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What Is Fentanyl Withdrawal Like?

A man struggling with fentanyl withdrawal.
Learn about what fentanyl withdrawal is like to help inform your addiction recovery.

Your head starts to slowly feel an overwhelming sense of pleasure, as a warmth starts to radiate from the center of your body. This is how many people describe what taking fentanyl is like. It’s an opioid that is more potent than heroin and morphine, but that unfortunately comes with a high cost. Many people who try fentanyl find themselves dependent on it very quickly, and the fear of withdrawal is a powerful motivator to keep using the substance.

While it’s natural to be weary of withdrawal symptoms, knowing what to expect could be the catalyst that inspires you to reach out for help. In this blog post, we’re going to take a deep dive into what you can expect when going through fentanyl withdrawal.

Important Facts About Fentanyl

Before we get into what fentanyl withdrawal is like, it’s important to highlight some of the aspects that make this drug unique. Fentanyl works similar to other opioids, but it has a much higher potency. That means your brain is likely to develop a dependency to fentanyl faster than other opioids. Once that dependency is established, your brain is thrown off balance once the fentanyl levels in your system begin to diminish.

Given the high potency of fentanyl, the struggle your brain goes through to restore balance can feel much more intense. That feeling works to convince you to give into your cravings rather than going through withdrawal. However, going through withdrawal is a required step in the journey toward lasting recovery.

Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms start anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after the last time you used the substance. It’s also important to note that as you begin to feel flu-like symptoms during the early stages of fentanyl withdrawal, it’s an indicator you’re struggling with a fentanyl addiction. The other main fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Stomach cramps, joint pain and muscle pain
  • Sweating, fatigue and chills
  • Insomnia, feelings of intense anxiety and stress
  • Teary eyes, constant yawning, sluggishness, runny nose and pupil dilation

Over the course of the next few days, these symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal will begin to escalate. Many people describe this phase of fentanyl withdrawal as feeling the same as when you’re in the middle of a bad cold. The lack of energy, feeling like you’re in a haze, and the general notion of being off balance. All those feelings clash with the cravings for fentanyl, which can cause you to feel a sense of helplessness.

Professional Detox Can Help You Manage Fentanyl Withdrawal

When you’re dependent on fentanyl, it has the potential to change the chemistry of your brain. Your brain sends a number of messenger chemicals to the rest of your body known as neurotransmitters when you experience pleasure. Fentanyl has the potential to override this process making it so your brain can only feel the higher levels of pleasure you’ve been accustomed to from the drug.

Without professional detox services, fentanyl craving can become too loud to ignore. Professional detox services can help you manage your withdrawal symptoms and help ensure that you’re as comforting as possible during this crucial step in recovery. Under the watchful expertise of medical professionals, you’ll also get medication that can help ease your fentanyl withdrawal symptoms. When detoxing from fentanyl, it’s always advised to seek professional help rather than try to do it on your own.

At The Raleigh House, we take a medically holistic approach to fentanyl detox. For example, we use IV hydration and nutrition-enhancing vitamins, minerals and amnio acids to help your body and mind feel their best. We also believe the detox experience should be personalized to address any unique challenges you’re facing during fentanyl withdrawal.

Find Personalized Support for Recovery in Denver, Colorado

If you’re feeling stress or anxiety over the prospect of facing fentanyl withdrawal, know that you don’t have to go through it alone. The Raleigh House offers you a safe and judgment-free place to break free from the hold fentanyl has over your life.

Our professional detox program and gold standard continuum of care can help you reach lasting recovery. Your cravings for fentanyl don’t have to control your life or define your behavior. There is hope for lasting recovery, and we can work to find it together. Contact our admissions team today to learn how you can reach lasting sobriety.

Call Now: 720-891-4657

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