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Treatment Options for Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl is considered the deadliest opioid. Currently, it is responsible for killing the most number of people in the US. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Legally, fentanyl is only used to treat severe pain, usually to the level of cancer-induced pain. However, in recent years, illicit use has become way more common. While fentanyl may seem to be difficult to overcome, there are treatments that can help you fight off your battle with fentanyl. 

Medical Detox

Being an exceptionally strong opioid, fentanyl can have serious physical and psychological side effects when stopped. Medical detox is the first step in the recovery of fentanyl addiction. The purpose of detox is to overcome severe withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Severe body aches
  • Hot or cold flushes
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Severe cravings
  • Cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Feeling anxious or stressed

These withdrawal symptoms are very severe and opioid withdrawal can even kill you if you do not undergo proper rehabilitation. 

In order to keep people safe and as comfortable as possible during the withdrawal process, medical detox is meant to offer medical monitoring and assistance. These symptoms vary according to the amount of fentanyl you have taken and how frequently you have been using the drug. 

Non-Medical Detox (Cold Turkey)

Another treatment option for fentanyl addiction is cold turkey or non-medical detox. However, it is not advised because it may be risky and even fatal. Fentanyl use should not be abruptly stopped since doing so can cause significant withdrawal symptoms that can be challenging to manage without medical supervision and help. 

In order to achieve a secure and effective recovery from fentanyl addiction, it is essential to seek medical attention and go through appropriate rehabilitation. Medications that your doctor dispenses can help you manage all these withdrawal symptoms

Medication-Assisted Treatment Program

In order to treat fentanyl addiction, known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines medicine with behavioral therapy and psychotherapy. The medicine utilized in MAT programs aids in lowering fentanyl addiction's cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Medication used in MAT programs frequently includes methadone, buprenorphine, buprenorphine/naloxone, and naltrexone. 

Methadone: This is a long-acting opioid that can help reduce cravings and prevent withdrawal symptoms. It is frequently used as a treatment for opioid addiction. Long-acting opioids do not give euphoric feelings like other opioids, which is why they are not addictive when used appropriately. 

Buprenorphine: It is a partial opioid agonist that can also reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms but with less risk of abuse and overdose. Buprenorphine may be considered a safer option than the other opioids in some cases. 

Naltrexone: It is an opioid antagonist, meaning that it completely blocks the effects of opioids in the brain, making it an effective treatment option for preventing relapse and continuing treatment. 

While medication can be a helpful tool in the treatment of fentanyl addiction, it is important to understand that it is only one aspect of a holistic treatment plan. Counseling and other therapeutic interventions are also important components of MAT programs, as they can help individuals address the underlying issues that led to their addiction and develop coping skills for maintaining sobriety.

Behavioral Therapies

The importance of behavioral therapies for managing fentanyl addiction cannot be overstated. There are different therapies that can help individuals identify the root causes of their addiction, develop coping skills for managing cravings and triggers, and learn strategies for maintaining long-term sobriety. Some of the most commonly used behavioral therapies for fentanyl addiction include:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of therapy that helps a patient alter negative thinking patterns to bring a positive and healthy change in the behaviors of a person. It can help individuals with fentanyl addiction develop healthier coping skills and identify and avoid triggers that can lead to relapse.

Contingency management (CM)

CM is a type of therapy that rewards individuals for staying sober. This can be done through the use of vouchers or other incentives, such as gift cards or prizes, anything that works for a patient. 

Motivational interviewing (MI)

MI is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals with fentanyl addiction find the motivation to change their behavior. It can be particularly helpful for those who are ambivalent about seeking treatment.

Group or Family therapy

Family therapy can be helpful for individuals with fentanyl addiction, as it can help to repair damaged relationships and provide a supportive environment for long-term recovery. Likewise, group therapy allows you to feel a sense of belonging when you feel alienated due to addiction. 

These treatments can be used with medication-assisted therapy (MAT) to offer a whole strategy for treating fentanyl addiction. To choose the best course of therapy for your particular circumstances, it is crucial to consult with a trained healthcare professional.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, fentanyl addiction poses a serious hazard yet is manageable because of its remarkable potency. There are effective treatment alternatives, starting with medical detox to properly manage severe withdrawal symptoms. A complete approach to overcoming fentanyl addiction is provided through medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which is supplemented by behavioral therapies including cognitive-behavioral therapy and contingency management. These methods take care of cravings, withdrawal, and the root reasons of addiction, paving the way for recovery. Individuals may overcome fentanyl addiction and work toward a drug-free future with the correct support and commitment, and it is vital to consult with a trained healthcare expert to create an individualized treatment plan.

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