Fentanyl Treatment and Rehab

Fentanyl is a painkiller that is 50 times more powerful than morphine, and in many cases, more fatal than heroin, with 60 deaths in the UK last year linked to fentanyl. The National Crime Agency has warned individuals with substance abuse problems, recreational drug users and their loved ones to protect themselves by reading guidelines released by Public Health England. Anyone with a basic understanding of chemistry and possession of the right equipment can produce the drug, with the major supply route remains through the dark web in Hong Kong and China.

Treatment and Rehab

In humans, fentanyl is used to relieve symptoms of chronic pain. Recreational users abuse it for the intense feeling of pleasure they experience when they ingest. The incredible potency of this opioid narcotic necessitates you get treatment after using it.

Similar to how morphine and heroin works, fentanyl interacts with the same opioid receptors in the brain (part of the brain’s reward centre). In the real sense, fentanyl is chemically unrelated to opiates, but the close interaction with the receptors brought it under this classification. Fentanyl increases the ‘feel good’ chemicals in your body that make opiates powerfully addictive.

After continuous usage, your body responds by desensitising dopamine receptors. You’ll require large doses to feel an optimum level of pain relief, which is a sign of tolerance. For long-term users, withdrawal symptoms can be agony. Every single part of your body aches, you’ll experience goose bumps and severe cold, as the desire to relapse is overwhelming.

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment – what Is It?

When an individual with a fentanyl abuse disorder wants to get clean, it’s important they enrol at a treatment facility. Fentanyl releases endorphins faster than other opioid analgesics and opiates, such as heroin and hydrocodone. This makes it more addictive, resulting in severe discomfort during withdrawal.

The first step to addiction treatment is to admit you have an addiction problem. Next, you’ll register at a detox facility that provides a safe

environment for you to detox from the symptoms of fentanyl. After detox, you’ll transition to a rehab centre, where you’ll receive treatment for psychological symptoms.

Methods such as CBT, motivational interviewing, group counselling, 12-step programmes, as well as individual and family therapy will be utilised to help you identify negative behaviour that led to your drug use and learn positive behaviour that encourages sobriety.

Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction Is A Necessity

People suffering chronic pain can legally obtain Fentanyl patches. The drug enters through the skin, into the bloodstream. It’s often given to terminally ill patients receiving palliative care. Most addicts inject fentanyl to ensure it goes straight to the bloodstream and brain. When there’s no pain to relieve, you’ll feel intense pleasure and happiness as it travels to your brain.

The potency of the drug turns recreational drug users into addicts within a short period. Long-term effects of fentanyl abuse include increased risk of multiple organ damage, risk of overdose and death, worsening of existing mental health problems and destruction of relationships with friends and family. If you think you’re developing a dependency on Fentanyl, it is vital you get treatment. The longer you take the drug, the stronger the impact on your body and mind and the harder it will be to complete detox or maintain sobriety after rehab.

Effective treatment for fentanyl addiction

The four steps for treating fentanyl addiction include medical detox, medication, therapy/rehab and aftercare. When you suddenly stop using fentanyl after developing dependence on it, your brain is unaccustomed to performing routine functions without opioids. You’ll need to detox to cleanse your body of toxins and chemicals.

After detox, you will attend rehab to treat the psychological reasons which led you to use. Services in rehab might include family therapy, skill training, individual therapy, group therapy, yoga and more. After rehab, the journey has just begun. Be sure to choose fentanyl treatment with an aftercare programme, as it will help you to build on the success you’ve made in rehab, and assist you as you gradually make your transition back into society. Recovery support groups, sober living homes and therapy sessions are a few options to consider.

Medication used during treatment includes:

Methadone: methadone is now a part of many medication-assisted treatment programmes. It is administered to inpatients and outpatients during detox to manage the overpowering cravings of physical withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone: suboxone is another medication that reduces the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms of fentanyl detox. It contains naloxone to ensure you don’t relapse. Naloxone makes your body go through withdrawal if you abuse fentanyl during treatment.

Subutex: comprised primarily of buprenorphine to help people going through detox continue their day without cravings, impairment or painful withdrawal.

Therapy and Specialised Treatment Options

Different groups of individuals require special treatment plans to address psychological issues of addiction. Groups who need specialised treatment include people with dual diagnosis, co-occurring disorders, women in treatment, teenagers, seniors, members of the LGBT community and polydrug users. Treatment options include inpatient rehab for fentanyl addiction, fentanyl addiction outpatient rehab, group therapy and special therapy for co-occurring disorders.

