Fentanyl addiction treatment

This Page was last reviewed and changed on June 6th, 2022

Content Overview

Breaking the cycle of fentanyl abuse is the first step on the road to recovery from addiction, but it should always be followed by a comprehensive programme of rehabilitation in an inpatient or outpatient facility. Finding the right rehab programme for your needs and circumstances is essential in terms of helping you to achieve long-term success. With so many different options available, it pays to learn more about fentanyl rehab and treatment.

Any type of addiction to a mood-altering substance requires a comprehensive recovery programme if you are to get better. Overcoming an addiction to a drug such as fentanyl can be quite challenging and will require professional help.

If you have been struggling to control your use of fentanyl, it is crucial that you get help as soon as possible. The good news is that with the right programme of treatment, you can regain control of your life once more. You do not have to continue living every day under the weight of your addiction. Provided you are prepared to commit to rehab, you could soon be saying goodbye to fentanyl abuse for good.

The Importance of Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

Addiction to fentanyl, as with other opiate addictions, is a serious illness of the brain, so getting treatment as soon as possible is vital. Due to the powerfully addictive nature of this drug, breaking free is often fraught with difficulty and unless you access a programme of detox and rehabilitation, your current situation is likely to deteriorate.

Continued abuse of fentanyl will cause your tolerance levels to rise. You will get to a point where you are not achieving the relief you desire when you take the drug, and the only solution for you may be to increase your dose.

Increasing the amount of fentanyl being used is dangerous on a number of levels. For starters, it can increase the risk of developing a physical dependence and addiction, but on top of this, it could also be putting your life at risk.

You might believe that because fentanyl is available on prescription it is completely safe, but the reality is that even small doses of this drug can be fatal. If you develop an addiction to it, you will have a growing need for it – in increasingly higher doses. This means that every time you take the drug, you are risking a fatal overdose.

An increased risk of overdose is not the only consequence of a fentanyl addiction; you may find that you are unable to maintain healthy relationships with those around you if your use of fentanyl begins to interfere with daily life. As the compulsion to use fentanyl grows, your behaviour will inevitably change. You will spend more and more of your time taking or thinking about the drug, which will leave little time for anything or anyone else.

Family members and friends will find it hard to come to terms with the changes in your behaviour and they may not know what is causing it. Because you may be at pains to hide your fentanyl abuse from the people around you, misunderstandings can occur, which could then place a huge amount of strain on your relationships.

If you started taking fentanyl on prescription, you are likely to face the day when the prescription is not renewed by your doctor. Fentanyl, like other opioid drugs, is intended for temporary use only, apart, that is, from when it is used to provide ongoing pain relief during end-of-life care for cancer patients.

If you have developed an addiction to fentanyl and have not discussed this with your doctor, you might try to source the drug elsewhere. Buying it online, for example, will not only increase your risk of overdose, but it will also have an impact on your financial situation. If you are forced to buy drugs online or from street dealers, you might develop money problems. And as the addiction progresses, your inability to work adequately could also affect your ability to make an income, plunging you into further problems.

Addiction is linked to poor health, relationship problems, poverty, crime, homelessness, and premature death. It is therefore vital that you seek help immediately if you think that you have developed an addiction to fentanyl.

The sooner you access a programme of treatment, the sooner you can put your problems behind you and work on rebuilding your life. Know that many of the problems caused by addiction can be reversed with treatment and aftercare.

Treatment Philosophy and Benefits

When you commit to a programme of recovery for addiction, it is important to have realistic expectations. Many people go into treatment believing that they will get better overnight. Others assume that once they have made it through the detox process they are cured and there is, therefore, no need to continue with rehabilitation.

Remember, you did not wake up one morning with an addiction to fentanyl. Addiction is a process, and so too then is recovery. While it took some time for your brain to mould itself around your use of fentanyl, it will also take time for it to rewire itself around recovery.

Recovery is a healing process and it is all about learning how to change thought processes and behaviours so that you do not find yourself in a similar position somewhere else down the line. Learning what to expect from treatment will mean that you are not disappointed or disillusioned with your progress.

