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Carfentanil Withdrawal

Carfentanil is a very dangerous synthetic opioid classified as a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Schedule II narcotic.  It’s a derivative of the opioid fentanyl, but much more potent. In fact, Carfentanil is 100 times stronger than fentanyl and 10,000 times stronger than morphine.  Just a little bit of Carfentanil ingested by a human can be fatal.

The tricky thing about Carfentanil is that users don’t normally know that they’re using it.  Because it’s so potent and cheap, drug dealers have been known to mix a little bit of it into other drugs like heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, and prescription pills. Someone may use their drug of choice and have no idea that Carfentanil has been mixed in, which puts them even more at risk of overdosing and dying.

What Are Carfentanil Withdrawal Symptoms?

Carfentanil is cut into whatever drug people use in small amounts.  Whether it’s heroin, cocaine, or another drug that carfentanil is cut into, that person becomes addicted to it. The withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop using the drug are intense and uncomfortable.

Common withdrawal symptoms are:

    • Body aches
  •       Nausea
  •       Vomiting
  •       Diarrhea
  •       Runny nose
  •       Watery eyes
  •       Yawning
  •       Anxiety
  •       Mood swings
  •       Increased heart rate
  •       Increased blood pressure
  •       Sweating
  •       Low appetite
  •       Fatigue
  •       Depression
  •       Stomach cramping
  •       Irritability
  •       Chills
  •       Cravings

Generally, the physical, medical detox time frame will be about a week or two, depending on how severe the addiction is, as well as the schedule to taper off the other drug. This is a process that incrementally decreases the dose over time to minimize withdrawal symptoms.

Medical detox is simply the first step toward a successful recovery from opioid addiction. Continued treatment for psychological withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, depression, and cravings is recommended.

What Are the Stages of Carfentanil Withdrawal Timeline?

The actual time for detoxing from Carfentanil or any other opioid will differ from person to person. There are various factors that will come into play when it comes to how fast one gets through detox, as well as the severity of symptoms. The factors include:

  • Severity of addiction
  • Dosage of the drug
  •  Frequency taken
  • Length of time using the drug
  • Overall health condition
  • Polydrug use
  •  Support network
  •  Taper schedule
  • Metabolism
  • Dietary habits

A general Carfentanil withdrawal timeline is as follows:

You may begin feeling withdrawal symptoms as early as six hours after your last dose. Early withdrawal symptoms tend to feel a lot like you have the flu. You may begin sweating, yawning, fill achiness throughout your body, become agitated or anxious, and be craving more of the drug. This early stage of withdrawal can last several days.

It’s likely that your withdrawal symptoms will peak during this stage. This means that some of the symptoms will become more severe. You may not experience every withdrawal symptom, or you may experience some intensely and others slightly. This will vary for each person, depending on the factors mentioned above. Typically, in this stage, people report nauseousness, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, loss of appetite, increased heart rate, anxiety, cravings, agitation, and fatigue.

By the time you get to the end of week 1, most or all of the physical withdrawal symptoms may have subsided. This will depend on your taper schedule, as well. Psychological withdrawal symptoms can continue, including anxiety, depression, and cravings. These can linger on for weeks or sometimes months. It’s important to have continued treatment and professional help in order to prevent a relapse.

How long is Carfentanil withdrawal? Most people say the physical aspect of detox lasts about a week. However, some symptoms can linger on for weeks or months, depending on each person and level of addiction.

Why Should I Detox?

People should go through the process of detox to be free from opioid addiction. When you continually use a habit-forming drug such as Carfentanil, your body gets used to having that drug. Because Carfentanil is extremely potent, it’s highly addictive. You could have just a little bit mixed in with your drug of choice, and your brain may get addicted after the first use.

Detox is a safe way to remove the drug from your body. If you’ve become addicted to an opioid, undergoing a medical detox program with the supervision of substance abuse professionals is recommended. Addiction experts offer support and can prescribe medications that will help minimize those severe withdrawal symptoms.

No one should attempt to detox from carfentanil at home. Quitting cold turkey at home can be dangerous, so do not stop abruptly. Overdosing is quite possible as intolerance for the drug’s effects will go up, and tolerance for them will go down. This is why medical detox at an accredited addiction treatment center is vehemently advised. 

What is the Next Treatment Step?

Many residential treatment centers offer detox and continued treatment in a residential program.

Under the care of a physician, you will be monitored through the detox stage and may be given medication to help minimize withdrawal symptoms. Common medications to assist with an opioid detox are buprenorphine, methadone, and clonidine.

The next step in the treatment journey is to commit to a long-term treatment facility either at a residential or outpatient facility or an intensive outpatient program (IOP). It’s common to commit to a 30, 60, or 90-day treatment regimen, where you’ll have access to a physician, therapist, and substance abuse professionals that will help you get free from opioid addiction.

You’ll be able to receive individual counseling and in some cases, group counseling. You’ll learn a lot about the disease of addiction and recovery tools and techniques so that you can go on to live a life addiction free.

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Residential Treatment

If you’re able to leave home to attend treatment, a residential treatment center is recommended. This allows you to leave your home environment and solely focus on your individual recovery in a safe and structured environment. This is a great option for those who have a history of relapse, or do not have a home environment that is conducive for recovery.

If you’re unable to reside at the treatment center, outpatient or intensive inpatient programs (IOP) will be suitable for you. In an outpatient program, you live at home and attend a certain number of sessions per week for treatment – usually between three and five. This is a great option if you have family or work responsibilities that won’t allow you to leave home for a period of treatment.

An IOP program is a bit more intensive than outpatient treatment, requiring at least 12 hours of treatment per week.  Entering an IOP program once residential treatment is completed is common.

Regardless of what treatment option you choose, the important thing to remember is that opioid treatment is available and can help you get free. Many people let their fear of having to go through detox keep from moving forward with treatment. However, addiction specialists can indeed help you get through those withdrawal symptoms in ways that minimize the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Sources

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association. Carfentanil. Retrieved from from https://www.samhsa.gov/search_results?k=carfentanil

EMS World. 5 Things You Need To Know About Carfentanil. Retrieved from from https://www.emsworld.com/article/12274360/carfentanil-5-things-you-need-to-know

DEA. Carfentanil: A Dangerous New Factor in the U.S. Opioid Crisis. Retrieved from from https://www.justice.gov/usao-edky/file/898991/download

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