during your time getting help for this deadly opioid.

What Is Fentanyl and Why Is It So Addictive?


Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid painkiller created to produce similar effects as heroin. Historically, fentanyl is only used for the gravest conditions perpetuated by chronic illness.

The drug is most commonly prescribed in transdermal patch form with the intended application in the area of pain the patient is experiencing. Otherwise, fentanyl comes in lozenge form and, at one point, was distributed as an inhaler but was pulled off the market because of fatalities.

Fentanyl is over 50 times more potent than heroin and over 100 times more powerful than morphine, making it the most dangerous controlled substance on the market. Currently, the drug is responsible for the disturbing surges in overdose deaths across the United States, which hit record-breaking numbers each of the last three years.

To put things in perspective, the number of overdose deaths in 2013 was slightly over 8,000. In 2021, the number was over upwards of 120,000. What makes this addictive drug compared to opiates like heroin and others?

The Addiction Potential of Fentanyl

Users become dependent on fentanyl because of the same chemical and biological processes that make it effective at relieving severe pain. Fentanyl’s medicinal and recreational effects come from its ability to stimulate endorphin production, and its potential for inducing withdrawal symptoms necessitates fentanyl addiction therapy.

When the body is under stress, endorphins cause a pleasant feeling. Fentanyl is used to rapidly release significant quantities of endorphins that alleviate pain since the body cannot create enough endorphins on its own to treat the discomfort.

How Fentanyl Works in the Brain

Users who take fentanyl recreationally experience a rush of pleasure as soon as the drug reaches the brain, even when there is no pain to be eased. This is where the sense of euphoria comes from when users abuse fentanyl.

The phrase “endogenous morphine” inspires the name “endorphin.” Natural endorphins have pain-relieving and feel-good effects similar to morphine.

Fentanyl is even faster than hydrocodone or heroin in releasing endorphins. Therefore, users are more prone to addiction, which produces more significant agony during withdrawal than other opioids.

When the body develops a tolerance to the heightened levels of endorphins generated by fentanyl, it becomes unable to operate absent fentanyl or another drug that produces the same level of endorphins. Fentanyl withdrawal causes the brain to send conflicting signals to the body since standard message transmission depends on adequate endorphin levels.

This is how people who take fentanyl recreationally become physically dependent on it. Fentanyl addiction treatment is necessary because of the rapid decline of endorphins when they stop using – sending them into withdrawal incredibly fast.

The Importance of Medical Detox for Opioids

It’s not recommended that users take on cold turkey detox at home. Instead, finding a facility that offers medically assisted detox with a transition to inpatient or outpatient rehab is the safest and most effective course of action.

Attending a fentanyl addiction treatment center detox program allows clients to avoid the most intense withdrawal symptoms, keeping them more comfortable and lowering the chances of additional health complications. It’s important to understand the side effects of detox to demonstrate the gravity of the situation regarding a user seeking recovery.

What Happens During Detox/Withdrawal from Fentanyl?

What Happens During Detox

When users suddenly stop taking fentanyl, the body cannot continue producing endorphins on its own. Additional receptors are also void, leaving feelings of depression and anxiety even after the initial physical withdrawal. These feelings are addressed during inpatient or outpatient treatment through behavioral therapy and preparation for coping with relapse triggers.

However, before a client makes it to this point, the physical dependence must be conquered first. Fentanyl withdrawals typically begin to take hold after 12 hours without use.

Because fentanyl has a substantially shorter half-life than many opiates and opioids, withdrawal symptoms begin to manifest much sooner. The body metabolizes fentanyl much faster in the body, hence the shorter half-life.

An Overview of the Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline

During the first 24 hours, users experience symptoms like watery eyes, frequent yawning, urges to stretch, fatigue, and small amounts of anxiety. The anxiety is usually attributed to the user knowing what’s coming and anticipating the severe withdrawal symptoms they’ll soon be experiencing.