It is good to know the benefits of treatment before you begin as well. Addiction can have a negative impact on many areas of your life, and if it is left to progress, it could cause a loss of everything you hold dear. Nevertheless, treatment will give you back the opportunity to look to the future and to live a healthier and happier life than you ever imagined possible.

Tolerance vs. Fentanyl Dependence

It is easy to build up a tolerance to fentanyl. In fact, some find that after just a couple of weeks of regular fentanyl use the drug seems less effective. This happens when your body gets used to the substance.

After a while, the brain will adjust its response to fentanyl which for you may mean not getting the same pain relief from it or the same level of euphoria as you were hoping for. Dependence occurs when the body begins to rely on fentanyl to function normally.

The longer you are using the drug, the more likely it will be that your brain’s ability to deal with pain and pleasure are affected. In fact, it may get to the stage where you are unable to feel any pleasure at all without fentanyl in your system.

When you try to quit, your brain has to learn how to deal with pain on its own once more, but this can cause a number of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Dependence usually occurs with prolonged or higher-than-recommended use of a prescription drug such as fentanyl.

While you are likely to require detox if you have a physical dependence, the same is not true of an increased tolerance, provided of course that you do not respond to this by increasing your dose of fentanyl. Doing so will increase the risk of dependence and your consequent need for treatment.

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Determining Treatment Readiness

Recognising that addiction exists and then accepting the need for treatment is never easy. Most people who develop an addiction to prescription medication do not even realise that their use has reached a problem stage. Moreover, because of the way in which the drug affects the mind, the affected individual is often unable to see things as clearly as others can.

Your loved ones might have expressed their concerns about your behaviour, for example, and suggested that you need treatment – but how can you tell if they are right?

If you have a physical dependence on fentanyl but do not yet have an addiction, you might benefit from a gradual reduction programme. Your doctor can advise you on how to taper your dose over the course of a few weeks or months until you are no longer using fentanyl.

If you have already developed an addiction, you will more than likely need professional help to get better. It is important that you take a good, honest look at your life and how you use fentanyl to determine treatment readiness. If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms whenever you try to stop taking your medication, it is likely that you are dependent.

Nonetheless, if you feel a compelling need to use the drug whenever the effects wear off, and if you take it even though it is interfering with your ability to meet your responsibilities and commitments, you are almost certainly addicted.

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Learning about Options for Fentanyl Rehab

Upon making the decision to get help for fentanyl addiction, you will soon discover that there are several options in terms of rehab. In the UK, you can choose a free programme provided by the NHS or a local charity, or you can pay for treatment in a private clinic. The choice is yours.

Free programmes tend to be outpatient based while private programmes are typically residential-based. The choice of rehab programme will depend on your individual preferences as well as your treatment requirements.

In general, residential programmes are suited to those with severe addictions who would otherwise struggle to stay clean while recovering in the real world. Those who have realised quite early on that they have a problem with fentanyl may find that an outpatient programme is sufficient for their needs.

How Much Does Fentanyl Rehab Cost?

If you access an outpatient programme provided by the NHS or a charity organisation, you are unlikely to have to pay for your rehab treatment. However, if you want to be treated in an inpatient clinic, you will almost certainly have to access private care and, as such, be prepared to pay.

While it is impossible to tell exactly how much a programme of rehabilitation will cost, the average price for a 4-week inpatient stay is between £4,000 and £6,000.

How much you pay will depend on the duration of the programme, the level of luxury of the clinic, the facilities and amenities offered, and the reputation of the treatment provider.

Paying for Fentanyl Rehab

You might be wondering why you would choose to pay for treatment when there are free options available. But if you are keen to have treatment in an inpatient clinic, you may have no other option but to pay. Most residential programmes in the UK are provided by private clinics.

There are other benefits to paying for rehab though. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of paying for addiction treatment is the fact that you will be able to get started on your recovery journey much more quickly than if you had opted for a free programme.

