My husband snorted fentanyl.

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My husband snorted fentanyl for 6 months. He broke his leg which started him to stop using it and was put on a 5150 suicide watch. He's been withdrawing for 5 weeks. He's experiencing post acute withdrawal syndrome now. Has anyone experienced this or know anything about it?

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  • Posted

    Hi Laura,

    I was put on fentanyl last year and i was so ill on it, i was having the most horrendous nightmares and horrible thoughts, when i came off it i went cold turkey and i felt so ill, i was having anxiety attacks and suicide thoughts. It took me quite a while to recover but i must say after 4 months i now feel human and so much better. i wish you and your hubby all the best x

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for sharing. It has been 6 weeks now and I didn't know how long someone has withdrawal symptoms. Now some days are good but then he'll have "pop up" symptoms that last 2-3 days and it's back to withdrawal day 3.

      I don't feel so alone and uneducated.

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    • Posted

      No problem Laura just remember you are not alone in this. I dont have anymore withdrawals and i am back to normal with everything. Hung in there, it is very hard for your husband but also hard for you or others watching. Hopefully it wont last for much longer and you can then both get on with a normal life x
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  • Posted

    I haven't experienced it from fentanyl, and hope I never do, but I was on methadone for 20 years and the after effects of withdrawing from that are not dissimilar. I found the actual withdrawal lasted longer than doctors thought possible and was basically left to my own devices as they wouldn't help - I'm quite glad for that actually, they would have put me on subutex, which is yet another drug I didn't want to have to take. Now I'm not addicted to anything.  Perhaps the worst part of coming off - which is the best thing I ever did - was the fact that I was still being affected by the drug for months, perhaps even over a year. Symptoms were varied, including bouts of intense restlessness, particularly at night, depression, and most of all insomnia. These are common in most opiate withdrawal, but supposedly subside after the drug is officially out of your system and initial withdrawals are over. This is just not the case, and almost any ex-addict will tell you the same thing. Although PAWS is recognised, it is not recognised widely enough or taken seriously enough - though in truth I'm not sure what could be done, beyond yet more drugs which - to me - is undesirable. Three things that definitely help, but which are also extremely hard to do if you just don't feel up to it, are frequent excercise, healthy eating, and being occupied as much as possible. I would also highly recommend yoga - it really is a life-changer.

    You say he stopped because he broke his leg - oddly that might be a reason why some people would START using strong pain killers. My question is, did he genuinely want to stop using? The fact he was snorting kind of indicates he's not a straight arrow dude whose doctor happened to give him fentanyl, but someone who might have used other drugs or opiates given the chance (sorry if that's wrong, I'm not judging - I was a needle junkie for years). The truth is that to stand a chance of staying clean in the long term, and particularly getting through this drawn out stage, he really needs to feel deep down that he wants it out of his life... in a way the withdrawal is your bodies way of showing you you are slowly getting straight... Being clean is almost like being born again, and birth is painful... (I dont mean in a religious way, god no, ha ha). Some of PAWS is also psychological, and by that I mean that addiction tends to make one think in a certain way, and have certain emotional responses - this all changes, and that can be hard. Mood changes, and extremes of emotion can go on for a very long time as your brain adjusts to being clean. 

    There isn't any way of making this stop except time, but in time it will stop, believe me. Actually you/he may not even notice, but one day it will be obvious that the bulk of it is over, and being clean is just a wonderful thing. I had no idea what a black cloud had hung over me for years, it was like coming out of a fog into sunshine. And I really enjoyed my addiction - people don't admit that enough.

    Hope this helps in some way - this website might be of some use, and there is lots of info on the web if you want it. Good luck.  http://drugabuse.com/library/post-acute-withdrawal-syndrome/

    All the best

    Tim

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  • Posted

    Sometimes withdrawl symptoms from Fentanyl can last a long time. The drug itself is normally out of the system in a few days, however depending on metabolism rate etc this time may be longer or shorter... Withdrawl symptoms can last a lot long though & will be dependant on drug administration type, dose and also the amount of time the drug was taken for.

    The problem with Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids is that you may well be getting over the physical effects of the drugs within a week or two, however mental state recovery can take far longer. Your brain basically trains itself to cope with the drugs and then adapts to it. But after stopping it then needs to retrain and learn how to go along without it. This takes time.

    I would advise that perhaps your husband goes and sees a doctor to help with the issues he's having following coming off Fentanyl as it's avery nasty thing tom come off. Depression and anxiety which are not nice either can linger following what was once a regualr drug routine of Fentanyl.

    Best wishes to you both 

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  • Posted

    Laura,

    I am a 10 year user if heroin and other opiods. My advice is the symptoms your seeing are from relapse not PST acute withdrawal! After 3 weeks he may have a few rough days of feeling depressed but having actual opiod withdrawal will not happen. He most likely has used and lied about it and is trying to not have you find out he's using! My advice is a drug test and if he is clean get him some anti depressants and anxiety meds. I bounced back and forth for years and lost everything trying to hide it!

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    • Posted

      After reading more i am sure he's using! The 2-3 day acute is the fact that he used some and is now sick again and acting as if its a rough patch! It will happen again and again and then you will see it's relapse not acute

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    • Posted

      Thank you, and you are correct! It all came to head last night when I had to whatch this odd behavior and labored breathing after he finally fell asleep. that he hid so well for 6 weeks of what I thought was withdrawal and prior to this a supposed 6 months. He finally became lucid and after telling him what I had been through he called to check in to an outpatient rehab for help.

      I feel so stupid, betrayed and scared.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

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