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Fentanyl Detox

Fentanyl detox is critical in quitting fentanyl use after becoming dependent on this drug. With the opioid epidemic still plaguing the US, entering a detox program after fentanyl addiction can be a life-saving measure for many addicts. Although fentanyl addiction can seem impossible to beat, the first step to a full recovery begins with a successful medical detox.

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What Is Fentanyl Detox?

Fentanyl detox helps drug users safely stop abusing fentanyl by managing cravings and managing dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Detox occurs under medical supervision and is typically the first step in treating fentanyl addiction.

By using certain medications and monitoring and treating common withdrawal symptoms, fentanyl detox can save lives and lead to successful recovery.

Why Do You Need to Detox From Fentanyl?

Powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl are incredibly difficult to quit, even if the addicted individual wants to stop fentanyl drug use.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more powerful than heroin.

Therefore, detoxing from fentanyl is necessary because withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening if untreated, and relapse is common when the user cannot withstand withdrawal.

By detoxing under medical supervision, patients with physical dependence on fentanyl will feel safe and comfortable while receiving treatment for any withdrawal symptoms they experience.

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Is It Safe to Detox From Fentanyl at Home?

Detoxing from fentanyl abuse at home without some kind of medical guidance isn’t safe. Aside from the risk of life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, the risk of relapse is high when detoxing from fentanyl alone.

However, it is possible to receive outpatient detox treatment so that you don’t have to check in to a detox facility for fentanyl withdrawals.

Depending on your length of time using fentanyl, along with factors such as the amount taken, age, and overall health, you may be able to go through the medical detox process from home with specific guidelines from an addiction doctor.

Fentanyl Detox Timeline

For people with opioid dependence on fentanyl, withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as 12 to 30 hours after your last use. Once the patient begins detoxification, the physician will slowly wean them off fentanyl.

During detox, doctors often prescribe certain FDA-approved medications to manage fentanyl withdrawal and cravings.

While these medications can lessen opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms, the worst of withdrawal lasts between 1 and 3 days, subsiding over roughly one week.

After detoxification, some patients may still experience post-acute symptoms for a few weeks or months after their last use.

Post-acute withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Dysphoria
  • Inability to feel pleasure (anhedonia)
  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety

Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

Opioid withdrawal symptoms for fentanyl are similar to the flu-like symptoms common with withdrawal from other opioids.

The severity of fentanyl withdrawal symptoms will depend on several factors, such as age, background, dose, frequency, and co-occurring mental health conditions.

The most common symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal include:

  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills and goosebumps
  • Runny nose and watery eyes
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Elevated heart rate and blood pressure
  • Dysphoric mood, or feelings of sadness or irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps

Treatments Provided During Fentanyl Detox

Medical detox centers offer many services to ensure your health and well-being, none more important than your health. Trained medical professionals will monitor the patient and provide care to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms.

Fentanyl detox can take place during inpatient rehab or a partial hospitalization program (PHP), but standalone detox programs are also available.

Detox is usually the first step in recovery from fentanyl use and ensures the patient is comfortable and safe while the drug leaves the patient’s system. After a person finishes medical detox, one-on-one therapy and group therapy typically follow.

Medication-Assisted Treatment For Fentanyl Detox

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) includes medications that are FDA-approved or commonly used off-label to help treat withdrawal symptoms, especially for opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder.

In the case of fentanyl, MAT can help treat severe or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and curb intense cravings.

FDA-approved medications for fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Methadone: Eases withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings
  • Buprenorphine: Eases withdrawal symptoms and cravings
  • Suboxone: A mixture of buprenorphine and naloxone, eases withdrawal symptoms and cravings
  • Naltrexone: Prevents fentanyl from attaching to opioid receptors, thus blocking its effects

Sometimes, healthcare providers may also prescribe Narcan (naloxone) if there is concern about relapse. Narcan can reverse an opioid overdose quickly, allowing enough time for more serious medical intervention.

Replacement of Fluids and Supplements

Fentanyl withdrawal often leads to symptoms that cause potentially dangerous dehydration, like sweating and diarrhea. Fentanyl addicts also tend to have calcium and magnesium deficiencies.

