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The Reality of Fentanyl Withdrawal

Fentanyl withdrawal is the process that occurs when individuals who have been using this powerful synthetic opioid suddenly stop or significantly reduce their intake. Over the past years, fentanyl has become a major problem in our society, affecting countless lives with its potent and addictive properties. Many individuals who have found themselves addicted to this drug are going to face the daunting challenge of its withdrawal. Symptoms can be intense and include nausea, muscle aches, anxiety, and more, making the recovery process incredibly challenging. Understanding what to expect during fentanyl withdrawal is the first step towards overcoming it and reclaiming control over one’s life.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is a potent pain reliever prescribed by doctors for severe pain, such as that experienced by cancer patients or those undergoing major surgery. However, its illicit use has surged in recent years, leading to a devastating impact on individuals and communities alike. What sets fentanyl apart from other opioids is its potency; it’s estimated to be 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and can be lethal even in small doses. This potency, coupled with its relatively low cost and ease of production, has made fentanyl a favorite among drug traffickers and has contributed to a sharp rise in overdose deaths. Its effects on individuals are profound, leading to addiction, overdoses, and shattered lives. The widespread availability and misuse of fentanyl have sparked a public health crisis, prompting urgent efforts to address its impact and provide support for those affected by its devastating consequences.

What Happens During Fentanyl Withdrawal?

Fentanyl withdrawal occurs when someone who has been using fentanyl regularly suddenly stops or significantly reduces their use of the drug. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid painkiller, and when the body becomes dependent on it, ceasing use can lead to a range of physical and psychological symptoms. Here’s a closer look at what you can expect during fentanyl withdrawal:

  • Symptoms: Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can be intense and uncomfortable, resembling a severe case of the flu. These symptoms may include:
    • Profound fatigue and weakness
    • Persistent nausea and vomiting
    • Muscle aches and pains
    • Restlessness and agitation
    • Profuse sweating and chills
    • Difficulty sleeping or insomnia
    • Diarrhea and stomach cramps
    • Dilated pupils
  • Timeline: The timeline for fentanyl withdrawal can vary from person to person, depending on factors such as the individual’s metabolism, the dosage and duration of fentanyl use, and overall health. Generally, withdrawal symptoms may start within a few hours of the last dose and peak within the first couple of days. However, some symptoms, particularly cravings and mood disturbances, may persist for weeks or even months.
  • Medical Considerations: It’s crucial to undergo fentanyl withdrawal under medical supervision, preferably at a professional treatment center like Buckeye Recovery Network. Abrupt cessation of fentanyl can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms and complications such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and even dangerous changes in heart rhythm. Medical professionals can provide medications and interventions to manage symptoms and ensure your safety throughout the withdrawal process.

Treatment Options for Fentanyl Withdrawal

  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): MAT involves the use of FDA-approved medications like buprenorphine or methadone to ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings for fentanyl. These medications work by binding to the same receptors in the brain as fentanyl, but they do so more weakly and without producing the same intense euphoria. MAT can significantly improve the chances of successful withdrawal and long-term recovery.
  • Therapy: Counseling and therapy are essential components of fentanyl addiction treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), in particular, has been shown to be highly effective in helping individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with substance abuse. Group therapy and peer support groups can also provide invaluable encouragement and understanding as you navigate the challenges of withdrawal and recovery.
  • Holistic Approaches: In addition to medical and therapeutic interventions, holistic therapies can complement traditional treatment methods and support overall well-being during fentanyl withdrawal. These may include practices such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, art therapy, acupuncture, and massage therapy. Holistic approaches focus on treating the whole person – body, mind, and spirit – and can help reduce stress, improve mood, and promote relaxation.

The Fentanyl Recovery Journey

Recovery from fentanyl addiction is a journey that requires dedication, perseverance, and support. Here’s what you can expect as you embark on this path:

  • Withdrawal Management: The first step in recovery is often detoxification, or detox, during which your body eliminates the remaining fentanyl and adjusts to functioning without it. At Buckeye Recovery Network, we provide comprehensive withdrawal management services in a safe, comfortable environment. Our medical team monitors your progress closely and intervenes as needed to alleviate symptoms and ensure your well-being.
  • Individualized Treatment Plans: No two individuals are alike, and neither are their journeys to recovery. That’s why we believe in personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs, preferences, and goals. Our experienced clinicians work with you to develop a plan that addresses all aspects of your addiction and sets you up for long-term success.
  • Continuum of Care: Recovery from fentanyl addiction doesn’t end after detox. It’s an ongoing process that requires ongoing support and commitment. At Buckeye Recovery Network, we offer a continuum of care that includes outpatient therapy, counseling, support groups, and aftercare programs to help you maintain sobriety and build a fulfilling life in recovery.

Call Us Today!

If you’re ready to take the first step towards overcoming fentanyl addiction and reclaiming your life, don’t wait any longer. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today at 949-258-7580 to speak with one of our compassionate admissions counselors and begin your journey to healing and hope.


The duration of fentanyl withdrawal can vary depending on individual factors such as the severity and duration of addiction, overall health, and treatment methods. Acute withdrawal symptoms typically peak within the first few days and may last for up to a week, while some symptoms may persist for weeks or months.

Fentanyl withdrawal can be uncomfortable and challenging, but it is not usually life-threatening. However, without proper medical supervision, complications such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and severe psychological distress can occur. That’s why it’s essential to undergo withdrawal management under the care of trained professionals.

Attempting fentanyl withdrawal at home without medical supervision can be risky and potentially dangerous due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms and the risk of complications. Professional treatment centers like Buckeye Recovery Network provide a safe and supportive environment for detoxification and withdrawal management.

Long-term effects of fentanyl withdrawal may include psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and cravings, as well as physical symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, and gastrointestinal discomfort. However, with proper treatment and support, these effects can be managed, and individuals can experience a fulfilling life in recovery.

Supporting a loved one through fentanyl withdrawal involves offering empathy, encouragement, and practical assistance. Listen without judgment, provide emotional support, and help them access professional treatment resources like Buckeye Recovery Network. Encourage them to seek help and reassure them that they’re not alone in their journey to recovery.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.