After 24 and up to about 48 hours, users begin experiencing goosebumps, hot and cold flashes, increases in heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety, fatigue, and muscle aches. Many users sleep during the first 24-36 hours. However, once they awaken, this is likely the last decent amount of sleep they’ll experience for several weeks (unless they’re in medically assisted detox).

After 48 hours and until about day six, users experience hot and cold flashes, intense sweating, feelings of crawling skin, goosebumps, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, changes in taste and smell, and extremely severe restless legs. One of the worst side effects of withdrawal is the lack of sleep a user goes through. Combined with the intense pain and discomfort of the other symptoms and fatigue, the lack of sleep makes the situation particularly demoralizing.

The body is going through an intense period, and all the individual wants to do is sleep and acquire a decent amount of rest – but it’s virtually impossible. Those going through withdrawal typically spend days on end tossing and turning, hoping for a few hours of sleep.

This lack of sleep, on top of the other symptoms, combined with potential dehydration and rapid heartbeat, can lead to potentially life-threatening situations. This is why finding an appropriate medical detox at an addiction treatment facility is one of the most vital things someone attempting to enter recovery can accomplish.

Medical Detox Hotline – Immediate Help for Opioids

Options for Medically Assisted Detox

Detoxification, or fentanyl detox, is a medical procedure used to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings that can occur when a person who has become physically dependent on fentanyl abruptly ceases taking the drug. Since fentanyl is so physiologically addictive, medical fentanyl detox is often necessary for effective fentanyl addiction therapy.

Given the drug’s potency, abrupt withdrawal might result in highly unpleasant bodily consequences due to a decline in endorphin levels. The intensity of these symptoms can be mitigated by medical detoxification.

Fentanyl detoxification and withdrawal might begin at a drug abuse treatment center with modern amenities and a soothing environment. This initial phase of therapy for fentanyl addiction takes place in residential treatment clinics and is administered by experienced addiction treatment professionals to help treat severe pain of the withdrawal process.

In some cases, clients may need to undergo medically assisted detox in a hospital instead of a rehab facility. This is common when clients have other health conditions that could be further complicated during detox.

The Benefits of a Fentanyl Addiction Rehab

Fentanyl Addiction Rehab

Even in these situations, individuals receive comprehensive treatment to help them remain comfortable and give them the best odds of completing detox and entering residential or outpatient rehab therapy at a rehab center.

After opiate detoxification and extensive therapy at a rehab center, opiate-blocking medications may be provided on an outpatient basis. If a person in recovery obtains any fentanyl and tries to relapse by using it, these drugs will counteract any positive effects the substance abuse might otherwise have.

Medications with these blocking effects include Suboxone, Subutex, Zubsolv, and others. The base for these medications is generally always buprenorphine, with or without a combined dose of naloxone, the active ingredient in Narcan.

Clients who enroll in methadone maintenance treatment also experience a certain level of a blocking effect after several weeks of treatment with this synthetic opioid. Although both methadone and buprenorphine trigger the same outcome, the results are experienced through different mechanisms with each respective medication.

Most individuals in fentanyl rehab centers are free to choose which method of maintenance therapy they’d rather participate in. Regardless of their preference, it’s essential that between detox and maintenance, some form of intensive treatment takes place to address the underlying causes of fentanyl abuse disorder.

A typical inpatient detox program lasts between three and five days. It’s the first stage in a rehab center regimen that often includes behavioral modification therapy and intense psychotherapy for fentanyl addiction. Once the medical detoxification phase of fentanyl addiction treatment has been finished, the patient will enter the intense therapy phase, which typically lasts for at least three weeks.

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The Benefits of Intense Addiction Therapy

When a patient has successfully finished detox, they are in a position to begin the emotional and psychological healing that will ideally lead them to lifelong sobriety. The pleasant ambiance of a residential rehab center helps the patient focus on recovery as they are counseled by addiction counselors and other specialists with considerable knowledge in fentanyl addiction therapy.