Free outpatient programmes tend to be oversubscribed and most come with long waiting lists. You may find that you have to wait for many months before an initial appointment after a referral. For many people, a lengthy wait between deciding to get help and actually beginning treatment can be a major problem. Many will return to drug use with renewed vigour in the interim, and so by the time a place becomes available, they might have lost all desire to get better.

Another benefit of paying for treatment is that you can access care and support from some of the best names in the industry; moreover, you will have this care and support around the clock.

How to Find the Best Fentanyl Rehab Centre?

Finding the best rehab centre means finding the one that suits your individual needs and circumstances. Rehab is typically tailored to the individual because each person has different needs. What this basically means is that the same rehab programme is not going to work for everyone. It is the same for rehab clinics.

In order to find the best one, it is important to think about what your needs and priorities are. There may be a fantastic clinic in another city or county, but if you or your family members would find it inconvenient to get to it, it is not the best rehab centre for you.

Think about what you want from a programme before choosing a specific centre. Do you want to have your treatment close to home? Is it important that your family members are involved in your recovery programme? Do you want to have a private or semi-private room?

Once you know what you want from a rehab centre and have set a budget, you can whittle down your options. You can then make your decision based on preference and the centre that you feel most comfortable with. To make a fully informed decision, it is always wise to look for testimonials or reviews to find out what previous patients thought of the facility and programme in question.

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Types of Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

Treatment for fentanyl addiction typically begins with a detox, where the physical addiction is addressed. It is important to quit fentanyl before even thinking about moving on to rehab. The reason for this is that you need to have a clear body and mind before looking at the reasons you became addicted in the first place.

During detox, treatment typically involves a combination of medication and psychological interventions, all of which will help to curb cravings and lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

When it comes to rehab, you will be given a bespoke plan of care. This treatment programme may contain a combination of medication if appropriate, behaviour modification therapies, and holistic therapies. The use of both behavioural and holistic therapies offers a more in-depth approach to recovery and aims to heal your body, mind, and spirit instead of just the addiction.

Your treatment plan will be created by your care provider and will be based on your specific requirements and preferences, so it is not possible to tell you exactly what it will contain. Nonetheless, you can expect it to include elements of the following:

  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • Contingency management
  • 12-step therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Dialectical behaviour therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Mindful fitness
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Art therapy
  • Equine therapy
  • Drama
  • Music therapy.

Counsellors and therapists have a range of treatments to choose from. You can expect behavioural therapies to take place on a one-to-one basis with a counsellor or within a group setting with other patients.

Inpatient Facilities vs. Outpatient Treatment

As you have a choice between inpatient and outpatient programmes, you may be wondering what the differences are between the two. What you should know is that treatments provided in each are likely to be very similar. The main difference is in how the programmes are run and how intensive the treatment is.

Inpatient programmes are residential-based and require patients to leave their homes and move into the clinic and live with other patients. On the other hand, outpatient programmes are run on a day care basis, with patients attending the clinic only for regular treatment sessions before returning home after each.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab usually runs for between four and six weeks, although some people continue for up to twelve weeks if their needs are more complex or if they are struggling to respond well to the programme.

Treatment is condensed and structured and a daily routine is followed by all patients. This routine will usually include things such as set meal times and therapy- and recovery-based activities taking place throughout the day.

The environment will be calm and supportive and there will be distractions or access to any temptations. This allows patients to fully concentrate on learning about their addiction and how to overcome it fully.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehab programmes do not offer accommodation to patients. They are run on a day care basis while the treatment sessions will vary from one clinic to the next. For example, you may be expected to attend counselling every day for a short period of time before this is reduced to once or twice per week. Alternatively, you could be expected to attend weekly sessions from the beginning of the programme before this is reduced to one every couple of weeks or even every month.

As all outpatients have different requirements in terms of the number of treatment hours to be attended each week, each varies in duration. You might find that one programme runs for a few months while another will last for over a year.

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Private Fentanyl Rehabs and Confidentiality

Private rehabs in the UK tend to be regulated by the Care Quality Commission, meaning that they must meet certain standards of excellence. They are also bound by strict privacy and confidentiality laws and must respect the privacy of patients at all times.

