What To Expect at a Fentanyl Detox Center in Los Angeles

Detoxification from fentanyl, which is a powerful opioid, can mark a necessary first step on your recovery journey. When you decide to enter a fentanyl detox center, you’re reflecting your commitment to your health and well-being. You’re entering a supportive, controlled environment that’s dedicated to safety and recovery as you’re going through fentanyl detox and its challenges.

The Effects Fentanyl Has On Your Brain and Body

Fentanyl is an opioid that’s synthetic and very strong—it’s similar to morphine but with a potency estimated to be 50-100 times greater.[1] It’s used medically to treat severe pain, particularly after surgery, or for pain management in patients with physical tolerance to other opioids.

Because of its potency, sometimes fentanyl is used to manage chronic pain in closely controlled medical situations.

Because of the strength and rapid onset of effects, fentanyl is also a widely misused drug and is often involved in overdoses.

When fentanyl is taken, it binds to opioid receptors. These are located in parts of the brain controlling emotions and pain. As opioids, including fentanyl, attach to these sites, they stop pain signal transmission in the brain and spinal cord and, at the same time, raise dopamine levels in the reward areas of the brain. The dopamine increase induces euphoria.[2]

Fentanyl can also produce drowsiness, sedation and judgment impairment.

As far as the physical effects are concerned, one of the most dangerous is the ability of fentanyl to suppress breathing. Even relatively small doses can cause the respiratory system to slow down or stop, leading to fatal respiratory arrest.

Fentanyl can also, in the short term, cause nausea, vomiting, constipation and itching.

Fentanyl Withdrawal

When you’ve developed a physical dependence on fentanyl and stop or significantly reduce your use, withdrawal can occur. Dependence forms as your body adapts to the drug’s presence, and the brain starts to consider the effects as a new normal. Stopping the drug will force your body to readjust to its absence, and this can lead to a set of physical and mental symptoms collectively known as withdrawal.

Your body adapts to the drug as opioids like fentanyl change the way your brain’s nerve receptors work. It can also change your brain’s chemical makeup, making everything less responsive to stimuli when the drug is absent. These adaptations contribute to tolerance, so you need more of the drug to get the same effects, leading to physical dependence.

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can be physical, psychological and emotional.

Physical fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can include:[3]

  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Higher heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Chills and goosebumps

Psychological symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Strong drug cravings

Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline

The timeline and intensity of the withdrawal symptoms a person might experience can depend on the amount used, how long it was used, and overall health. A general fentanyl withdrawal timeline could look something like the following:

  • Early phase: Six to 12 hours after the last dose, symptoms might appear as the drug leaves your bloodstream. The earliest fentanyl withdrawal symptoms could include muscle aches, cravings and anxiety.
  • Peak phase: One to three days after your last dose, symptoms peak in intensity, including sweating, irritability, shaking, and stomach problems.
  • Subsiding phase: From a week and beyond after your last use of fentanyl, physical symptoms start lessening. Emotional and psychological symptoms can persist for longer.

What to Expect at a Fentanyl Detox Center In Los Angeles

Whether you’re attending a fentanyl detox center in Los Angeles or elsewhere, it’s a medically supervised process to help manage the acute physical fentanyl withdrawal symptoms safely. These programs are vital because of the potency of fentanyl and potentially severe withdrawal symptoms that can make stopping difficult and possibly dangerous.

A fentanyl detox center is a structured, supportive environment where you can go through withdrawal under medical supervision.

When you arrive, you will go through an assessment to determine your mental and physical health, the extent of your drug use, and other existing medical conditions. From there, the staff can create a detox plan tailored to your needs.

Medical professionals monitor your health throughout detox and can intervene if you experience complications.

Medications can also be used for alleviating withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings. Medicines include methadone, clonidine and buprenorphine. Many of the drugs used for fentanyl withdrawal symptoms work on the same opioid receptors in the brain. Still, they’re less potent, and they’re longer-acting than fentanyl, so it’s a safer, more gradual way to taper off the drug.

A fentanyl detox center can provide supportive care like counseling, hydration and nutrition support, too.

Once you complete detox, it’s just the first step of your recovery from addiction. The staff will plan a comprehensive addiction treatment approach for you, and this might include inpatient or outpatient rehab. These programs will help you build a successful long-term recovery and prevent relapse.

Connect with a Fentanyl Detox Center in Los Angeles

At Invigorate Behavioral Health, we are a Los Angeles fentanyl detox center offering a continuum of care, including inpatient and outpatient treatment. Our medical detox center is a sanctuary where you can go through the challenges of withdrawal with medical oversight, tools for symptom management and psychological support.

We can help address the immediate challenges of detoxification and prepare you for long-term recovery through ongoing treatment planning and support.

When you decide to enter a fentanyl detox center, it’s a powerful step toward reclaiming control of your life.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Fentanyl Facts
  2. United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA): Fentanyl
  3. National Institutes of Health (NIH): Fentanyl withdrawal: Understanding symptom severity and exploring the role of body mass index on withdrawal symptoms and clearance

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