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Guide on Fentanyl Rehab

Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 May 2024
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  • What You'll Learn

Fentanyl detox can help someone avoid an accidental overdose. Numerous drugs are laced with fentanyl, which is scary for anyone using illicit substances. Below, you can find state-specific Fentanyl pages that will give you more information on Fentanyl use in your area with medical detox listings in that area to help you or your loved one deal with Fentanyl addiction.

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What is Fentanyl?

Icon used to show how Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid

Fentanyl is a Synthetic Opioid

This means it is manufactured and does not occur naturally. Fentanyl is created, both legally and illegally, in labs across the world.

Icon used to show how Fentanyl is a powerful drug

Fentanyl is a Powerful Drug

Reports show that fentanyl can be 50x more potent than heroin and 100x more powerful than morphine.

Icon used to show how Fentanyl is deadly.

Fentanyl is Deadly

According to the CDC, synthetic opioids like fentanyl are responsible for over 150 deaths daily.

Fentanyl Use and Addiction

Though fentanyl is often discussed as a significant factor linked to overdose deaths, fentanyl has a high potential for abuse and addiction. A person can start abusing and become dependent on fentanyl in a variety of ways:

  • Suppose a person starts taking fentanyl for recreational use. Someone could start their drug use with fentanyl or fentanyl with other drugs. For example, if someone is abusing painkillers and develops a tolerance for them. In that case, he could start abusing fentanyl as it is more potent and could create an addiction to it over time.
  • Suppose a person has a fentanyl prescription and takes more than the prescribed dosage. This can lead to further physical tolerance and the need to take even more fentanyl and thus begin the cycle of abuse and potential addiction.
  • Even if someone follows the prescription to its end, the person could develop a dependence on the drug, leading them to buy fentanyl illegally once their prescription is over. This can sometimes happen if the person starts feeling withdrawal symptoms once they stop taking the drug.

All Drug Rehabs Protect Individuals from Fentanyl

The risk of exposure to fentanyl exists for anyone using illicit drugs. Even if you do not seek out fentanyl directly, there is a strong chance the drug you choose to use has been tainted with the substance.

If you or your loved one is using drugs, they are at risk for fentanyl overdose. It is that simple. To prevent a tragedy from occurring, you should seek drug treatment and start looking for a drug rehab in your area.

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Fentanyl Detox

Once fentanyl abuse or addiction has been identified, it is very important to seek help as soon as possible. Because of the drug’s potency, fentanyl users risk overdosing. The first step to look at in terms of treatment is detoxing. The point of detoxing is to abstain from taking fentanyl and letting the body eliminate the substance while managing the withdrawal symptoms. An excellent option for fentanyl detox is a medical detox. There are many advantages to undergoing a medical detox program:

  • Going away to detox is a great way to remove the triggers that can be present in the environment.
  • It permits one to focus solely on getting better.
  • Medical professionals can manage the withdrawal symptoms (with medication if necessary).
  • It will be easier to transition directly to a comprehensive drug rehabilitation program.

Some rehabilitation facilities might offer all these services; others might have just a few. A professional assessment before planning rehabilitation can help one find the facility that will fulfill all their needs. For example, suppose a person never finished high school (because of drugs or other circumstances). In that case, they could find a rehab program that also offers GED classes or other educational services, giving them the tools needed to be productive once they complete the program.

The setting in which one goes through rehabilitation is another factor to consider. The two main settings are outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation. Whether outpatient or residential treatment is the best fit depends on several factors. Outpatient rehab will permit the person to continue their life and fulfill their obligations (family, work, etc.) while in recovery. However, people, the environment, and some life situations can trigger some people and increase their chances of relapsing. An inpatient drug rehab eliminates most of those triggers and puts the person in an environment solely dedicated to recovery.

Professional Observations

I have been working in the field of addiction for over 24 years, witnessing the struggles of individuals addicted to heroin, sleeping pills, and various medications. Years ago, only about 5% of our calls were related to medication addiction, whether for the individuals themselves or someone they knew. This was the norm. However, in the past decade, our call centers in both Canada and the U.S. have seen a dramatic increase, with approximately 70% of calls now concerning medication. Most of these cases began with a doctor’s prescription. When the prescriptions stop, patients often turn to the streets to obtain these medications, which are not regulated. Particularly concerning is fentanyl, where the minuscule amount required makes the margin of error dangerously small, akin to playing Russian roulette.

From my perspective, it is crucial for doctors to receive better education on these medications, and for patients to be thoroughly informed about the potential severe side effects. The FDA should implement stricter monitoring of prescriptions and exercise greater caution when approving new drugs. Additionally, doctors should be educated on alternative pain management options that are less addictive. This comprehensive approach could help mitigate the growing problem of medication addiction and ensure safer treatment practices.

