Understanding Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

Understanding Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms
Understanding Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can be difficult in your journey to recovery.

Profound Treatment Los Angeles can help with understanding fentanyl withdrawal symptoms. It is incredibly important to be aware of any and all possible barriers to your sobriety.

Fentanyl was in the news recently for the accidental overdose of famous singer Prince. The number of overdoses caused by this drug has been rising for years, with hospitals seeing more emergency room visits, seizures caused by drug use, and overdose deaths.

The statistics on Fentanyl abuse are staggering. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting the number of deaths from synthetic opioid abuse increased 80% from 2013 to 2014. In Ohio, that number jumped to 500%.

These statistics are frightening. Our goal at Profound Treatment located in Los Angeles is to ensure that you don’t become another statistic. 

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. This  means that it is man-made, rather than found naturally. Opioids are normally prescribed to patients that require severe pain management, such as those recovering from surgery or cancer.

Fentanyl works by blocking pain receptors in the brain. It also increases the production of the hormone dopamine. This gives you feelings of relaxation and euphoria. 

Fentanyl abusers may smoke or even eat the opioid as well. Most alarmingly, medical professionals have seen a rise in “cutting” fentanyl with another drug, such as heroin or cocaine in order to intensify their effects.

This is extremely dangerous. Fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin and almost 100 times more potent than morphine. According to a recent documentary, Death by Fentanyl, taking a dose of pure fentanyl just the size of 3 sugar crystals can kill an adult.

While fentanyl is prescribed for the relief of physical pain, many abusers, especially those who obtain the drug illegally, use it as a temporary release from emotional pain. 

Who is at risk for Fentanyl abuse?

Fentanyl doesn’t discriminate when it comes to whom it affects. We have seen mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers come into our facility because the powerful opiate has caused such great damage to their lives. 

There are certain factors that can affect one’s likelihood of developing addiction. Studies have shown that some people may have a genetic predisposition to becoming addicts. Others may find it hard to resist social pressures from friends and family who also use drugs. Sometimes, it can come down to psychological triggers or trauma that seek the relief of opiates. One or all  of these factors may lead to addiction. Regardless of the reason, sobriety can still be achieved. 

How does Fentanyl affect you?

Serious health problems caused by fentanyl abuse can appear in even a short amount of time.  Physically, you might notice that breathing becomes harder and more labored and that your immunity. Your body’s ability to fight off illness has been compromised. Stomach problems and other gastrointestinal issues can arise. General feeling of being tired and weak are common.

Fentanyl can cause severe heart damage. It works as a depressant, slowing down bodily functions, including those of your heart.  Prolonged opioid abuse may cause QT syndrome. This is a defect that slows the electric conduction of your heart. You don’t have to be using fentanyl for that long before complications like heart palpitations and arrhythmia to arise.

Most seriously, fentanyl can kill. As we learned from those earlier statistics,  it does so with alarming regularity.  Fentanyl affects the part of your brain that controls respiratory functions and can slow your breathing down to the point where it actually stops. If your brain goes without oxygen for extended periods of time, it can cause irreversible damage and even death.

The signs of a fentanyl overdose include clammy skin, seizures, severe drowsiness, low blood pressure, slowed heartbeat and respiratory reduction.

Fentanyl can also change who you are as a person. You may become depressed, anxious and paranoid, have personality changes, or suffer from hallucinations. It can affect your relationships with others, making you become more withdrawn and isolated from friends and family. When you abuse fentanyl, you learn very quickly that there is no “you” anymore, there is only “you on fentanyl.”

Understanding Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

Because fentanyl is such an incredibly strong and addictive drug, your body will experience powerful fentanyl withdrawal symptoms.  Depending on how the drug was administered, you may start to feel these symptoms within 12 hours after your last dose of fentanyl.  Patch users may not see symptoms until after the first 24 hours because it is an extended-release medication.

Below we have listed some of the more common symptoms reported. These symptoms can range from merely being annoying and uncomfortable to almost painful.

  • Fatigue: Feeling exhausted, both mentally and physically.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty asleep or staying asleep during withdrawal.
  • Sweating: Sweating more profusely than normal, especially at night.
  • Fever: A spike in body temperature is a common symptom.
  • Headache: Mild discomfort to intensive migraines.
  • Pupil Dilation: Sensitivity to sunlight.
  • Shivering: Internal temperature fluctuating, causing goosebumps at times.
  • Itchiness: Some may feel like the skin is crawling. This is a normal and usually subsides after a few days.

