Menu Close

Understanding the Dangers of Fentanyl

a woman sits on a couch with one hand on her head

The nation’s opioid crisis affects people from all walks of life. Each day, people across the country struggle with opioid dependency. Unfortunately, opioids, especially fentanyl, are increasingly addictive and dangerous. While many think of heroin and OxyContin as leaders in opioid addiction and overdose, fentanyl is more potent and results in more overdoses than other opioids. The best way to avoid fentanyl overdose and opioid-related death is through a fentanyl addiction treatment program.

If you or someone you love is using fentanyl, don’t attempt to quit at home. Call Ashwood Recovery today. Our outpatient treatment programs help people across Idaho recover from fentanyl and other opioids. Call us now at 888.341.3607 to learn more about our individualized detox and recovery programs.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid developed from the opium poppy. Opium has been used medicinally and recreationally for centuries. However, synthetic opioids create more robust and dangerous versions of the drug. Like other opioids, fentanyl blocks pain receptors in the brain and creates a feeling of euphoria. Used for chronic pain, surgery, and self-medicating for emotional and psychological distress, fentanyl is 100 times stronger than morphine. Its strength makes the drug easy to abuse and subsequently overdose.

Dangers of Fentanyl and Other Opioid Abuse

Like other opioids, it’s easy to abuse fentanyl. While opioids are powerful pain relievers, they are prone to tolerance. The more often someone takes opioids, the more opioids they will need for the same effect. For those with chronic pain, opioid tolerance builds quickly. So does opioid addiction.

Fentanyl and other opioids change a person’s brain chemistry. When the drug enters the bloodstream, it slows down the body’s processing speed, releases the pleasure chemical dopamine, and numbs the pain. Effects of fentanyl include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in vision
  • Depression
  • Night terrors
  • Dry mouth
  • Shaking
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling of the extremities
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Itching
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion

These are only some of the ways fentanyl affects the brain, nervous system, and body. As the drug slows down processing speed, it can completely slow the heart and lungs, which can cause coma or death. Unresponsiveness, low body temperature, and nodding in and out of consciousness are signs of overdose. If someone exhibits these signs, they cannot seek medical attention on their own. These and other signs, like convulsions and vomiting, are signs to call 911 immediately.

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Programs in Idaho

Fentanyl use is increasingly common across the United States. Some may turn to fentanyl when their prescriptions for OxyContin or Vicodin run out. Heroin users have increasing difficulty accessing heroin, leading many to use street fentanyl. While prescription fentanyl is legal, street fentanyl is often more potent and dangerous. Dealers often lace street drugs with fillers and other drugs that increase their potency and risk of overdose.

Because opioids change a person’s brain chemistry, a fentanyl addiction treatment program is the safest, most effective way to prevent overdose and recover from fentanyl addiction. At Ashwood Recovery, we provide patients with individualized treatment plans that fit their schedules. With a range of outpatient programs, the team at Ashwood Recovery is here to help. Our patients get the support they need, including:

  • Art therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Relapse prevention
  • Medical intervention

Our dual diagnosis programs help patients diagnose, understand, and treat mood disorders alongside addiction for holistic recovery.

Learn More About Fentanyl Addiction Treatment at Ashwood Recovery Now

Fentanyl and opioids are increasingly dangerous. If you or someone in your life is struggling with opioids, don’t wait. Call Ashwood Recovery today at 888.341.3607 to learn more about our individualized detox programs.