Patients with long-term substance abuse problems will benefit from staying at a residential treatment centre. Here, you’ll go through the detox process under medical supervision and will be trained to recognise negative habits and behaviour that led to your drug use. Most residential rehab facilities develop individual programmes that teach you life skills to cope with triggers and temptations, as well as lessons from 12-step programmes that help you maintain a sober life post-rehab.

Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab for Fentanyl Addiction

There are two types of inpatient rehab; long-term rehab centres and short-term rehab centers. Long-term rehab centers are geared towards people with a long history of substance abuse. It provides the opportunity to address underlying issues that encouraged drug habits and teaches you how to develop meaningful relationships, hold down a job, manage stressors and stay sober. The longer you stay in rehab, the better your chances of avoiding a relapse.

Short term rehabs usually last 28 days. You’ll be supervised by a team of doctors, nurses, clinical psychologists and therapists, who have extensive experience caring for recovering addicts and equipping them with essential skills to re-enter society and maintain sobriety.

Outpatient treatment facilities have the same services as inpatient ones. The major difference is that you won’t sleep over or receive 24-hour care. Rehab includes therapy sessions and counselling meetings. Counsellors use a range of therapy models, such as multidimensional family therapy, motivational interviewing, contingency management and cognitive behavioral therapy during outpatient treatment.

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Finding an Exclusive Fentanyl Rehab

The strategy when looking for the best fentanyl rehab is locating a facility that treats the real cause of addiction. It’s easy to feel helpless or out of control when you read that genetics, environmental and social factors are the major contributors to your addiction. However, professional therapists and psychiatrists are better equipped to help you understand the root cause of your addiction.

Enrolling at a dual diagnosis treatment centre is the best way to manage withdrawal from fentanyl and other opiate derivatives. Here, mental health professionals will spot issues such as ADHD, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder that hamper your recovery. Treating the addiction alongside mental health issues ensures a smooth recovery.

What to Know About Fentanyl Clinics

A fentanyl clinic is a treatment centre where people addicted to fentanyl can receive medication-based therapy. Medication is not a cure for addiction, but it helps people with substance abuse disorders manage painful withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse. Fentanyl clinics could be private or state-owned, but the administration of medication is heavily regulated by the government.

The major medication prescribed at the clinic is methadone, a SAMSHA approved medication that suppresses withdrawal symptoms for a duration of 24-36 hours. People visit the clinic as part of an outpatient treatment plan or to manage withdrawal symptoms. Before it’s administered, there is a screening process to ensure you meet the guidelines for receiving doses. If you visit a fentanyl clinic, the benefits include:

  • Decrease in fentanyl cravings
  • Evade opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • No physical need for fentanyl, which allows you to go about your normal daily business
  • Blocks the effect of fentanyl

Rehab and Confidentiality

Confidentiality is the cornerstone of drug rehabilitation. Almost everyone who’s entering a rehab facility has several issues outside of addiction they’ll need to address. These are intimate, personal issues that make you feel exposed and vulnerable. Knowing that you have control over who hears your story and shortcomings makes you more likely to open up in therapy.

Private fentanyl clinics might differ in their structure, style and treatment techniques, but each rehab centre has guidelines in place to protect your privacy and ensure you only have to focus on your recovery journey. Rehab employees do not share your information with anyone, except for medical purposes. They all sign a confidentiality agreement that legally prevents them from sharing patient information with unauthorised personnel. Fear of lack of privacy shouldn’t prevent you from getting help for fentanyl addiction.

Individual and Group Therapy

If you abuse opioids, you’ll likely experience depression after detox, as your body and brain learn to function without addictive painkillers running through your bloodstream. One-on-one individual therapy helps a patient work through psychological issues linked to addiction.

You’ll meet with trained counsellors to discuss topics that will help you set short and long-term recovery goals. You’ll also learn to improve communication skills and work well with others – a vital skill for recovering addicts who want to repair broken relationships with loved ones.

Group therapy is a useful way for you to face the stigma of addiction. After the detox process, its’ okay to feel embarrassed and ashamed about your past actions while you were under the influence of fentanyl. By sharing your experience with other recovering addicts and listening to their stories, you’ll realise there are other people taking this journey with you. This mindset encourages faster healing and is effective in opioid abuse rehabilitation.

Duration of Treatment

For all drug addiction treatment, there is no predefined length. Every case is unique in its’ complexities. The duration of stay depends on your medical history, environmental/social factors, genetics, length of drug abuse and previous history with substance abuse and opioid addiction. The minimum for methadone maintenance is 12 months and many opioid addicts continue to this for many years to manage cravings and maintain sobriety.

