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Sufentanil (Dsuvia) Addiction: Side Effects, Detox, Withdrawal, and Treatment

What is Sufentanil (Dsuvia)?

Sufentanil is the active ingredient in the drug Dsuvia, which is a powerful opioid medication. Like other opioid drugs, sufentanil binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. This releases dopamine and produces a strong, euphoric high, which is very addictive.

Sufentanil may be administered as an injection as well as a sublingual tablet (Dsuvia). It’s often used to treat pain and with anesthesia during major operations or childbirth. If other less potent opioid medications aren’t working to relieve someone’s pain, a doctor may prescribe sufentanil. This is often the case with individuals who are opioid-dependent or addicted.

Sufentanil is not used outside of hospitals due to its strong potency. As a result, you also can’t get a prescription for sufentanil and fill it at the pharmacy. Sufentanil is 5 to 10 times more powerful than fentanyl and up to 1,000 times more potent than morphine.1,2


Is Sufentanil (Dsuvia) Addictive?

Yes, sufentanil is highly addictive. Because of the way it interacts with opioid receptors in the brain and body, sufentanil provides strong pain relief and a powerful high that floods your system with a rush of dopamine. This can produce a reward and reinforcement response, which often leads to addiction.

According to the DEA, sufentanil is classified as a Schedule II drug. This classification means it has a high potential for misuse, dependence, and addiction.


What are Some Slang Terms for Sufentanil (Dsuvia)? 

There are many different slang terms for fentanyl and fentanyl derivatives like sufentanil. They include:3

  • Apache
  • Birria (mixed with heroin)
  • Butter
  • China Girl
  • China Town
  • China White
  • Chinese
  • Chinese Food
  • Crazy
  • Crazy One
  • Dance Fever
  • Dragon
  • Dragon’s Breath
  • Facebook (mixed with heroin in pill form)
  • Fent
  • Fenty
  • Fire
  • Friend
  • Girl
  • Goodfella
  • Great Bear
  • He-Man
  • Jackpot
  • King Ivory
  • Lollipop
  • Murder 8
  • Poison
  • Shoes
  • Tango & Cash
  • Toe Tag Dope
  • White Girl

How Common Is Sufentanil (Dsuvia) Abuse and Addiction?

Since Dsuvia is only prescribed to adults in hospital settings, it’s less likely to be abused or used long-term. If, however, it is diverted for illegal use, sufentanil is highly dangerous and deadly. Many medical and health experts are critical of the FDA’s decision to approve the use of Dsuvia due to the already high rates of opioid prescribing and abuse.

Misusing sufentanil in any way is extremely dangerous because it’s up to 10 times more powerful than fentanyl and up to 1,000 times stronger than morphine.


What Are the Side Effects of Sufentanil (Dsuvia) Abuse?

Since sufentanil is only prescribed in a hospital setting, people don’t typically take larger doses than necessary. Doctors carefully administer the correct dosage per individual. However, if sufentanil is diverted for abuse, the side effects can be deadly due to its powerful potency.

Typical side effects of sufentanil include:4 

  • Itchy skin
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Slow heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • High or low blood pressure

If a person takes too much sufentanil, they are likely to experience an opioid overdose. Symptoms of a sufentanil overdose include:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Loss of consciousness

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    What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Sufentanil (Dsuvia)?

    Sufentanil can produce severe withdrawal symptoms and stopping cold turkey can increase your likelihood of experiencing Dsuvia withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms are similar to other opioid drugs and include:

    • Vomiting 
    • Teary eyes
    • Sweating
    • Anxiety
    • Nausea
    • Restlessness
    • Sweating
    • Sleep problems
    • Runny nose
    • Chills 
    • Goosebumps
    • Stomach cramps
    • Body aches
    • Joint and muscle pain

    Can You Just Stop Taking Sufentanil (Dsuvia)?

    No, it’s never recommended to quit sufentanil cold turkey. Although it’s always administered in a medical setting, sufentanil may be diverted to the streets. If you or a loved one is abusing Dsuvia recreationally, the safest and most effective way to stop taking it is to complete a medical detox program.

    Medical detox provides professional medical treatment for sufentanil withdrawal symptoms so you can be comfortable. Round-the-clock treatment also prevents medical emergencies or ensures immediate emergency care if it’s needed.