Patients can avoid dehydration and combat body aches and muscle pain by administering IV fluids and taking certain supplements.

Supplements you may receive during fentanyl detox include:

  • Acetyl-L-carnitine
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Passionflower
  • Ginseng
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Post-Detox Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

After receiving critical medical care and support during the detox phase, many individuals will continue on their recovery journey by attending rehab, therapy, support groups, or other programs.

Fentanyl Rehab

After medically detoxing off fentanyl, many patients may opt to join an addiction treatment program. Attending a fentanyl rehab program is highly recommended for individuals with a substance use disorder, but it can also be beneficial for anyone who abused fentanyl.

Inpatient rehab programs offer therapy and additional medical care in a stable, supportive environment, while outpatient programs tend to provide similar therapies but with a lesser time commitment.

Depending on the level of care needed, your doctor or addiction counselor can help you select the type of rehab that best fits your overall treatment plan.

Psychological & Behavioral Therapy

Therapy is a key step in fentanyl addiction treatment. Rehab programs will offer both one-on-one therapy and group therapy options. Many patients will continue to attend therapy after completing their rehab program.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most common therapy for addiction, as it helps patients identify the negative thought patterns that caused them to seek out drugs in the first place.

Other Tools and Treatments

In addition to therapy, some patients succeed with Naltrexone, a medication that prevents relapse by blocking the euphoric effects of fentanyl. Naltrexone is a safe and often essential tool for long-term recovery from opioid use disorder.

12-step and support groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and SMART Recovery can also help after treatment ends. These groups help recovering fentanyl addicts connect with fellow addicts in recovery and receive peer support after treatment.

Get Help With Fentanyl Detox

If you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl addiction and withdrawal symptoms are holding you back, medical detox can help you recover.

By enrolling in fentanyl detox at a treatment center, you can have peace of mind you’ll be safe and comfortable during the fentanyl detox process.

You can find the right addiction treatment center for your needs by using SAMHSA’s online treatment locator or by calling 1-800-662-4357.

If you’re serious about overcoming fentanyl addiction, learn more about the top treatment and therapy options.

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Fentanyl Detox FAQs

Can you die from fentanyl withdrawal?

Yes. Dehydration is a serious risk for addicts experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms from fentanyl. Enrolling in a medical detox program can ensure you remain safe and comfortable.

How long do fentanyl withdrawals last?

Fentanyl withdrawal can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on dose, frequency, and co-occurring health conditions. Usually, the first 2 or 3 days are the worst withdrawal symptom-wise.

How much does fentanyl detox cost?

Treatment price at a fentanyl detox facility will depend on several factors, such as the type of treatment center, the services needed, whether you have health insurance, and if that insurance covers detox services.

What are the most common fentanyl detox symptoms?

Fentanyl detox ensures that your experience is comfortable and safe.

However, while certain treatments and medications can lessen the severity, many patients will still experience symptoms even while in detox, such as:

  • Fever and chills
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose and watery eyes
  • Severe pain in muscles and joints
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. is a founder of Addiction HelpReviewed by:Kent S. Hoffman, D.O.

Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. has been an expert in addiction medicine for more than 15 years. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of and ensures the website’s medical content and messaging quality.

Jessica Miller is the Content Manager of Addiction HelpWritten by:

Editorial Director

Jessica Miller is the Editorial Director of Addiction Help. Jessica graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) with an English degree and combines her writing expertise and passion for helping others to deliver reliable information to those impacted by addiction. Informed by her personal journey to recovery and support of loved ones in sobriety, Jessica's empathetic and authentic approach resonates deeply with the Addiction Help community.

  1. Kuschmider, R. (2011, April 11). What Causes Fentanyl Withdrawal and How Can You Manage It? WebMD.
  2. Medications for Opioid Use Disorder. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021).
  3. Ramos-Matos, C. F., Bistas, K. G., & Lopez-Ojeda, W. (2022, May 30). Fentanyl. National Library of Medicine.
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2023, March 3). Fentanyl DrugFacts. National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2023, March 31). Drug Overdose Death Rates. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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