Research has shown that for treatment to be effective, outpatients or residents should participate in rehab programmes for at least 90 days. One of the major problems most treatment programmes face is people dropping out midway. Motivational techniques that engage patients improve treatment.

A synopsis of Fentanyl treatment programmes and their duration

Inpatient rehab: short term rehab is suitable for recreational users without a poly drug disorder or co-occurring disorder. The length of stay varies from seven days of detox to 30 days of residential rehab stay. For patients dealing with a range of mental health issues, as well as long-term or chronic fentanyl users, long-term rehab is advised.

Programmes that last between 60 days, 90 days, six months and up to a year, are more effective for maintaining sobriety after rehab. They also help you build a support network and work extensively on real problems that led to addiction, as well as learn effective skills that prepare you for sober living after rehab.

Outpatient treatment for opioid based addiction lasts 12 to 16 weeks and for inpatients continues up to a year or two after inpatient rehab. It includes therapy and counselling sessions three to five times a week and each session ranges from one to six hours.

Detoxing from Fentanyl – All You Need to Know

You’ll need to enrol at a detox facility where fentanyl withdrawal will be properly supervised by medical professionals. Detox reduces health risks and ensures the process is as pain-free and comfortable as possible. Detox involves a combination of pharmacology and psychological treatment to manage withdrawal.

The first step in detox is assessment, where a medical team conducts a psychiatric and medical evaluation to determine the extent of your addiction, presence of co-occurring disorders and other factors that help the medical team understand your treatment needs. After evaluation, you’ll go through detox to cleanse your body of fentanyl and other harmful drugs in your system. Fentanyl is a powerfully addictive opioid, so great care has to be taken during detox to ensure the patient remains safe.

Signs of withdrawal include watery eyes, runny nose, body aches, anxiety and trouble sleeping. In addition to methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone, your doctor might prescribe clonidine to manage psychological/physical cravings associated with anxiety, body aches and irritation. Symptoms start manifesting 6-12 hours after your last fentanyl usage and peaks on the second day of withdrawal. The entire detox process lasts five days, but might extend to two weeks for heavy users.

Psychological Therapy

Psychotherapy should be combined with the overall treatment plan, such as drug counselling and methadone maintenance, to increase chances of success. Research funded by NIDA in the 1970s showed that psychotherapy improved results when used with drug counselling and methadone maintenance.

The success of rehab hinges on patients completing treatment and for that to happen, they have to be motivated and willing to change. Psychotherapy helps to change the way you think, behave and feel, so you can make wiser, healthier choices. You’ll also learn to restructure your communication skills, as interpersonal relationships play a role in determining whether relapse is likely.

Techniques that will be used include CBT to help a recovering addict replace negative patterns and thoughts associated with fentanyl abuse with positive ones that encourage sobriety. Instead of seeing fentanyl as the only means of escaping problems, you’ll understand that there are coping strategies that provide a better solution than drugs. Physical activity is a part of most inpatient rehab centres to help you develop a healthy fitness regimen. Alternative therapy models like yoga, music and art classes might also be used.

Risks of Treatment

Fentanyl treatment carries it own set of risks. Opioids are painkillers. The obvious risk is the danger of switching fentanyl addiction with an addiction for methadone and other medications used to manage withdrawal symptoms. The dose must be prescribed and administered by a medical professional and continuously adjusted as treatment requires.

Common side effects include: confusion, chest pain, labored or shallow breathing, hallucinations, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, chest pain and abdominal cramps. If you’re taking other medication, the active ingredients might remain in the body and trigger an overdose when it comes in contact with methadone. Hence, medication should only be taken at the right time in the prescribed dosage.

According to the CDC, 14,000 people died from medications like methadone in 2014. Overdoses are becoming more frequent, because the drug is more available. It doesn’t produce the same euphoric highs as other medications, so patients might compensate with larger doses. Signs of overdose include: low blood pressure, disorientation, intestinal spasms, constipation, blue fingernails, clammy skin and coma.

Addiction Recovery Types

Types of addiction recovery programmes include:

Residential treatment: At an inpatient treatment centre, you’ll stay on site 24/7 for the duration of your rehab. It is well structured, thorough and designed to maximise success for drug rehabilitation. You’ll be under supervision from medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, therapists and counselors, who’ll compare notes on your symptoms and progress to provide the best addiction treatment for you.

