Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid originally used as a tranquilizer for large animals due to its immense potency. Chances are, you’ve heard about the opioid epidemic occurring now in the United States, with heroin and fentanyl getting the most publicity. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, carfentanil is more than 10,000 times as potent as morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl. Most alarming, this opioid has made its way to the streets and has caused many overdoses and deaths.
Some drug dealers are now cutting heroin with traces of carfentanil, which can be deadly. There were 11,045 opioid overdose deaths in one year between July 2016 and June 2017.
Of those opioids used, 11.2 percent tested positive for carfentanil.
Because of its highly potent nature, only traces of carfentanil are found in drug compounds such as heroin. It’s not likely that people are becoming addicted to carfentanil because of the small amounts being ingested – though it is highly addictive.
People are likely contending with an addiction to the compound it is mixed in with, such as heroin or another opioid.
As such, trying to get off the opioids will create withdrawal symptoms, such as:
Since Carfentanil is an opioid, the withdrawal timeline resembles the timeline for opioids such as heroin or fentanyl.
Withdrawal symptoms may be felt as early as six hours after the last dose. During this stage, common symptoms are increased anxiety, restlessness, body aches, and generally flu-like symptoms like sweating, nausea, and sweating.
Symptoms tend to peak during days one and three, with common symptoms being body aches, muscle spasms, shaking, diarrhea, and intense cravings for the drug. By the end of day three, most of the physical symptoms may have subsided, but psychological symptoms and cravings are likely to linger on one or two weeks longer.
After withdrawal symptoms have peaked, some symptoms will continue to be felt for the first couple of weeks. Common symptoms during this phase are depression, chills, fatigue, and cravings.
Some withdrawal symptoms that can last for weeks or months. This will largely be determined by how much and how long the person abused opioids. Lingering symptoms may include anxiety, insomnia, depression, cravings, and apathy.
Carfentanil withdrawal symptoms may vary from person depending on various factors, such as:
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Stopping carfentanil, or any opioid, cold turkey can be quite dangerous. Serious complications can occur from some of the withdrawal symptoms that arise. The intense cravings that can come and the dangers of relapse are quite common if one tries to stop using opioids cold turkey.
This is the major reason that professional addiction treatment recommends undergoing a medical detox, where around-the-clock monitoring and supervision can occur. An addiciton specialist creates a medical withdrawal plan which is a plan to taper the patient off of the drug gradually. This taper is a safer way to detox and greatly increases the chances are getting off the drug and staying off of it long-term. There are alternatives to quitting cold turkey, and you don’t have to try to quit all on your own.
If you’re addicted to carfentanil or any other opioid, it is crucial that you address this addiction as soon as possible. Opioids can wreak havoc on the internal organs of the physical body and there is a chance that you can overdose on the drug as well. It is nothing to play around with. Mixing opioids with alcohol can be quite deadly as well.
Getting off carfentanil and/or opioids is possible with some help. There are drug detox centers that are quite helpful in helping individuals through the withdrawal process and they are a great place to begin. Plan to spend five to seven days at a detox center so that your body can rid itself of the harmful toxins associated with the drug. There will be severe withdrawal symptoms, but the professional staff provides support and medical maintenance therapy (MAT) that will curb those symptoms.
Once you’re detoxed from the opioid, you might want to consider attending drug rehab. There are inpatient and outpatient rehabs available and both serve addicts quite well. Should you have the freedom to attend an inpatient rehab, this is recommended. However, if you have work or a family to take care of, outpatient rehabs are also beneficial. At an outpatient treatment center, you’ll still receive addiction recovery treatment, but get to go home in between your sessions.
Regardless of what type of rehab you attend, the key is to address your drug addiction and spend some time focusing on how to get and stay free of the drug.
You will be able to receive counseling and learn about the disease of addiction at the treatment center. You will also be surrounded by other people struggling with addiction who are trying to get clean too. The support and the safe, structured atmosphere will serve you well.
(September 2016). U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Issues Carfentanil Warning To Police And Public. DEA. from https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2016/09/22/dea-issues-carfentanil-warning-police-and-public
(March 2005). Carfentanil. PubChem. from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/carfentanil
O'Donnell, J, (July 2017). Notes from the Field: Overdose Deaths with Carfentanil and Other Fentanyl Analogs Detected — 10 States, July 2016–June 2017. CDC. from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6727a4.htm
(October 2018). Carfentanil Addiction. Ocean Breeze Recovery. from https://oceanbreezerecovery.org/opioids/carfentanil/