Fentanyl Treatment: The Basics

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that was developed as medication for pain management in cancer patients. While fentanyl has legitimate medical uses, it’s frequently made, distributed and consumed illegally. Fentanyl produces feelings of euphoria, relaxation, sedation and drowsiness.

Fentanyl is an extremely dangerous drug due to its addictiveness— it’s between 80 and 100 times more potent than morphine according to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency. If you’ve found yourself unable to break a fentanyl habit, it’s time to get treatment. Here’s what you can expect.

What can I expect from fentanyl treatment?

Like treatment for other opioids, fentanyl treatment will differ depending on the severity of your substance use disorder. The structure of services will reflect your level of need, with the most severe addictions and overdose recoveries requiring hospitalization or intensive inpatient care.

Inpatient treatment is necessary for those who face too high of a risk of relapse if left unsupervised and for people who need medical supervision during the withdrawal period. People who have completed the detox period or have manageable withdrawal symptoms partake in partial hospitalization or outpatient programs.

In addition to specific structures, you can also expect the content of treatment to differ slightly with each level of care. Inpatient treatment has a heavier focus on pain management techniques and overcoming physical cravings and triggers. Outpatient treatment works to heal the root of the addiction and prevent triggers in the long-term.

In fentanyl treatment, you can be sure psychotherapy will be the crux of your healing. In group and individual settings, you’ll work with a therapist to gain a new perspective on how drugs have damaged your life. In treatment, you’ll find ways to cope through distress instead of turning to drugs.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has also been proven to help people overcome opioid use disorders according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). If you’re struggling to quit fentanyl, you’ll want to ask your treatment facility if MAT is available to you. 

Buprenorphine, methadone and naltrexone are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for opioid addiction treatment. These substances bind to the same opioid receptors in the brain as fentanyl, but do not produce a euphoric effect. This reduces withdrawal symptoms and can help prevent relapse.

Generally, a combination of behavioral therapies (like cognitive behavioral therapy) and medication is the most effective way to get sober from fentanyl. According to the NIDA, when MAT and therapy are used simultaneously, they improve treatment retention, decrease participation in criminal activity and decrease opioid overdose deaths.

How will fentanyl treatment affect me emotionally?

There’s no sugarcoating it— fentanyl treatment is brutal. The pain of withdrawal is serious and you’re going to need to put in a lot of hard work to rebuild your life. However, it’s much better than the alternative of remaining a slave to drugs.

The process of getting sober from fentanyl will bring a lot of emotions to the surface. While you’re healing, the following emotions may surface.

  • Anxiety about the potential for relapse
  • Guilt over the relationships that have been broken
  • Frustration that your addiction spiraled
  • Denial regarding the widespread effect fentanyl had on your life
  • Irritability as a side effect of withdrawal and cravings
  • Feeling misunderstood or judged by family, friends and others
  • Worthlessness or hopelessness
  • Anger towards the people who encouraged your substance use
  • Grief regarding the years of your life lost to addiction

You may also be flooded with positive emotions, like compassion for others who are in your same situation and relief that you’ve already taken the hardest step in accepting help.

The emotional aspect of fentanyl treatment is almost as overwhelming as the physical aspect. This is why treatment is so essential when you’re breaking free from an opioid use disorder. 

The expertise, compassion and resources of the staff and treatment center will support you in every area so you can bear through the hard parts as quickly as smoothly as possible, and come out the other side entirely unencumbered by a chemical dependence.

How do I start fentanyl treatment?

Treatment programs are effective in helping individuals to overcome opioid use disorders, but only you can take the first step and choose to engage in treatment. It’s normal to have fears, questions and hesitations about starting detox from fentanyl, but whatever questions aren’t answered here can easily be answered once you arrive.

Bring your questions to Bluff, and find the healing you’ve been longing for. At Bluff, you’ll find services for you or a loved one that will make a lasting difference. Put drugs in the past and call today.