Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline + Symptoms

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Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. With its high potency and rapid onset, the drug has a high risk of addiction and overdose. According to the NCDAS, in 2020, 53 percent of overdose deaths involved fentanyl, amounting to almost 43,000 fatalities. As such, it is normal to want to know what the fentanyl withdrawal timeline is and what to expect during medically supervised detox when seeking help for fentanyl addiction.

Our fentanyl detox in Atlanta are able to help clients through the withdrawal process safely and comfortably. Call us now at 470-613-7881 or verify your insurance now.

Begin Fentanyl Withdrawal Safely and Comfortably.

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Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

When individuals who have been using fentanyl for an extended period suddenly stop or reduce their intake, they experience withdrawal symptoms. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms vary in severity and duration, depending on factors such as:

Keeping this in mind, some common fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include:

Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline

The fentanyl withdrawal timeline can vary from person to person but generally follows a similar pattern as follows: 

  • Early Stage: 6 to 12 hours after the last dose, the initial withdrawal symptoms usually begin. These may include cravings, muscle aches, dysphoria, and sweating.

  • Peak Symptoms: Within one to three days after stopping fentanyl use, withdrawal symptoms usually peak in intensity. This phase may bring about more severe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness. Hallucinations and seizures may also occur in individuals with severe fentanyl addiction. 

  • Acute Withdrawal: On average, the acute withdrawal phase lasts around five to seven days. During this period, the most intense physical withdrawal symptoms start to subside, but individuals may still experience lingering psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as cravings and anxiety.

  • Post-Acute Withdrawal: Some individuals may experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) for weeks or even months following the acute phase. These symptoms can include mood swings, sleep disturbances, and cravings for fentanyl.

Side Effects of Fentanyl Withdrawal

Fentanyl withdrawal can produce a range of side effects, both physical and psychological. Under medical supervision, these side effects are the withdrawal symptoms experienced, which can be effectively managed in a controlled setting. However, when someone attempts to quit fentanyl cold turkey or undergo withdrawal without supervision, there is another, more dangerous side effect: death. 

Death can occur from dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting because it causes hypernatremia. This is a serious medical condition that occurs from significant water loss from the body. If left untreated, it is fatal. 

Another way death can occur is from accidental overdose. Quite often, the withdrawal symptoms become too intense to manage alone. So, the individual returns to using fentanyl to get them to stop. Unfortunately, because the body has already started withdrawal, the person ends up taking a much larger dose than the body can handle, resulting in an overdose and death.

How to Cope with Fentanyl Withdrawal

Coping with fentanyl withdrawal can be challenging, but there are strategies and methods to help manage withdrawal symptoms. The most important is to seek supervised fentanyl detox. This ensures safe withdrawal and access to medication-assisted treatment to help manage withdrawal symptoms and ensure a successful detox. 

During detox, medical staff will ensure you stay hydrated with plenty of water. If needed, they will connect you to an IV to keep fluids going into the body. You will also have access to a balanced, nutritious, and healthy diet that helps the body recover and heal. 

Another vital component of supervised detox is attending individual and group therapy sessions. They help you start to develop coping skills for managing withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and triggers.

Medically-Assisted Fentanyl Detox & Treatment

Medically-assisted detox for fentanyl withdrawal involves the use of medications and close monitoring by healthcare professionals to help manage symptoms and ensure a safe transition off the drug. 


In addition to pharmacological support, individuals undergoing medically-assisted fentanyl detox receive counseling, therapy, and behavioral interventions as part of a comprehensive and individualized treatment plan. These help address underlying issues contributing to substance use disorder, lay a solid foundation for ongoing recovery, and provide the necessary tools to achieve long-term recovery.

It is vital to remember detox is just the first step to overcoming fentanyl addiction. As one nears the end of our detox program, aftercare planning is provided to help the individual determine their next steps for continued recovery. These steps could include transitioning to a rehab treatment program based on the level of care needed, such as residential or inpatient rehab, PHP, or IOP. Some people may also benefit from moving into a sober living facility free from outside distractions.

Medications Utilized During Fentanyl Withdrawal

Some common medications used during fentanyl detox include:

  • Buprenorphine: A partial opioid agonist that can help reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms by binding to the same receptors in the brain as fentanyl but with less intensity.

  • Methadone: Another opioid agonist used to ease withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse by replacing fentanyl in a controlled manner.

  • Clonidine: A non-opioid medication often prescribed to help relieve physical symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal, such as sweating, agitation, anxiety, muscle aches, and cramps.

  • Benzodiazepines: In cases where severe anxiety or insomnia is present during fentanyl withdrawal, benzodiazepines may be prescribed for short-term use under medical supervision.

Start Medically-Supervised Fentanyl Detox in Atlanta Today

Take the first step toward a brighter future free from fentanyl by starting medically supervised fentanyl detox at Peachtree Detox in Atlanta. Our compassionate and experienced healthcare professionals are ready to provide you with the support and care you need to overcome the grips of fentanyl addiction. Contact us now to begin your recovery journey today.

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