Fentanyl withdrawal and detox

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is around one-hundred times more potent than morphine and has been responsible for 477 deaths over the past ten years. Its potency and addictive qualities have the potential to ruin lives, but there is an escape route that starts with fentanyl detox. Fentanyl detox is no easy task, but Banbury Lodge can help you to navigate this challenging process.

Fentanyl detox

What is fentanyl detox?

Fentanyl detox is the process of eliminating the drug from the body and managing the withdrawal symptoms that occur when you reduce your intake of the drug. At Banbury Lodge, our medical staff will slowly taper your doses of fentanyl which can help to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms and is less of a shock to your body.

Fentanyl detox is an essential first step in your recovery and addresses your physical dependence on the drug. It is important to undergo fentanyl detox under the supervision of medical professionals who can monitor your condition and ensure your safety throughout this period of healing.

What causes fentanyl withdrawal symptoms?

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms occur if you suddenly stop using the drug after physical dependence has set in. With frequent use, the effects of fentanyl can lead to changes in brain chemistry and functioning. This means that you become reliant on fentanyl just to feel normal.

When the drug is no longer present, the brain struggles to maintain a state of equilibrium, and this results in a range of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. You may feel a little unwell during this time as your brain and body adapt to a life without fentanyl.

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms

Unfortunately, fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are an inevitable part of the opiate detox process. It is important to be aware of what to expect and prepare yourself for any uncomfortable symptoms.

Some common fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Agitation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle aches
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Runny nose and watery eyes
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures

These symptoms can vary in severity depending on your history of drug use, the amount and frequency of fentanyl use and any underlying health issues.

Fentanyl detox - dilated pupil

Is fentanyl detox dangerous?

Fentanyl detox can be dangerous, so attempting to detox alone is strongly discouraged. Fentanyl is a potent drug and sudden withdrawal can lead to severe and potentially life-threatening complications, including the possibility of seizures or a coma.

Severe dehydration is another risk involved with fentanyl detox, as withdrawal symptoms like persistent sweating, vomiting and diarrhoea can cause a rapid loss of fluids. As fentanyl works by lowering your heart and respiratory rate, coming off of the drug can also compromise these essential bodily functions.

An assisted fentanyl detox as part of a well-rounded rehab programme is the preferred treatment route. This allows you to relax knowing your fentanyl detox is in the hands of the experts, giving you the opportunity to fully focus on your recovery.

Fentanyl detox: the benefits

Fentanyl detox is a challenging process, but it also comes with many benefits that make it worthwhile. The main benefit of fentanyl detox is that it helps to break the cycle of fentanyl addiction by eliminating the drug from the body.

In addition to breaking your physical dependence, fentanyl detox can also provide other benefits, such as:

  • Improved physical health: Long-term use of fentanyl can cause a range of health problems, including respiratory issues, cardiovascular problems, and gastrointestinal issues. Detoxing from fentanyl can help to improve overall physical health by allowing the body to heal.
  • Improved mental health: Fentanyl can take a toll on your mental health, causing symptoms such as anxiety, depression and paranoia. Detoxing from fentanyl can help to improve mental health by reducing the intensity of these symptoms and allowing you to focus on restoring emotional health.
  • Increased motivation: Constant use of fentanyl can lead to feelings of hopelessness and apathy. Detoxing from fentanyl can increase your motivation by providing a sense of accomplishment and progress.

These benefits far outweigh the bad – fentanyl detox can help you to step into your new life away from drug abuse. You will be able to start rebuilding and taking positive steps towards a healthier future.

Fentanyl detox timeline

While the duration of your fentanyl detox may vary, the following timeline can typically be observed in most cases:

  • Early withdrawal: Early withdrawal symptoms usually begin within twelve hours of your last fentanyl dose and symptoms can include anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, sweating and muscle aches.
  • Acute withdrawal: Acute withdrawal symptoms typically occur within the first three days of fentanyl detox. These symptoms can be intense and may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure.
  • Post-acute withdrawal: Post-acute withdrawal symptoms are usually psychological and can linger for several weeks or even months. This may include depression, anxiety and insomnia. While these symptoms are less severe than acute withdrawal symptoms, they can still be challenging to manage and ongoing support is advised.

What can I do to ensure a successful fentanyl detox?

If you are about to embark on a fentanyl detox, it is important to take steps to ensure a successful outcome. Some things you can do to help include:

  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated and help your body to flush out toxins.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Supporting your body’s healing with nutritious meals, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, is a good idea during fentanyl detox.
  • Develop a support system: Fentanyl detox can have difficult moments, but having a support system in place can make all the difference. This may include family, friends or others in recovery.
  • Manage stress: Stress can trigger fentanyl cravings and make the detox process more challenging. It’s essential to find healthy ways to manage stress during fentanyl detox, such as through meditation, breathing exercises or therapy.
  • Engage in gentle exercise: By taking part in physical activity, you naturally boost your endorphin levels. This contributes towards a better mood and can combat psychological withdrawal symptoms.
  • Stay focused on the end goal: Reminding yourself of why you want to overcome your dependency on fentanyl and the benefits of a sober life can help you stay motivated and committed to fentanyl detox.

By following these steps and staying committed to the process, you can ensure that your fentanyl detox is completed, leaving you to concentrate on the rest of your recovery.

Fentanyl detox - man jogging

What happens after fentanyl detox?

Fentanyl detox is an essential first step, but it’s just the beginning of the recovery process. After detox, it’s crucial to address the underlying psychological and emotional issues that contributed to your drug use in the first place. This is where therapy comes in.

Banbury Lodge uses a variety of different therapies and holistic treatments as part of fentanyl rehab to ensure your physical, psychological and emotional well-being is treated. Our therapy sessions take place in both individual and group therapy sessions using a range of techniques, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CDT), and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), among others. You will also have access to supportive activities, including yoga and meditation, art therapy and sound therapy.

It is never easy to admit you need help and take the leap into fentanyl detox, but by doing so you will open many doors for your future self. If you would like to get started, or if you have any questions about prescription drug detox, pick up the phone and give us a call.

Frequently asked questions

Where can I find a Fentanyl detox clinic?
Our Banbury Lodge facility is located in Banbury, Oxfordshire. We also have treatment centres located across the UK so you are bound to find one that is close to you.
How can I help a loved one in fentanyl detox?
You can help a loved one in fentanyl detox by providing emotional support and encouraging them to seek professional medical help. It’s important to educate yourself on fentanyl detox so that you can better understand what your loved one is going through, and this will also ensure that you feel prepared for the process.
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Who am I contacting?

Calls and contact requests are answered by admissions at

UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step.

0203 553 3757