Additional Symptoms:

  • Yawning: Former fentanyl users report excessive yawning during the withdrawal process.
  • Nausea: Feelings of nausea or vomiting.
  • Diarrhea: Opiates tend to cause constipation, so diarrhea is very common when coming off the drug.
  • Muscle pain or cramps: It is normal to experience muscle pain once the drug has left your system.
  • Anxiety, Irritability, and Agitation: Former users reported feelings of anxiety and irritability once they are no longer on the drug.
  • Increased heart rate: Heart palpitations or an increased heart rate.
  • High blood pressure: Blood pressure tends to lower when on fentanyl due to the depressive activity in your central nervous system. Blood pressure may shoot up for a short period of time during withdrawal. Medications are available to counteract this under medical advice.
  • Depression: Feelings of depression, or suicide may occur. Opioids produce endorphins, which make you feel happy or euphoric. When you quit using fentanyl, your body has to produce natural occurring hormones on its own again. Feelings of suicide should never be ignored. If you have these feelings, please consult a medical professional.
  • Some experience severe symptoms such as cardiac arrhythmias, seizures, dehydration, and strokes. If you suspect you may be at risk for any of these issues, consult a medical professional immediately.

Ending Fentanyl abuse

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms will likely continue until you make the decision to end the abuse.  Finding sobriety after a fentanyl addiction and overcoming fentanyl withdrawal symptoms is no small task. Due to the drug being powerfully addictive, getting and staying sober can seem nearly impossible when done alone. We strongly recommend seeking assistance from a rehabilitation program such as  Profound Treatment located in Los Angeles, California.

Some may decide to quit fentanyl and overcome fentanyl withdrawal symptoms “cold turkey”. This means they quit using the drug entirely.  While this method can be successful,  you will most likely feel the effects of fentanyl withdrawal symptoms quickly and more severe than slowly stopping fentanyl use. We very rarely (if ever) recommend this method. 

Replacement therapy.

With this method, the user replaces fentanyl with a less powerful opioid such as Methadone or Suboxone. This method is typically used in detox centers. Once one tapers off the replacement drug, the only way to become truly “clean” is to fully end all drug use.

Many experts recommend a fentanyl detoxification process. This helps someone with an addiction gradually come off of the drug under the watchful eye of medical professionals. This method helps minimize the uncomfortable and painful fentanyl withdrawal symptoms.

Detox can be achieved in an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation program. Programs involve around-the-clock physical and mental care to ensure the safety of all patients during this challenging time.

Fentanyl detoxification is also said to reduce the risk of relapse and end the user’s substance abuse once and for all. Detox, and most withdrawal symptoms, usually last around a week. 

During your recovery, you may battle the urge to use fentanyl many times. Take each day one at a time and you will see progress.

We can offer solutions.

Profound Treatment,Addiction rehabilitation center located in Los Angeles, California  can provide help throughout this entire process.

For more information on treating fentanyl addiction, visit our webpage or contact us at (800) 559-3496.

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

Those who have made the courageous decision to quit the drug Adderall will most likely find themselves battling a new demon: the Adderall withdrawal symptoms. There are ways to safely cleanse your system of the drug and have a successful recovery.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is an amphetamine/dextroamphetamine. Part of a family of prescription drugs called psychostimulants, it can cause temporary improvement in one’s mental or physical functions. It does this by affecting certain neurotransmitters in the brain. This boosts alertness, focus, and energy levels. Commonly prescribed to sufferers of ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), narcolepsy, and chronic fatigue, Adderall is sometimes paired with other drugs to treat depression. Adderall also has a high potential for psychological dependency. This can lead to addiction.

Who is at risk for Adderall abuse?

Understanding Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms. Adderall abuse can occur even while under the supervision of a doctor, however, it has exploded in popularity as a recreational drug, especially in students.

This is because it can be used to improve academic and work performance.

In fact, a recent study by the National Survey on Drug Use found that 6.4% of college students between the ages of 18 and 22 have used Adderall recreationally. And because of the fact that it so common and easy to get, you may underestimate just how hazardous and addictive this drug can be if not properly administered. This makes it even more likely for abuse and psychological dependency.

What is Adderall Abuse?

Adderall is one of the most abused prescription drugs and abuse can come in a variety of forms. These include taking a higher dose than prescribed, taking the drug without a prescription, taking it through non-doctor approved methods (like snorting), taking the drug more frequently than prescribed, or taking the drug for reasons other than those prescribed by their doctor. Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms is one of our specialty services at Profound Treatment, Los Angeles.

The Effects of Adderall Abuse

Adderall abuse, like any amphetamine abuse, is a slippery slope that can easily turn into addiction. The more and more Adderall users take, the more likely they are to develop a tolerance towards the drug, meaning that it will require higher or more frequent doses to get the same effect.
That tolerance could then turn into dependency, where the user’s body gets so used to have the drug that it can no longer function properly without it.

Finally, Adderall users can become addicted, compulsively seeking the drug out and ignoring its risks and negative effects.

The “Crash” and Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms

In many drug users’ lives there comes a time when they decide enough is enough and they make the decision to stop the abuse once and for all. However, they should be aware of what’s to come once the drug is no longer a part of their lives.
Once a person makes the choice to quit taking Adderall, the effects can be seen in as little as a few hours. Experts often refer to this initial period as the Adderall “crash,” as your body tries to readjust to life before your amphetamine abuse. Your symptoms will be the worst and most intense during your first week of withdrawal.