-Marcel Gemme, DATS

Tips to Combat Fentanyl Use

  • Learn about fentanyl abuse and addiction. Education is vital to understanding what fentanyl does to the person and the effects of addiction in general. It is also helpful to learn the recommended treatment plans for fentanyl addiction. Speaking to a professional such as one of our referral specialists can help you understand the treatment steps recommended for fentanyl addiction and the treatments available in your preferred area.
  • Let them know in no uncertain terms that you are there to support them and that they need to get help. When having a conversation concerning their fentanyl problem, ensure they are sober and relaxed. If the person is under the influence or is preoccupied with other issues, the message might not get through and might be counterproductive.
  • Do not enable the behavior associated with addiction. As you support your loved one, it is essential not to let this become enabling behavior. It is vital to support the person, but just as important to not support the addiction. Boundaries should be set to show the person that his fentanyl abuse will not be supported. This can include cutting off all financial assistance, for example. It is crucial to uphold these boundaries. The same concept applies to consequences. As you let the person know of the consequences they will face if they keep using fentanyl and don’t get help, the consequences must be met. Although it may seem unkind, you are helping the person. The real enemy is addiction.
  • Persist in communicating with your loved one about their fentanyl problem and getting help. If you need help in this regard, you can hire a professional interventionist. Some rehabilitation facilities will provide an interventionist to help with the process. An intervention is a specific process with steps designed to make the person realize they have a problem and need treatment.

Ask a professional

  • What type of drug is fentanyl?

    Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid painkiller. It is a depressant that slows the central nervous system, often dangerously due to its potency. Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and was initially developed as a prescription pharmaceutical to treat severe pain in advanced cancer patients who may already have a tolerance to opioids. Sadly, the drug has become one of the deadliest illicit substances in history because it can be manufactured in clandestine laboratories for relatively cheap costs compared to less powerful opioid drugs.

  • What does fentanyl look like?

    Pure fentanyl is a white, crystalline powder substance, but the drug is rarely used in pure form, instead being diluted by other substances. Fentanyl has been showing up in meth, cocaine, ecstasy, and being pressed into fake prescription pills. This is one reason fentanyl is so dangerous, it is added to other drugs, and many do not even know they are taking it.

  • Why is fentanyl so deadly?

    Fentanyl is so deadly because of its extreme potency. The drug can kill someone through transdermal contact through the skin. People have died from contacting only a few grains of fentanyl. And because the drug is virtually odorless, it is often undetectable to the consumer. So, fentanyl overdoses often happen to people who had no idea they were consuming it. Opioid overdose causes unconsciousness, depresses breathing, and causes the victim to die from suffocation. Unless they’re found within a few minutes of ingestion, their chances of survival are very poor.

  • How long does fentanyl stay in your system?

    Fentanyl can usually be detected on a urinalysis drug for up to 72 hours after last use. However, there are always exceptions that depend upon how heavily the substance is used and for how long. The person’s physiology also affects how quickly the drug is passed from the system.

  • How is fentanyl used?

    Fentanyl can be ingested in many ways; the drug can be injected, snorted, swallowed, smoked, or even absorbed transdermally. Since fentanyl is often used for lacing other substances, the method of ingestion usually accompanies whatever other substance is being consumed. For example, if heroin has been laced with fentanyl, the unsuspecting user may intravenously inject it.

  • Want to know more?

    The questions from Addicted.org’s “Learn from our Experts” are answered by Michael Leach, CCMA. If you need further clarification on any of the questions above or have any other questions you can contact him directly at mike@addicted.org.

Testimonial on our Guide to Fentanyl Rehab

“After reviewing your website, I am so excited to say I would be VERY PROUD to post your link on our website. We appreciate organizations that maintain integrity and Addicted.org does this. We have had other “health” info sites reach out to us and they were not trustworthy and had advertising and questionable intentions. The problem with Fentanyl is nobody talks about it enough, my hubby has brought it up a few times on our show on YouTube. It is becoming a very dangerous situation with very big players supplying this drug to those who either don’t know or are already addicted.”
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More Information

Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people. He is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist graduate with Honours of Stratford Career Institute. Marcel has also received a certificate from Harvard for completing a course entitled The Opioid Crisis in America and a certificate from The University of Adelaide for completing a course entitled AddictionX: Managing Addiction: A Framework for Succesful Treatment.



More Information

Michael Leach is a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, who has over 5 years of experience working in the field of addiction. He spent his career working under the board-certified Addictionologist Dr. Rohit Adi. His experience includes working with families during their loved one’s stay in treatment, helping those with substance abuse issues find treatment, and teaching life skills to patients in a recovery atmosphere. Though he has worked in many different areas of rehabilitation, the majority of his time was spent working one on one with patients who were actively withdrawing from drugs. Withdrawal and the fear of going through it is one biggest reason why an addict continues to use and can be the most difficult part of the rehabilitation process. His experience in the withdrawal atmosphere has taught him that regardless of what approach a person takes to get off drugs, there are always mental and emotional obstacles that need to be overcome. He believes having someone there to help a person through these obstacles can make all the difference during the withdrawal process.

Commitment to High-Quality Medical Content

At DRS, we pride ourselves on having trustworthy content that our readers can count on to be accurate and up-to-date. To achieve this, we follow the high standards outlined below:

  • Our content is written by experts in the field of substance use and addiction recovery. The DRS team has over 80 years of combined experience.
  • Medical experts then review our content to ensure it is accurate and current. Our Medical Content is reviewed by Dr. Rohit S. Adi, who has been practicing medicine for over 30 years, and Michael Leach, CCMA.
  • Our content is regularly updated to ensure you read the most up-to-date information on substance use and addiction recovery.
  • We only use established sources in the field of addiction and mental health, making our content trustworthy and accurate.

If you believe that any of our content is incorrect or outdated, kindly inform us by contacting us at communications@addicted.org.