    During sufentanil detox, treatment professionals will administer medications to treat Dsuvia withdrawal symptoms. They’ll also monitor your vitals and provide therapeutic care to address the psychological symptoms of sufentanil withdrawal.

    Dsuvia detox is an essential part of recovering from addiction, but it’s only the first phase of sufentanil treatment. After sufentanil detox, treatment professionals will provide recommendations for ongoing sufentanil addiction treatment which may include:

    • Residential sufentanil rehab
    • Outpatient treatment for sufentanil addiction
    • Certified peer recovery support and a sober living program

    How Long Does it Take for Sufentanil (Dsuvia) to Get Out Of Your System?

    There isn’t very much data available on Dsuvia withdrawal and the sufentanil withdrawal timeline varies from person to person. However, typically if someone is dependent on sufentanil, they will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms shortly after the first missed dose was supposed to be administered. 


    How Can I Get Off Sufentanil (Dsuvia)?

    If you’re suffering from Dsuvia addiction, the best way to get off sufentanil is to get professional help. Long-term rehab for sufentanil addiction will provide a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, life skill development, and peer support to help you achieve long-lasting sobriety. 

    Other forms of therapy that can help you recover from sufentanil addiction during rehab include:


    Inpatient Drug Rehab vs. Outpatient Drug Rehab for Sufentanil (Dsuvia) Addiction

    Depending on the severity of your sufentanil addiction, treatment professionals may recommend residential rehab or outpatient rehab for sufentanil treatment. These two types of rehab programs both provide extensive treatment for Dsuvia addiction but they differ in several different ways. The chart below describes a few of the primary differences between residential and outpatient sufentanil rehab.


    In residential rehab, clients:
    Live on-site at the rehab centerAdhere to a structured daily scheduleAttend individual, group, and family counseling sessions regularlyHave access to medical and clinical professionals on-site

    In outpatient rehab, clients:
    Live at home or at a sober living facilityAttend several group treatment sessions per weekComplete recovery-oriented assignments independently

    Depending on the type of sufentanil rehab program you choose, the cost will vary. Factors like location, treatment services, and facility amenities will all influence the cost of sufentanil treatment. However, most rehab centers offer several different forms of payment to reduce the overall out-of-pocket cost of Dsuvia rehab. They may include:


    What are Continued Care Options for Sufentanil (Dsuvia) Addiction?

    After you complete sufentanil rehab, treatment professionals may recommend that you continue your treatment with a sober living or aftercare program. These types of recovery programs are designed to support individuals, provide accountability, and help them implement the skills they learned in rehab.

    Sober Living Programs

    A sober living program offers safe and sober housing for men, women, and LGBTQ+ individuals in recovery. While enrolled in a sober living program, clients also receive individualized recovery support services, including:

    • Regular drug and alcohol testing
    • Certified peer recovery support
    • Employment assistance
    • Educational planning
    • Volunteer placement

    These support services help people adjust to a new, sober way of living and address relapse risks right away with the support of caring professionals and certified peer recovery support specialists. 

    Many sober living homes are very affordable but the cost can vary depending on the facility’s location, recovery support services offered, and amenities.

    Aftercare Programs

    Many people in long-term recovery use aftercare as a formal sobriety check-in and attend regular group therapy meetings. Nova’s aftercare program is specifically designed for people who have already completed detox and rehab and are seeking ongoing support.

    Aftercare programs help individuals maintain their sobriety after rehab, provide peer support through group therapy, and offer consistency and accountability with regular meetings. This is particularly helpful in transitional stages of life, such as after the loss of a loved one, amid a divorce, or after relocating to a new area.

    If you or a loved one is struggling with sufentanil addiction, recovery is possible and you’re not alone. The caring professionals at Nova Recovery Center are available to help you achieve a full and lasting recovery from addiction with a comprehensive and individualized sufentanil treatment program.

    When you’re ready to make a change, call (512) 605-2955 to learn more about addiction treatment programs at Nova Recovery Center.

    References:

    1. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=52fc28b9-464a-4173-9d0d-000ed0dbf265
    2. https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2018/11/05/fda-opioid 
    3. https://www.clinicalpainadvisor.com/home/dea-drug-slang-code-words/fentanyl-and-fentanyl-derivatives-drug-slang-code-words/ 
    4. https://www.rxlist.com/sufenta-side-effects-drug-center.htm 

    Nova Recovery Center offers a large range of substance abuse treatment services: detox, residential, outpatient and sober living.

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