Fentanyl is a highly potent opioid that is used in medical settings to manage pain. When used strictly for pharmaceutical purposes, fentanyl is a fast-acting pain killer that addresses pain that drugs like morphine can’t contain.
Because of its potency, many street drugs are cut with fentanyl. However, the formulations in street drugs can’t be counted on to have the same effects as pharmaceutical formulas.
Even though fentanyl is very dangerous, fentanyl withdrawal can be treated with the same medications used to treat withdrawal from other opioids.
The problem, though, is that the half-life of illicit fentanyl is often unknown, so it’s important to rely on an opiate withdrawal scale, like the COWS score or the SOWS-Gossop score, to understand your level of withdrawal.
It’s important to have open and honest conversations with your medical provider to know what to expect from withdrawal. It presents differently in individuals and your experience might not be the same as someone else’s.