Fentanyl – Addiction Treatment, Recovery, and Rehabs Revealed

Last Updated: December 18, 2019

Authored by Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

Fentanyl addiction treatment can be hard. However, there are different recovery options one can choose from. Going cold turkey is an option. This method can be very painful. Therefore, one might need some medical support. A better option, according to users, is tapering down. After detox, psych counseling and intensive aftercare are a must.

Fentanyl Rehab Facilities Overview

Many rehab centers offer treatment for Fentanyl addiction. Inpatient and outpatient facilities are available depending on the history of abuse and personal preferences. During detox, doctors recommend staying in due to possible complications and relapse. Some places offer a substitute medication, such as Methadone. In contrast, others offer alternative methods like yoga. Luxury rehabs are also available.

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Facts

fentanylFentanyl is a powerful opiate. Scientists first created it in the 60s to treat pain-related symptoms. Since then, it has been the cause of pain instead of treatment.
Fentanyl is a very addictive opioid analgesic. In fact, it is more potent than morphine and heroin. Additionally, it’s very effective as a painkiller with a short onset of action. As a result, many people who suffer from chronic pain (due to cancer, surgery, etc.) use the drug. However, when the effect of the drug wears off, patients usually go back to it. Addicts see it as the only way to cope with the reappearing pain.
There are also many people who abuse the drug due to its recreational values. They do it mainly for relaxation and sedation. As a result, every year Fentanyl causes a lot of heartache for people. Because it’s an addictive drug, users may begin to waste away las other drug addicts do.

Many users, however, suggest going cold turkey instead of tapering down. Sometimes, it can cause relapse and even death. The length of the detox process is different for everyone. However, patients should not give up in their efforts. Again, note that a small change in the dose that they administer (especially if injecting Fentanyl) can be lethal. Therefore, always have a professional who’ll help to taper off.

Fentanyl Recovery Process: Step by Step

fentanylWhen it comes to recovery, there are different recovery phases.
First of all, detox is the aim of the recovery process. Depending on the history of abuse and some individual differences, that might take up to several days. Usually, physical withdrawal symptoms start around 24 hours after the last dosage and wear off a week later. In severe cases, doctors may use substitute drugs to help the patients. Methadone, Suboxone, and Naltrexone are some of them. However, remember that curing a drug addiction with another addictive drug can be dangerous.
There are inpatient and outpatient options. Staying in a rehabilitation facility/residential treatment center is safer than getting clean at home. This is because of the medical help available. Also, if Fentanyl comes with an addiction to another drug, one need to address it in a rehab setting.

However, many users advise that patients stay busy. It could include involvement in different activities and indulging in enjoyable hobbies. Additionally, healthy diets and vitamin supplements can be very helpful.
Fentanyl is very potent, and cravings can last up to a year. Therefore, doctors usually provide patients long-term help. Family therapy is also beneficial to help people restore their social and love life. This is especially when the patient needs their significant others to create a safe and drug-free environment.
Last but not least, there are many spiritual and holistic programs that offer an alternative approach to addiction. They will provide the support the addict needs.

Find Fentanyl Rehab Centers

There are different rehabilitation centers. Recently, some of them offer much more than medical and psychological help. If the economic factor is not an issue, there are many luxury rehabs where one can stay. They offer alternative experiences that one can compare to a luxurious resort. For example, to help with detox, massages, and exercises are part of that recovery process.
Also, they will develop individual programs to meet the patient’s needs. In addition, the facility might organize hiking, yoga, organic lifestyle, and meditation. A study shows that yoga decreases anxiety with 14.7%.
Detox is only one part of the recovery; extended treatment and aftercare are also crucial. If any signs of Fentanyl addiction are noticed, the right help should be found. There’s no easy recovery process, and sometimes, patients can relapse. However, always remember that Fentanyl addiction can be treated.

Page Sources

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids Drug Overdose Deaths. 2018. https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/fentanyl-other-synthetic-opioids-drug-overdose-deaths.
  2. Gold M. S. et al. Fentanyl abuse and dependence: further evidence for second hand exposure hypothesis. Journal of Addictive Diseases. 2006; 25(1):15-21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16597569.
  3. Kuczyńska K., Grzonkowski P., Kacprzak Ł., Zawilska J. B. Abuse of fentanyl: An emerging problem to face. Forensic Science International. 2018; 289:207-214. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2018.05.042. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29902699.
  4. Medline Plus. Fentanyl. 2019. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a605043.html.

Published on: March 13th, 2017

Updated on: December 18th, 2019

About Author

Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

After successful graduation from Boston University, MA, Sharon gained a Master’s degree in Public Health. Since then, Sharon devoted herself entirely to the medical niche. Sharon Levy is also a certified addiction recovery coach.


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