Fentanyl Withdrawal and treatment


Like other opioids, fentanyl is highly addictive. When someone uses fentanyl, their body quickly develops a dependency on the drug, resulting in the user taking larger doses to achieve the same level of “high.”

This is the beginning of a vicious cycle. It’s nothing that any user of the substance is doing on purpose; it’s simply the outcome of using a powerful drug without fully understanding the possible outcome. Therefore, education and keeping lines of communication open are imperative to the prevention and cessation of using fentanyl.

Effects of Fentanyl Addiction


Effects of fentanyl addiction include:

  • Extreme happiness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Sedation
  • Problems breathing
  • Unconsciousness

What Happens During Fentanyl Withdrawal?


Fentanyl users develop a dependency by continually increasing doses in order to achieve the same level of “high.” Addiction, especially when it comes to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, is extremely difficult to treat as patients will experience symptoms of withdrawal in order to discontinue the cycle of drug abuse. Patients can experience these symptoms as soon as a few hours after using fentanyl depending on the amount of time they’ve been using, the frequency and dosage amount, and the weight of the individual.

Signs of fentanyl withdrawal include:

  • Nausea
  • Severe cravings
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure)
  • Depression

Symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal include:

  • Muscle cramps and bone pain
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Cold flashes with goosebumps
  • Uncontrollable leg movements
  • Dehydration

People who experience fentanyl withdrawal are also more likely to overdose when they relapse. If they start using the same amount they did before recovery, their tolerance may have increased if years have passed.

Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline


Since there are different types of fentanyl, your withdrawal symptoms and their duration depend on what type you’ve used. They also depend on how you used fentanyl, whether you injected it or used an extended-release patch.

For example, Actiq, which is a short-form release form of fentanyl that comes as a lollipop, can produce withdrawal symptoms six to 12 hours after your last use. An extended-release fentanyl patch like Duragesic, though, has a longer withdrawal timeline. Symptoms can show up 12 to 48 hours after you stop using it, and symptoms can last up to three weeks.

For these reasons, there isn’t an exact timeline for fentanyl withdrawal.

2-4 Hours

Initial fentanyl withdrawal symptoms will begin.

Days 1-2

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are at their worst.

Days 2-10

Your fentanyl withdrawal symptoms start to die down.

Should I Detox from Fentanyl at Home?


Due to the high risk of overdose, coupled with the high probability of withdrawal symptoms upon cessation, it’s in a person’s best interest to seek detox treatment at a licensed substance abuse treatment facility like Harmony Ridge. Attempting to detox from fentanyl and other opioids at home will put you in imminent danger. Complications resulting from discontinuing any drug are greatly reduced, if not eliminated when performed in the safety and supervision of a licensed medical professional.

In the event a patient experiences any discomfort from withdrawal during the detoxification process, our highly skilled substance abuse treatment professionals at Harmony Ridge Recovery Center will quickly determine the appropriate actions to take to alleviate any temporary pain or discomfort the patient is experiencing. This can’t be done if the patient is at home.

Treatment For Fentanyl Addiction


Fentanyl addiction requires the highest level of care, which we provide at Harmony Ridge. Treatment for fentanyl addiction is effective when your drug rehabilitation plan involves medication and behavioral therapies. By using certain medications to help prevent seizures and to comfort patients for a few days, we consistently exceed industry detoxification success rates. Behavioral therapies are designed to help patients cope with the psychological effects of discontinuing fentanyl abuse.

During this time, patients are encouraged to adopt healthy habits such as diet, exercise, and environment. It’s important to understand that when a patient has successfully detoxed, this is a very vulnerable time for the person. Behavioral therapy is designed to assist a person to acclimate back into his/her normal routine, minus the drugs. It sounds straightforward, yet this treatment is essential in the recovery process and is highly effective in reducing the chances of relapse.

Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment for fentanyl withdrawal is our most flexible option at Harmony Ridge. When you enroll in outpatient treatment, you usually have a mild fentanyl addiction and are able to return home when the day is done. Outpatient treatment is usually held one to three days a week for three hours a day. This will allow you to still go to work or school in the evening.

Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP), on the other hand, has a few more restrictions. If you’re in IOP, we’ll need you to come to treatment a bit more often. However, for the most part, you can receive treatment during the day a few times a week and live at home. IOP will take a little longer to complete than outpatient.

Partial Hospitalization Program

Partial hospitalization is a middle ground between outpatient and residential treatment for fentanyl withdrawal. After attending treatment during the day, members will live in a home-like environment that isn’t their actual home. This will give them some structure before living on their own again.

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment is the best choice if you have severe fentanyl withdrawal and addiction. Members can put all of their attention on recovery from substance abuse. Our facility provides them with plenty of amenities like a full cafeteria, fitness room, and a heated indoor pool.

Fentanyl Detox

Detox is necessary to rid your body of the harmful substances you’ve taken. Our licensed clinicians might also use medication management to ease painful withdrawal symptoms. These medications are also used to help you slowly taper off fentanyl instead of removing it from your body all at once. Some of these medications include buprenorphine and naloxone, which are also opioids.

Detoxing from fentanyl can take anywhere from five to 10 days. How much detox is needed depends on the individual.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy will help you recover from your mental dependence on fentanyl. You’ll have one-on-one time with a licensed mental health counselor who will help you establish goals for your addiction recovery. You’ll also learn what caused your initial drug misuse and look at any negative patterns and behaviors that led you to hit rock bottom.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is especially helpful for people recovering from addiction. This mode of therapy gives you a chance to share your experiences with peers who have also developed a fentanyl dependency. Your peers will challenge you during each session and hold you accountable with guidance from a counselor trained in substance misuse. You’ll each practice role-playing and learn healthy coping skills to deal with any past trauma and any future triggers you encounter.

Holistic Therapy

Combined with traditional, evidence-based therapy, holistic treatment for fentanyl withdrawal can bring you peace of mind. Holistic treatment focuses on healing the entire body rather than fixing only one part of it. It incorporates spirituality and the uses of plants and herbs.

Some examples of holistic therapy include:

  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback


Even after you’ve completed your fentanyl addiction treatment, you’ll be surrounded by triggers and temptations. You might also be unsure of how to look for jobs and start your new sober life. Harmony Ridge is full of career resources and people who can help you on your journey. We’ll help you draw up a recovery plan that will key to your long-term success. These can include attending 12-step groups and attending therapy after rehab.

Get Treatment for Fentanyl Withdrawal at Harmony Ridge


From the moment you or your loved one calls Harmony Ridge Recovery Center, your health and well-being is our top priority. Our substance abuse treatment center provides a safe, quiet, and relaxing environment to promote the healing of the entire patient – mind, body, and soul.

We are not the standard hospital-like facility offering cookie-cutter solutions for drug and alcohol addictions. Instead, we treat each person on an individualized basis. Taking the extra time to learn about each person’s specific story plays a large role in our success in helping people overcome addiction. A customized fentanyl addiction treatment plan designed specifically for your needs will make it much easier to sustain long-term recovery.

Our licensed and insured medical team is onsite 24/7. Patients always have access to speak with a licensed medical professional on an individual basis. Additionally, we encourage patients to interact with one another through group therapy sessions and other recreational activities. We foster a warm and welcoming environment designed for those wanting help; receiving it in a way that will make a life-long impression. Patients enjoy numerous amenities to help put them at ease and focus completely on themselves during the recovery process.

Reach Out to Harmony Ridge Today

Situated in a beautiful nature setting sprawling with wildlife, patients enjoy our highly structured programs designed to help them overcome obstacles and triggers that have fueled their addiction. Residential and partial hospitalization treatment programs include combinations of group and individual therapy, counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and relapse prevention.

For more information about the services offered by Harmony Ridge Recovery Center, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our goal is to alleviate and end the suffering caused by the disease of addiction.

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