Fentanyl addiction rates are rising to epidemic proportions in America. It’s one of the deadliest drugs available, and overdoses caused by fentanyl abuse rose 540% from 2013 to 2016. Fentanyl is not only found on the black market. It’s also a prescription opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain. The drug was first synthesized in the 1960s, and quickly became a hit in America in the 1990s. Unfortunately, due to the accessibility of this drug, it’s also often added as a cutting agent to other illicit substances, like cocaine.
The effects of fentanyl use can be quite overbearing. If you’re addicted to fentanyl, seek fentanyl addiction treatment as soon as possible. After all, this is a very dangerous drug. The Drug Enforcement Agency has it labeled as a Schedule II Controlled Substance. It’s easy to develop fentanyl dependence and tolerance; however, abuse can be deadly.
Fentanyl has many nicknames. Popular street names include Apache, China Girl, Dance Fever, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8 and TNT. It’s also sold under the following prescription brands: Actiq®, Duragesic®, and Sublimaze®.
Depending on the reason for the prescription, fentanyl can come in various forms. Drug abusers can find this drug in a powder form or in a tablet form. There’s also a fentanyl patch. There are also various administration methods. Each method will offer a similar high.
If you’re a fentanyl addict, you’ll need to look for professional help from drug rehab treatment centers. Addiction treatment can help you wean off of this drug and get clean. Understanding fentanyl rehab programs will help you navigate and return back to the community as a contributing member of society. It’s critical on your road to recovery.
Side Effects of Fentanyl Abuse
Due to the potency of fentanyl, misuse and abuse can result in some harsh side effects. Most of these side effects tend to be quite intense. They’re rather easy to spot. Common side effects and signs of fentanyl abuse include:
- Difficulties urinating
- Dry mouth
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Itching or skin irritation
- Nausea and vomiting
Upon taking fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, drug abusers tend to experience intense euphoric sensations. Some even describe the feeling as “feeling invisible”. When coming down, the effects then make a turn for the worst. Drug abusers may experience depression, nausea and severe fatigue.
The longer the fentanyl use, the more intense the side effects become. This is basically the same for any type of drug abuse or substance abuse. Fentanyl addiction treatment can help lessen the intensity of these side effects. There are various treatment options and treatment programs available.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can be challenging to manage. The symptoms tend to peak in 72 hours after the last dose. The physical symptoms will subside within a week to several weeks, but the psychological symptoms can last for months, and even years. The most common withdrawal symptoms of fentanyl abuse include:
- Anxiety or depression
- Body and muscle aches
- Excessive yawning
- Joint pain
- Muscle weakness
- Profuse sweating
- Rapid heart rate and breathing rate
- Runny nose
- Sleep problems, like insomnia
- Stomach aches and cramps
- Teary Eyes
- Vomiting and nausea
The psychological symptoms are often the most difficult to overcome. They can be detrimental to one’s mental health. The prescription drug addiction treatment plan will include behavioral therapies. These are necessary in helping patients build better habits for a healthier life.
Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms
Fentanyl overdoses are incredibly deadly. The worst part is that just a small amount of fentanyl can lead to an overdose. Studies show that a lethal dose of fentanyl is about 2mg for first-time users. This opioid easily passes through the blood-brain barrier and attaches to opioid receptors in the brain. Knowing what overdose symptoms to look for can be life-saving. The idea is to get help as quickly as possible. Tell-tale warning signs of a fentanyl overdose include:
- Blue-tinted nails and lip
- Decreased heart rate and pulse
- Fatigue or extreme exhaustion
- Loss of consciousness
- Raised blood pressure
- Slow breathing
- Weak muscles
In most cases, a drug abuser overdosing on fentanyl will look like they’re falling asleep. Once they lose consciousness, they may experience both cardiac and respiratory failure or depression. Within minutes, they may stop breathing. If they don’t start breathing again soon, the overdose can become fatal. Risk of overdose increases with drug dosage. Other risk factors also include one’s biological makeup, as well as the length of fentanyl abuse.
Since cardiac and respiratory depression or failure comes with an overdose, it’s not unusual for an overdose to cause significantly damage to the body and brain. Those who are witnessing an overdose should call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. If they act quickly, they may be able to save a life.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Options
Since fentanyl is an opioid, the most recommended treatment option is Opiate Replacement Therapy (ORT). This therapy involves substituting fentanyl with a weaker opioid. The weaker opioids will keep fentanyl withdrawal symptoms at bay, while still satisfying the body’s need for stimulation. There are many different types of prescription medications available. Different options are offered at each fentanyl abuse treatment center. The type of addiction treatment program that’s recommended will depend on a variety of factors, like whether the drug addict is struggling with a co-occurring disorder. Some of the most common options used in fentanyl abuse treatment include: