Fentanyl Addiction, Half-Life, Withdrawal Timeline, and More

Doctors use fentanyl to sedate patients during surgery or for managing pain in terminally ill patients. Fentanyl is extremely powerful; a tiny dose can do the trick. It shows rapid action. It also gets eliminated from the body fast. 

The above features of fentanyl make it a favorite drug for drug dealers. They put small doses of fentanyl into other drugs to make them exceptionally powerful. Fentanyl is cheaply available, so it helps them make more profits. 

Ohio drug rehab center gets numerous cocaine and heroin addicts who did not know they were also taking fentanyl with their drugs! Many drug dealers fake heroin and cocaine with fentanyl. Addicts think they are taking pure heroin or cocaine. They are unaware that their drug is simply fentanyl with some cutting agents. This increases the risk of overdose. 

The quick onset of action means the quick onset of withdrawal symptoms too 

Fentanyl acts quickly in the body. It also gets metabolized quickly in the body. So, the faster you feel the effects, the faster they wither off. That’s why you begin to feel the withdrawal symptoms faster than on other drugs. 

Half-life of fentanyl

The half-life of fentanyl is just 219 minutes. 

Half-life is the time required for a drug’s concentration to reduce to half of its original dose taken in the body. 

It’s important to know the half-life of a drug because this determines how fast and severe you would experience withdrawal symptoms. The shorter the half-life, the quicker and more problematic the symptoms, and vice versa. 

A short half-life also means that the addict would take another dose sooner because the effect withers off faster. This means more severe addiction. 

Why you must seek professional help

It is better to De-addict in a rehabilitation center than at home because of the dangers associated with withdrawal symptoms. Call the addiction hotline today. 

Also, it is not easier to go off such a powerful drug. You might miss a dose; then get the withdrawal symptoms; then you may take the dose again. 

Without professional help, you may not know how to cope with symptoms.

Timeline of withdrawal from fentanyl

Experts have classified withdrawal into three stages or timelines:

1. Early stage:

As you go off fentanyl, the first symptoms that may appear include: 

  • Strong cravings
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • Heavy sweating
  • Muscle pain
  • Goosebumps
  • Shaking of the body
  • Hot flushes or cold chills
  • Runny nose

2. Peak stage:

The peak stage is a difficult one to handle during fentanyl treatment. It is good to be under the supervision of experts. That’s why an in-patient rehabilitation center works best. 

This is the stage when your withdrawal symptoms peak. It usually happens 2-4 days after your last dose. 

3. Long-term stage:

The long-term stage features long-term symptoms, which generally appear a week after the detox program. They are more psychological in nature, along with physical cravings. A rehab center has various programs to deal with them. 

The symptoms include:

  • Relapse dreams
  • Unable to derive pleasure from other things
  • Unusual euphoria 
  • Negative feelings like remorse, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, and so on

Undergoing therapies and counseling at this stage is important to avoid a relapse. 

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