If you are being treated in a private rehab centre in the UK, your privacy is almost one hundred per cent assured. You do not have to worry about confidentiality as the clinic will have policies in place that all staff members must adhere to.

It is not uncommon for people to worry about others discovering they have an addiction. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigmas attached to this illness and because of this, it is often viewed in a negative light. If you are keen to keep your illness private, you need not worry about your details and medical information being shared with anyone else without your express permission.

What is Residential Fentanyl Treatment

So you have the option of choosing residential treatment for your fentanyl addiction, but what does this mean? Residential programmes are the same as inpatient programmes and take place, for the most part, in private clinics.

If you choose residential fentanyl treatment, you will leave your everyday life and move into a private clinic where you will reside with other recovering addicts for the duration of the treatment programme. You may have a private en-suite bedroom, or you might share with another patient. You will have your meals with other patients and staff, and you will have regular individual and group therapy sessions.

The Role of Medications

Medication can form an important part of any fentanyl addiction treatment programme. It is particularly useful during the detox phase when unpleasant withdrawal symptoms are common.

Medication can be used to prevent certain symptoms from occurring or at least make those that do less severe. In the case of fentanyl addiction, opioid replacement therapy can be particularly useful as it helps lessen the severity of the detox process.

The Role of Therapy

Therapy is also an important part of treatment for fentanyl addiction. Overcoming addiction is a two-part process and so, while the medication is useful in addressing the physical addiction, therapy is designed to help when it comes to the emotional and psychological element of the illness.

Behavioural therapies can help you to learn more about the thought processes that drive your negative behaviours. There is a definitive link between thoughts and actions, with negative thoughts often resulting in negative behaviours.

Therapy can help you learn how to identify and challenge your negative thoughts and develop positive alternatives to the behaviours that have led you to this point in your life.

Therapy can also help in the identification of the cause of your illness. While for some the reason the addiction began is quite clear, for others the underlying cause may not be immediately apparent. It is often the case that the reason for the addictive behaviour is buried deep, so specific therapies can help to reveal it. It is important to know the cause of the addiction so that you can deal with it and avoid a relapse in the future.

The Use of Group Therapy in Fentanyl Addiction

Group therapy is often the foundation of support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and has proven to be an effective tool when it comes to addiction treatment. Although you may be reluctant to take part in group therapy initially, especially if you have spent years hiding your feelings from everyone else, you may soon find that sharing your story with others is very therapeutic.

Group therapy sessions are supportive and non-judgemental and allow you to be yourself without fear of recrimination. You will have the chance to learn from others and to inspire others with your own story.

Group therapy will also allow you to see yourself in the way that others see you, which can be useful in terms of learning more about your illness and how it affects you. Group therapy sessions will deal with issues that are common among addicts and will allow you the chance to practice methods that you have learned during individual group sessions.

After Fentanyl Rehab

It is important to be aware that your recovery journey is not over when your treatment programme finishes. Many individuals worry about how they are going to cope with the move from rehab (particularly inpatient rehab) to independent sober living. They fear that they will struggle in the real world and that they will soon be back on the path to addiction.

You do not have to face this move alone though. Your treatment provider will offer support during this important time and will have fully prepared you for the move. It is highly likely that you will be encouraged to get involved in a local support group as these groups are widely regarded as vital parts of the recovery process.

In the early days, you will probably be attending many support group meetings as you come to terms with life in the real world. However, as time goes by and your recovery gets stronger, you may be able to cut down on the number of meetings you are attending. Having said that, many recovering addicts continue attending group meetings every so often for the rest of their lives and believe that doing so helps to keep them on the right track.

You might also find that you make lifelong friends at your local support group, and you can take part in a variety of sober activities with like-minded people. Support groups help you to learn more about living in sobriety and are an integral part of the recovery process.

Never Too Late!

No matter how long you have been living under the weight of fentanyl addiction, it is never too late to get help. No matter how old you are or what your background is, you can get your life back on track and start enjoying it again.