Individuals in recovery from fentanyl addiction might benefit significantly from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which aims to help them replace harmful thinking patterns with more positive ones.

They are shown that it is possible to face problems and challenges head-on by using inner strength and coping mechanisms that result in successful solutions, as opposed to thinking that they must escape from an urgent issue or problem by using fentanyl and enjoying the feeling of euphoria that it generates.

Through these individual therapy sessions for drug addiction, a person begins to realize that resorting to fentanyl or other drugs would only make an issue worse.

Inpatient Treatment

Residential addiction treatment clinics provide patients ready to confront their addictions to fentanyl and other drugs with a comfortable environment and a supportive staff to help them through the early stages of recovery. These clinics maintain qualified medical experts who employ the most up-to-date drugs to treat patients spared the full burden of the physical repercussions of a rapid withdrawal of fentanyl.

The primary goal of an inpatient fentanyl rehabilitation program is to assist patients in overcoming their psychological and emotional dependence on fentanyl once they have overcome their physical addiction to any mind-altering substance.

A residential rehabilitation facility provides clients with a tranquil setting in which they may focus on regaining their health and happiness via positive thinking and physical activity. The hope is that combined with these elements, in addition to the behavioral therapy, strong support pillars, and group therapy, clients achieve success in recovery and returning to everyday life.

Outpatient Treatment

The comprehensive approach to fentanyl recovery offered at the residential program is carried over into the outpatient setting. Patients can enhance the odds of success during the outpatient phase of fentanyl rehab by acquiring essential or beneficial auxiliary counseling, like family therapy or job coaching, while still living at home.

Counseling/Talk Therapy

Fentanyl addiction treatment based on behavioral modification aims to help those struggling with fentanyl addiction replace harmful behaviors, such as drug use, with more positive alternatives. Because of a deficiency in stimulating activities that create and maintain healthy levels of endorphins, clients frequently resort to medicines like fentanyl to induce the release of these chemicals. Experts in fentanyl addiction therapy urge regular physical activity. Thus, some residential rehabilitation clinics equip their clients with gyms and sports training facilities.

Inpatient vs Outpatient Treatment Programs

Inpatient vs Outpatient Treatment

Inpatient fentanyl addiction treatment may also incorporate yoga and other forms of stress reduction, as well as expressive therapies like art and music. The general objective is to assist clients struggling with fentanyl addiction in finding healthy ways of enjoyment that improve their reality and sense of well-being rather than functioning as a potentially harmful means of avoiding challenging feelings or circumstances. This is often referred to as holistic therapy and is becoming more common as time progresses.

Outpatient addiction counselors knowledgeable about the technique used during the intense inpatient phase of therapy for fentanyl addiction are either connected with or recommended by inpatient treatment institutions. Outpatient behavioral and cognitive treatment with one of these therapists is strongly recommended.

Individuals who abuse fentanyl may also be referred for employment counseling if they believe job discontent had a role in their decision to start using the drug. Just as group therapy is commonly advised during the outpatient phase of fentanyl rehab, it may also be recommended during the residential phase.

Immediate Placement for Fentanyl Addiction!

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment and Group Support

Fentanyl addiction treatment therapists may advise their patients to attend outpatient treatment sessions individually, but they can all agree that mingling with those farther down the recovery path is beneficial.

Therefore, patients are strongly encouraged to join peer support groups, whether receiving individual or group therapy, as part of their outpatient treatment. Addicts in recovery might find solace in knowing that there are those out there who, like them, are navigating the challenging path to sobriety and want to see them succeed by lending a hand.

Find Long Term Recovery from Fentanyl Abuse

At Emerald Isle Health and Recovery, our focus is on helping you heal and return to the life you loved before substance abuse became a factor. With an expert staff that’s compassionate about helping those in recovery, your support pillars in treatment are strong. We’ll help you get your support pillars for post-recovery to ensure your sustained success once you graduate.

Contact a member of our admissions staff today to find out how we can help you in your recovery journey.