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Written by Amethyst Recovery

Amethyst Recovery is a foremost authority on addiction and a trusted online source of substance abuse information. Their expert team of addiction professionals provide well researched content for people in the grip of addiction. All posts are fact checked and sourced.

Treating Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl-Outpatient-Fresh-DoorWhen someone is addicted to fentanyl, they have several types of treatment programs available to them. Most fentanyl addiction treatment programs should begin with a medical detox so the substance can be fully eliminated from the system. Patients can then participate in inpatient rehab or fentanyl outpatient treatment. There are also partial hospitalization programs and other specialized types of care.

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What is Outpatient Rehab?

Outpatient rehab is a type of addiction treatment that is fairly informal. Patients don’t have to check in like they do during residential treatment. There is the freedom to come and go as the patient pleases, but they are expected to participate in scheduled treatment sessions throughout the week.

It is important to realize that if someone is struggling with fentanyl or other opioids, starting with an outpatient rehab probably isn’t the best option. Fentanyl abuse and addiction are very serious, and fentanyl is an extremely deadly drug.

For someone with a fentanyl problem, an inpatient or residential treatment program is the recommended first step, followed by a gradual transition into outpatient treatment.

The following are some key features of outpatient rehab:

  • Outpatient rehab may consist of both group and individual therapy
  • Drug education is usually a component of outpatient treatment
  • Most outpatient rehabs are flexible in terms of scheduling and the required time commitment
  • Sometimes outpatient rehab is part of a criminal justice program.
  • There are different levels of intensity for outpatient rehab

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Recognizing the Signs of Fentanyl Abuse and Addiction

If someone is in the early stages of opioid abuse, they may still be able, to begin with, an outpatient rehab program. If the signs of opioid abuse or addiction are identified, and intervention occurs early enough, outpatient treatment may be effective on its own.

However, as was noted, fentanyl is such a strong opioid that addiction and dependence occur quickly and also become severe rapidly so early intervention may not be possible.

Signs of opioid abuse can include:

  • Taking higher doses than prescribed
  • Using opioids without a prescription (for example, taking them from a family member)
  • Taking opioids just for the effects (such as euphoria or relaxation)
  • Continuing to use opioids for longer than prescribed
  • Taking opioids with other substances like alcohol or benzodiazepines to intensify the effects
  • Using opioids other than how they’re intended to be used (such as crushing up pills to snort or inject them)

Fentanyl-Outpatient-New-FlowerWhile the signs of opioid abuse are different from addiction, abuse often leads to addiction.

Signs of opioid addiction can include:

  • Compulsive, out-of-control use of opioids
  • Using opioids even when there are negative consequences to health
  • Engaging in dangerous activities while on opioids or to get opioids
  • The inability to stop using opioids, even when trying
  • Opioids become a top focus and priority above all else

What To Expect During Fentanyl Outpatient Rehab

The following are some things you can typically expect during an outpatient rehab program:

  • During outpatient rehab, one of the key types of therapy is group therapy. The environment may be similar to participating in a 12-step recovery and support group.
  • There isn’t a lot of accountability in outpatient rehab, so participants have to be ready to hold themselves accountable and be responsible for their choices and actions.
  • Most outpatient rehabs require a commitment of a few hours a week, and total outpatient treatment time may range from one to three months.
  • Participants in outpatient rehab don’t have to give up their daily activities such as school or work to go to treatment, unlike inpatient rehab.

Types of Outpatient Addiction Programs

There are different types of outpatient fentanyl treatment programs. Each is going to have a varied format and structure, and the pros and cons.

Day Programs

Day programs are very similar to partial hospitalization treatment. Day programs and partial hospitalization are technically outpatient rehab because participants return home or to their sober living facility in the evenings. However, other than that they are much like residential rehab.

Day programs require treatment sessions most days of the week, and these sessions usually last all day. Dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health issues and medication management may be part of day programs.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

An intensive outpatient program is one where patients are usually expected to dedicate around three hours a day to treatment, several days a week. It’s still significantly less of a time commitment than day treatment or partial hospitalization.

Patients who are assessed not to need a medical detox or residential rehab may begin their treatment program with intensive outpatient rehab. An intensive outpatient program can typically be tailored to integrate with the daily life of the participants so they are able to continue working and living as normal.

Most of the forms of treatment offered in an intensive outpatient program are done in a group setting.

Aftercare Treatment

If someone were to first participate in a residential addiction treatment program for fentanyl, their team of treatment specialists would likely provide them with aftercare planning.

Aftercare planning can include long-term follow-up, continued one-on-one counseling and participation in support groups. These can all also be considered components of outpatient rehab.

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Who Is a Good Fit For Fentanyl Outpatient Rehab?

Fentanyl-Outpatient-New-Life-RehabFor the most part, starting with outpatient rehab isn’t going to provide the level of stability and supervision required for people who are struggling with fentanyl addiction. However, some people might start treatment with outpatient rehab if:

  • They have a mild or short-term addiction
  • They are only using one substance
  • There aren’t complicating factors such as co-occurring mental health disorders
  • No other treatment programs have been tried previously
  • The person doesn’t require a medical detox
  • The individual isn’t able to leave their home or daily commitments for inpatient rehab

Someone who is not likely to be a good fit to begin addiction treatment in an outpatient setting includes anyone who:

  • Has an addiction diagnosed as severe
  • Is abusing multiple substances simultaneously
  • Has previously tried other addiction treatment programs and relapsed
  • Has physical or mental health issues that need to be treated
  • Has a home environment that could be harmful or trigger them to relapse

Summing Up—Fentanyl Outpatient Treatment

If you are struggling with fentanyl addiction yourself, or you have a loved one who is, contact Amethyst Recovery. We can help you explore the addiction treatment options available including both inpatient and outpatient rehab, and find the right fit for your situation.

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