Even those with a severe addiction have managed to get better by committing to a programme of recovery and making essential changes to their life. You can do this too.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens during fentanyl rehab?

During fentanyl rehab, you will have both individual and group counselling sessions that will help you to learn more about your illness. You will be taught ways of coping with stressful life situations that do not involve mood-altering chemicals and you will also learn about the triggers to your addictive behaviour so that you can avoid them going forward.

How long does fentanyl rehab last?

Fentanyl rehab typically lasts for four weeks in an inpatient programme, but there are a number of factors that can influence the duration of a programme. For example, if you are being treated in an outpatient facility, your treatment programme could last for many months.

When it comes to inpatient programmes, your response to treatment and your individual needs could mean you require a longer programme.

Fentanyl rehab: away from home or not?

With so many treatment providers across the UK, you can choose to be treated in a facility near to your home or one much farther afield. Before you make your decision though, it is important to weigh up personal preference with convenience.

If your family members are keen to be involved in your recovery and if they are planning to take part in family therapy sessions, a clinic closer to home might be the best choice. This will allow them to visit and access these sessions when required.
If, on the other hand, you are eager to keep your illness and recovery private, you might prefer a clinic in a different city or county where you can be sure that no one will know you.

Why seek help for fentanyl addiction?

Fentanyl treatment is important if you have developed an addiction. It may be easier for you to deny you have a problem or to hope that it will resolve itself, but this is unlikely to happen. In fact, your addiction is much more likely to get worse instead of better.

Accessing help now could allow you to regain control of your life and help you say goodbye to fentanyl abuse once and for all. You will notice massive improvements in all areas of your life when it is no longer ruled by your need for drugs. Your mental and physical health will improve, as will your relationships with others. Furthermore, you can start to look forward to the future and the many opportunities that await.

What other options exist for someone who cannot afford treatment?

Not all addiction treatment involves a cost. For those who cannot afford to pay for inpatient treatment, there are free options available through the NHS and local charities. For more information on the free options available, you can access online information databases or speak to your doctor.

What factors into the cost of addiction treatment?

Where you have your treatment will determine the price of the programme. Some city clinics are more expensive than alternatives in rural locations. The reputation of the provider, the level of luxury of the clinic, and the duration of the programme will all also factor into the price.

Am I addicted to fentanyl?

Determining if you are addicted to fentanyl will help you to decide if you need treatment. It can be hard to distinguish between fentanyl abuse and fentanyl addiction if your mind is clouded by drugs. Nevertheless, if your use of fentanyl has begun to have a negative impact on your ability to live a normal life, it is likely that this is due to addiction.

An addiction is a compelling need for a substance even when you know that using it will cause negative consequences. If you have tried to quit fentanyl and have been unable to, and if you are unable to meet your commitments or responsibilities because of your drug use, you probably have an addiction and are in need of help.

Why do people start taking fentanyl?

Some will start taking fentanyl for a legitimate medical reason, but others deliberately abuse it for recreational purposes. However, because many drug dealers have been lacing other drugs with fentanyl to maximise their profits, there are those who take the drug without even realising.

Fentanyl is medically used as an anaesthetic or a painkiller, but because of its addictive nature, abuse is very common. Furthermore, many of those who do abuse the drug fail to appreciate the dangers involved. They believe that because fentanyl is a prescription medication, it is completely safe to take and therefore carries no risk.

What are the signs of addiction?

Addiction is an illness of the brain that causes an individual to be compelled to do something, even if that something is bad for them or will have negative consequences. If you are addicted to fentanyl, you are likely to be preoccupied with the drug and your thoughts will be consumed with it. You may find that you lose interest in those around you as well as in doing things that you used to enjoy.

Your life will revolve around fentanyl and your need for it, and you may become isolated and withdrawn, preferring to spend time on your own than with the people you love. Your ability to enjoy everyday life will be severely hampered and even if you know the harm that taking fentanyl will cause, you will take it anyway because you will be unable to resist the compulsion to do so.

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