You’ll start to feel better towards the end of that first week, as the most intense symptoms start to subside and you begin to function normally without needing Adderall as a crutch.

By the end of the first month, you’ll most likely start to feel more like “you” again, though it could take up to three if your tolerance was extremely high.

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms Can Vary.

Adderall withdrawal symptoms will vary from person to person and can be dependent on a variety of criteria. For example, someone who took the drug for a longer length of time will most likely experience more severe symptoms than someone who only took it for a shorter period. The same goes for dosage frequency and amount.

Earlier we briefly touched upon the different types of Adderall available: Adderall IR and Adderall XR. Even the type of Adderall taken can play a role in how a person feels during withdrawal. It’s often thought that those who use XR may have a more difficult time quitting the drug than someone who has been taking IR.

Again, there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to Adderall withdrawal; every individual will have a different experience as they come off of the drug.

Adderall withdrawal symptoms are long and varied and it would be irresponsible to suggest that you or your loved one will experience all of them.

 Here are some of the most common Adderall Withdrawl symptoms.
  • Anger and Irritability: As the drug leaves your system, you may feel attacked and aggravated by those around you for no real reason, even up to the point of causing crying spells.
  • Anxiety and Panic Attacks: Oftentimes you may feel anxious for no reason at all when coming off this drug.
  • Increased Appetite and Weight Gain: Adderall can be an appetite suppressant and once off it, you may find yourself hungrier than normal.
  • Inability to Focus and concentrate: You may have a hard time focusing on tasks and remembering things without the drug.
  • Dizziness: Dizziness tends to occur within the first few days of withdrawal, especially if you decide to quit cold turkey.
  • Fatigue and Laziness: The most common symptoms; these occur because you are used to Adderall giving you the energy to function every day. Once the drug is taken away, your body needs time to adjust to doing tasks without it.
  • Foggy Thinking: Your thoughts may feel hazy and unclear while coming off Adderall because you are no longer relying on it to focus.
Additional Adderall Withdrawl Symptoms
  • Headaches: These are normally fairly minor and can be combatted with over-the-counter headache medication.
  • Mood Swings: Sometimes, people report extreme changes in their moods, going from great highs to extreme lows.
  • Nausea: You may feel waves of nausea and even vomit during withdrawal.
  • Vivid Dreams: Some people going through Adderall withdrawal saw changes in their dreams or had dreams that seemed especially wild and vivid.
  • Depression and Suicidal Thoughts: Dopamine (the “happy” hormone) levels tend to decrease when off Adderall, leading to feelings of depression and even thoughts of suicide. This is the most serious of all side effects; if you experience this, contact your doctor immediately.

Remember, even though you may feel hopeless during the first few weeks of recovery, these symptoms are only temporary, while the positive effects of sobriety will last a lifetime.

Ending Your Substance Abuse

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms are treated at Profound Treatment Center Los Angeles. There are several ways you can end your Adderall abuse. Many people have found a three-step approach to be the most successful.

  • First, and most obviously, you must make the decision to quit.
  • Secondly, you can pick a plan of HOW you are going to quit the drug.
  • Finally, you must also create a maintenance plan in order to discourage any relapses.

Additional Solutions To Ending Your Substance Abuse:

Another method of quitting is tapering down your usage the drug. This can be especially effective for those whose abuse was severe because it can minimize Adderal withdrawal symptoms.

Absolutely essential to your success is to have a support system. Friends or loved ones who understand your struggle and can help you through even the most difficult times. Patients typically find outpatient treatments offered at Profound Treatment are especially helpful.

If you are a heavy user, an inpatient facility may also help you in your road to recovery. On average, these treatments can take anywhere between several weeks to several months. Profound Treatment is an excellent option.

Our patient’s daily routine is focused on recovery. This includes regular group therapy sessions. Other services at Profound Treatment Center Los Angeles is one-on-one counseling. We also offer on-site doctors who can help cope with difficult withdrawal symptoms.

If you or your loved one suffers from Adderall addiction and are finally looking to get help, Profound Treatment offers a variety of different programs to help you reach sobriety.

Maintaining Your Sobriety

Ending your Adderall abuse is only part of the journey to recovery.

Staying healthy has a big impact.  This may make you less likely to turn to Adderall. It’s also important to be aware of your triggers. Acknowledge what situations make you want to reach for the drug to be prepared to resist temptations.

Profound Treatment Center Los Angeles

Addiction treatment centers like Profound are also excellent resources because we know that treatment doesn’t end once sobriety begins. When it comes to maintaining your sobriety we can help you through every step of your journey.

Learn more about how Profound Treatment can help you or your loved one’s addiction HERE.
We can help with Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms