Fentanyl has been a key player in the opioid epidemic for several years. Many people have died from being exposed to it without even realizing it was happening. This drug is often added to other opioids to increase their potency, and overdoses have happened as a result. In many cases, those overdoses were intentional on drug dealers because they wanted to get the word out about their products.
Fentanyl abuse and addiction are extremely dangerous, and using this drug even once is like playing Russian Roulette. More people need to be made aware of how dangerous it is and its consequences. They also need to know that drug detox and rehab can help people recover from Fentanyl addiction. Fortunately, Ashwood Recovery can help individuals and those that care about them find the support necessary to heal.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is an opioid pain medication that is 100 times stronger than morphine. It is used primarily to treat breakthrough pain or pain that is not relieved with other medications. In most cases, doctors will prescribe different drugs before placing their patients on this powerful opioid. This is because it is very potent, and extreme care must be used when prescribed. This medication is a Schedule II controlled drug.
Fentanyl works by changing how the brain and nervous system respond to pain. It comes in many different forms, including a lozenge, a sublingual tablet, a film, patches, and buccal tablets. Patients are always instructed to use this medication according to their doctors’ directions. Misusing it, including taking more at one time, or taking it more often, can result in addiction or death.
For those with serious pain issues – such as cancer patients – Fentanyl can be very effective. It can take some time for doctors to get the dosage right, but the medication works well once they do. But people should never stay on this drug long-term. Doing so can result in an addiction, even if no abuse has occurred.
What Are the Side Effects of Fentanyl Abuse?
Fentanyl comes with a long list of side effects. The older you are, the more likely you will experience them. But they can happen to anyone. The most common side effects of Fentanyl are:
- Feeling weak
- Getting constipated
- Feeling confused
- Constricted pupils
- Falling unconscious
- Slower breathing rates
- A decreased heart rate
- Stiff muscles
- Problems with concentration
- Dry mouth
- Feeling flushed or excessive sweating
Fentanyl also carries serious adverse effects that should be reported immediately to a doctor. They include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the face, lips, throat, or tongue
- Chest pain
- A pounding heartbeat
- Loss of coordination
- High fever
- Twitching muscles
Signs of Fentanyl Addiction
- Using the drug more often or longer than intended.
- The inability to control one’s use or cut down.
- Spending a lot of time obtaining the drug, using, or recovering from using.
- Having a very strong desire to use, to the point of being unable to think about anything else.
- Using even though it results in negative consequences, such as legal problems or social issues.
- Using even though there may be risks involved, such as before driving a car.
- Using the drug even though it leads to mental or physical health problems.
- Forming a tolerance
- Going through withdrawal when the drug wears off, or it is stopped.
Learn More About the Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Program at Ashwood Recovery
At Ashwood Recovery, we love providing proven, effective addiction treatment for our patients. So many of them come to us after having lost all hope. Those addicted to Fentanyl live their lives in fear of overdosing, but they are unable to quit on their own. We provide them with the support they need to succeed both in the short and long term.
Are you addicted to Fentanyl? Did you know that there are ways for you to get professional help to stop using it? The abuse of this drug has gone on long enough. Contact us today by calling 208.274.8609.