As the opioid crisis has continued to intensify in the United States, fentanyl use has increased significantly. Some seek out this drug because of its potent capabilities, while others may become inadvertently addicted to it. However, fentanyl is a potentially lethal narcotic that comes with an increased risk of overdose, which is why someone struggling should seek the help of a fentanyl detox center in Nashville, Tennessee.
What is Fentanyl?
Originally designed to provide pain management to chronically ill and terminal patients, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine or heroin. Because of its potency and the relatively inexpensive cost to manufacture, drug cartels began cutting heroin and other drugs with fentanyl. Because fentanyl is so powerful and highly addictive, there has been a marked increase in fentanyl addiction and overdose deaths.
Signs of Fentanyl Addiction
It is very easy for people with a fentanyl addiction, or who have a family member that is addicted, to avoid facing the problem head-on. But fentanyl addiction is a very serious problem due to the very high risk of overdose. Moreover, knowing what signs to look for may help to recognize that loved one has a problem. These include:
- Major behavioral changes, such as extreme lethargy, mood swings, drastically changing friend groups, withdrawing from family and friends, and engaging in risky behaviors.
- Psychological changes, such as problems remembering things or concentrating on conversations, confusion, anxiety, depression, paranoia, or hallucinations.
- Physical changes, such as falling asleep at inappropriate times, constipation, upset stomach, fainting, significant weight loss, paleness, or sunken eyes.
- Major life changes, such as losing a job due to poor performance, failing or dropping out of school, serious money issues, or relationship issues.
Therefore, it is vital for families with a loved one suffering from a fentanyl addiction to seek help. Fortunately, Brentwood Detox offers a range of treatment options to our clients, ensuring that we can help to create a personalized addiction treatment program to best suit individual needs.
The Risks of Fentanyl Abuse
There are several risks of fentanyl use. One of the biggest risks of taking fentanyl is experiencing an overdose. Today, fentanyl is the number 1 contributor to overdose deaths in the US. In 2010, just 14.3% of opioid overdose deaths were from fentanyl. In comparison, today, it has been estimated to be responsible for roughly 60% of opioid overdose deaths. Additional risks of fentanyl use include:
- Accidents that occur under the influence
- Brain damage
- Loss of job
- Academic failure
- Alienation from family and friends
- Changes to physical appearance
Signs of Fentanyl Overdose
If someone is experiencing a fentanyl overdose, it is important to be educated on the signs, so that they can seek emergency care right away. Without treatment, there is a significant risk of permanent damage including death. Thankfully, naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose, and most police officers and EMTs now carry it because of the increase in opioid overdoses nationwide. Symptoms of an opioid overdose include:
- Choking or gurgling noises
- Foaming at the mouth
- Blue lips and/or nails
- Loss of consciousness
- Slowed or stopped breathing
- Decreased heart rate and low blood pressure
- Cold and clammy to the touch
- Dilated pupils
Signs of Fentanyl Withdrawal
For those with addiction, there is a physical and psychological dependency. Opioids trigger the release of “feel-good” hormones called endorphins. Over time and through prolonged use, the brain stops producing these hormones on its own. Once someone stops taking opioids, they experience negative symptoms called withdrawal. Signs of fentanyl withdrawal can include:
- Sweating and chills
- Stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Muscle or joint pain
- Elevated heart rate
- High blood pressure
Withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as several hours after a missed dose and can last for days or weeks. Additionally, withdrawal can be painful and is often why it is so difficult for people to stop abusing opioids like fentanyl. A fentanyl detox program in Nashville, Tennessee helps addicts by giving them access to medical care during withdrawal. Thus, this means that symptoms are less severe, making it easier for them to avoid relapse as well.
How Long Does it Take to Detox from Fentanyl?
For anyone trying to figure out how to detox from fentanyl, a common question is how long it will take. Most clients receiving fentanyl detox in Nashville need care for at least 5 to 7 days, but fentanyl detox can take several weeks, depending on the circumstances. The length of detox time may depend on the fentanyl dosage that was used and how a person’s body responds to medication-assisted treatment. The medications used to treat withdrawal symptoms during fentanyl detox can affect everyone differently, and dosages may need to be adjusted during detox. These variables will determine how long the process takes for each client.
Can a Person Detox From Fentanyl at Home?
Due to the dangerous nature of withdrawal symptoms, people should only detox at a licensed facility. This way, medical professionals can monitor their progress 24/7. We at Brentwood Springs closely supervise our detox patients, ensuring they remain stable and receive the appropriate medical attention should any complications arise. Additionally, we administer specific medications to help clients taper off of drug use in a safe and comfortable manner, instead of quitting cold turkey.
Not only does undergoing detox at home pose risks, but it also leads to a higher rate of relapse. This is because cravings and withdrawal symptoms can quickly get out of hand. Lastly, without medications to ease these side effects, those struggling are more likely to cave and start using again in order to find relief.
What to Expect in Fentanyl Detox in Nashville, TN
Brentwood Detox offers a specialized fentanyl detox program for our clients. It is the first step in treating fentanyl addiction, as it helps our clients to better focus on their addiction treatment program. After a thorough assessment by our expert addiction treatment team, we will create a custom plan that takes into account how long a person has been addicted, if they are taking other drugs, and if there are any other underlying mental or physical health concerns.
While in treatment, we monitor a client’s vital signs and administer the appropriate medication to help relieve symptoms. Addiction specialists will be on call to ensure that comfort and safety needs are met. Most clients are in our Nashville detox for 5 to 7 days, though some may need 10 or more days of treatment for maximum effectiveness.
Medication-Assisted Therapy in Nashville, TN
When it comes to treating fentanyl detox withdrawal symptoms, there are several different treatment options that can be used, depending on the person. Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, helps reduce symptoms, manage cravings, and get people on the road to recovery. Medications used in treatment include:
- Methadone: This medication tricks the brain into believing it is taking opioids. It is used to help wean people from opioid drugs.
- Clonidine: In order to ease the physical side effects of withdrawal, such as stomach pains, anxiety, and sweating, this medication is used.
- Naltrexone: This medication is used to prevent relapse. It works by preventing the drugs like heroin and fentanyl from attaching to the receptors in the brain and stopping the user from feeling the effects of the drugs.
- Buprenorphine: Similar to methadone, this drug is for relapse prevention.
Additionally, antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications can help treat mental health symptoms that many people experience while in treatment.
Get the Help You Need With Fentanyl Detox in Nashville, TN
Fentanyl addiction is a serious problem that requires the right help to overcome. At Brentwood Detox in Nashville, Tennessee, our team of dedicated addiction specialists can help you with every part of your recovery process to help you break free from the chains of addiction and set you up for a lifetime of success. For those wondering if we accept insurance, we accept UHC insurance. Call us or visit our admissions page today to find out about our treatment options.