Outpatient treatment: This is an addiction treatment designed to fit in with your daily lifestyle. You’ll attend counselling, medical appointments, therapy sessions and classes during the weekend (or at the end of your working day) to accommodate your school or work commitments.

Support groups: Support groups are beneficial if you’re dealing with opioid use disorder. They hold meetings weekly to help people dealing with addiction. These include smart recovery groups, 12-step programmes and other community-based programmes for drug addiction.

Paying for Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

Many insurance companies will cover a portion of rehab treatment and some premium policies cover the entire cost. If your insurance won’t cover treatment, you can pay through a public loan, private loan, credit card, assistance from family and friends or employee assistance programmes. You don’t have to skip rehab for fear you can’t afford treatment. Your insurance company is required by law to provide cover for substance abuse and mental health disorders.

Ending Your Fentanyl Treatment

Fentanyl detox lasts about seven days and rehab continues for 30 to 90 days. The major problem many rehabs face is patients who quit halfway, because of the severity of withdrawal pain. It’s important that you see out your rehab stay and gradually ease back into your normal routine. Otherwise, you risk a relapse and addiction worse than before you entered rehab.

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Fentanyl?

Early signs of withdrawal from fentanyl include:

  • Runny nose
  • Body pain
  • Sleeping difficulty
  • Sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • General weakness
  • Watery eyes
  • Irritability

After the second day, you’ll notice the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • Large pupils
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Goosebumps
  • Confusion
  • Chills
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping

What to Expect from Treatment

All treatment for drug addiction includes the following process: admission, detoxification, therapy, specialised care and aftercare. During the admission phase, you’ll be physically and mentally assessed to enable your team of medical professionals to draw up an individual treatment plan for you.

Benefits of Holistic Rehab

A holistic rehab facility is sometimes the best option when struggling with fentanyl addiction. There is a risk of becoming addicted to prescription medication such as methadone, but holistic treatment doesn’t use medication to help with withdrawal, except to ensure your safety.

The best holistic rehabs teach patients different strategies for managing anxiety and stressors that accompany withdrawal and craving. Alternative therapy models such as meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy and yoga help your body relax when you crave fentanyl and these are activities you can engage in after rehab.

Post-rehabilitation Support

Post-rehab support is care you receive after rehab to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This treatment is very helpful for recovering addicts who want to stay clean, as it limits the chances of relapse to addictive behaviour.

Programmes include: continued appointments with your counsellor and therapist, attending group counselling sessions, 12-step programmes, learning new coping skills and listening to success stories at community-based programmes. The duration can last a year to a lifetime.

The Risk of Relapse for Fentanyl Addicts

The potency of fentanyl makes it hard to detox from (or suppress cravings), even after rehab. Research has shown that the risk of relapse is higher for fentanyl addicts, most of whom receive methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) during detox. Researchers also attribute risk of relapse to age of the addict, drug usage patterns and lack of a post-rehab plan to maintain sobriety (such as receiving aftercare treatment).

Each cycle of relapse strains the body and the risk of overdosing when you relapse is high. Moving back to old patterns of drug abuse is taking a big risk with your life. The next injection could land you in a coma, or even worse, you’ll struggle for air before succumbing to death.

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Sober living support

After rehab, patients who want to slowly transition to the outside world enter a sober living home. It is not as structured as rehab. You can go out during the day and slowly integrate yourself back into society. There are community meals, assignments and curfew to maintain discipline and sobriety.

Peer counseling

A peer in addiction is someone who’s trying to overcome a similar addiction like you. The substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration lists the following types of peer support:

  • Instrumental – assistance with practical needs such as money, child care, health care and transportation
  • Affiliation – Helping others build a community where they experience a sense of belonging
  • Emotional – empathy and concern for others
  • Informational – providing training and sharing knowledge

Family therapy

Family therapy is an effective treatment for adolescents and adults dealing with drug addiction. It consists of therapeutic approaches that use your family’s resources and strength to help you live without fentanyl, whilst reducing harm of addiction to you and your family.

It takes the form of education, where your loved ones ask questions that open a dialogue and gateway to healing. Your family also learns to rebuild trust, improve communication and identify positive ways to interact without hurting others.

Seek Help

If you need help with fentanyl and other opioid addictions, it’s important to get help before the drug takes a hold of your life. Fentanyl is very potent and often mixed with cocaine or heroin to amplify the effects and dangers.


What is Fentanyl Addiction Treatment?

Fentanyl addiction treatment is a combination of detox, medication and psychotherapy to help rid your body of toxins, manage withdrawal safely and treat psychological and mental issues that led to your addiction.

What Recovery Programme is Right for Me?

It depends on the duration, volume of usage and existence of co-occurring disorders. If you’re a recreational user who’s used for a short while, outpatient rehab is a good fit. However, if you’ve had unsuccessful attempts to quit and take regular, heavy doses of fentanyl or have mental health issues, then an inpatient Rehab programme is ideal.

What are the Options if You Don’t Have Insurance?

If you don’t have insurance, you can enroll at a state-run facility. Some are cheap and others are free. Alternatively, if you want the best care at a private addiction treatment centre, you can take out a bank loan, pay with your credit card, get funding from the NHS, seek financial assistance from your loved ones or pay with your personal savings.

What are Some Common Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms?

Common withdrawal symptoms include: muscle tremors, sweating, restlessness, nausea, abdominal pain, anxiety, insomnia and chills.

Why Do People Start Taking Fentanyl?

Legally, fentanyl is prescribed as medication for patients experiencing chronic pain. It stops pain signals sent to the nerves to ensure patients don’t feel any discomfort. People with opioid abuse disorders take fentanyl for the intense pleasure they feel after taking the drug.

How is Fentanyl Used and Abused?

People undergoing palliative care – such as terminally ill cancer patients – are given fentanyl drug patches. The drug enters through the skin and into the bloodstream, where it relieves chronic pain. It is also given as an injection when undergoing an anesthetic for surgery. Most recreational users cut fentanyl with cocaine or heroin to intensify the potency and inject it directly into their bloodstream. It could also be taken orally via lozenges or lollipops.

What is the Fentanyl ‘High’ Like?

Fentanyl interacts with opioid receptors of the brain and increases dopamine to produce a rapid, intense ‘’high’. There is no rush or slow build up as you would experience with heroin, alcohol or other illegal substances.

What are the Practical Dangers of Fentanyl Use?

Fentanyl is a potent medication that is 100 times more powerful than morphine. Taking higher doses than what your doctor prescribes leads to coma, brain damage, choking, falling unconscious and losing body function.

What are the Options for Fentanyl Detox?

You can detox at home using a home remedy or enroll at a medically supervised detox centre. Home detox is advised for short-term recreational users, who haven’t built up a tolerance for the drug. For those who’ve used fentanyl for a long period or take heavy doses, medical detox is a necessity.

What Happens During Treatment?

The first step is evaluation, where a medical team asks questions about your history of physical/mental health. They also consider environmental and social risks of enabling addiction, presence of co-occurring disorders, the amount of harmful substances in your blood and any signs of mental problems. The information is used to create a medical treatment plan for you. After detox, you transition to rehab, where you’ll work with psychologists to build positive life skills that encourage sober living.

How Long Does Inpatient Fentanyl Rehabilitation Take?

The minimum stay for inpatient rehabilitation is 28-30 days. It is recommended that you stay at least three months in rehab to strengthen your chances of maintaining sobriety after you leave.

Is It Possible to Avoid Fentanyl Addiction and Rehab?

People who quit ‘cold turkey’ and never look back can avoid fentanyl addiction treatment. However, due to the potency of the drug, it’s highly unlikely for long-term users to quit without help. Withdrawal symptoms like diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps, insomnia and anxiety are dangerous. The pain from home detox might force you to relapse and take fentanyl again.

Why is Treatment Necessary?

Most people with opioid abuse disorders have mental health problems that haven’t been properly addressed, which leads them to seek fentanyl as a means of escaping their problems. Rehab offers access to the best psychiatrists who’ll help you uncover the real problems why you started using the drug, whilst treating each co-occurring disorder you experience.

What Types of Treatment Are Available?

Treatment available for fentanyl addiction includes detox, pharmacology, therapy, aftercare and addiction support groups.

What If Fentanyl Addiction Goes Untreated?

If your addiction goes untreated, the drug takes a h4er hold on the brain until it’s almost impossible for you to quit. With each higher dose of this elephant tranquiliser, you risk a fatal overdose, where you might die before you get to hospital.

What Happens when you go to a Fentanyl Rehab Centre?

When you go to rehab, your luggage will be searched for contrabands. After evaluation, you’re assigned a room and expected to attend doctor’s appointment, therapy sessions and group counselling.

How Does Going to Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction Aid in Recovery?

When you quit ‘cold turkey’, you don’t tackle the underlying problem that led to your substance abuse initially. Rehab is a gradual process, where every symptom of addiction is treated and the individual is taught to recognise triggers and deal with them in a positive manner. You’ll also improve your communication skills and learn life lessons that will help you abstain from drugs.

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