FENTANYL ADDICTION: ABUSE, SYMPTOMS, AND TREATMENT
More than half of opioid-related deaths in the United States have been traced back to Fentanyl addiction. According to studies carried out in 2017, 59.8% of opioid-related deaths involved the highly addictive synthetic opioid that’s 50 to 100 times more powerful than Morphine.
The National Institute Of Drug Abuse (NIDA) classifies Fentanyl as a generic synthetic opioid, this means there is a high chance of people overdosing on the drug. Any Narcotic pain reliever carries a high chance of being overdose on. Fentanyl is easy to overdose on because it is cheaper than most opioids and highly potent.
Fentanyl is used mainly for treating patients with acute back pain especially after a surgery or for patients with serious pain but are physically tolerant to other opioids. This means they will need a higher dosage of these other opioids to get the desired effect (to numb the pain). With fentanyl, you don’t need to get too much dosage to see the desired result.
Fentanyl can take up several forms to meet the patient’s needs, some of the forms or brand names for this opioid pain reliever (OPR) include
- Actiq: This form of fentanyl is for testing patients already taking some pain-relieving medications. It comes as a lozenge you can stick under your tongue and suck on like a lollipop.
- Sublimate: This is the injectable form of fentanyl and it’s administered in hospitals mostly with anesthetics. It’s generally used to manage pain before and after surgery, very effective too.
- Astral: It is a quick dissolve tablet form of fentanyl that’s placed under the tongue and left to dissolve. It is used mostly for opioid-tolerant patients with breakthrough cancer pain. Using Astral gives them quick relief from the pain suffered.
- Lazanda: This form of fentanyl is usually used to treat pain in cancer patients. It is a form of a nasal spray. Just administer it just like you would a nasal decongestant spray.
- Subsys: The main purpose of this form of fentanyl in the treatment of breakthrough pains in cancer patients. It is applied under the tongue and provides immediate pain relief to patients.
- Duragesic: The effects of this fentanyl patch can last for up to three days. It is used to treat moderate to severe pains.
Fentanyl is so potent that it made it popular in the streets and earned it some of the popular street names like China White, Apache, Murder 8, Goodfellas, China Girl, and Dance Fever.
Fentanyl has killed more people in recent years than other synthesized opioids put together. It is the major culprit in the opioid crisis. In this article, we will check out how people abuse this substance, the symptoms they show, and how they can be treated from this addiction.
How people abuse Fentanyl and get addicted
Opioids are made directly from plants; the opium poppy plant. However, there are some other types of opioid made in the lab by scientists, fentanyl is one such opioid.
It is very potent and associated with most of the recent overdoses that have led to death. Fentanyl is sold illegally as a powder, put in eye droppers, nasal sprays, and on blotted papers and ingested with the aim to get high.
The use of fentanyl when it isn’t a doctor’s prescription is dangerous and can lead to addiction. We know some drug dealers in order to make more profit mix fentanyl with other drugs like Cocaine, Heroin, MDMA, and methamphetamine. They know fentanyl is powerful enough to make someone high with just a little dose, which means a reduction in the cost of getting people high.
Illegal drug users may get addicted to using fentanyl just like patients with fentanyl prescriptions who can experience dependence on the drug. This results in some sort of withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped. The difference between this and illegally abusing the drug is this – a person can be dependent on a drug but not addicted, but without proper help will get addicted. But someone who illegally takes fentanyl doesn’t stop and will get addicted.
Addiction is a terrible form of substance abuse disorder and it will be wise for everyone to steer clear of this synthetic opioid called fentanyl, as it can be quite dangerous!
Symptoms of Fentanyl Addiction
Before we talk about the symptoms of fentanyl addiction, let’s look at the effects of addiction on the human body and brain. Just like other opioids, Fentanyl binds itself to the body’s opioid receptors which control pain and emotions.
Continuous use of fentanyl makes the brain adapt to the synthetic drug and makes it extremely difficult to feel pain or pleasure from anything but the drug.
The effects of Fentanyl include extreme joy, sleepiness, nauseousness, confusion,
constipation, problems breathing, and blackout. The user can also suffer from constant headaches, seizures, blurred vision, and consistent itching all over the body.
The potency of this drug is frightening and according to The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there could be a fentanyl epidemic in no time.
If someone is addicted to Fentanyl, the withdrawal symptoms are visible just hours after the last use of the drug, that’s how potent and dangerous the drug is. Some of the symptoms include
- Severe cravings for the drugs
- Uncontrollable leg movements
- Problems sleeping
- Muscle and bone pain
These are some of the symptoms of addiction to fentanyl. If left untreated can lead to death.
How to treat Fentanyl Overdose and Addiction
The great news is you can be treated when you overdose on fentanyl or addicted to it. When people illegally take high doses of fentanyl, especially when it’s mixed with other opioids like heroin or cocaine, they can overdose on it. When this happens, they can be treated right away by administering Naloxone. It blocks the effects of opioid drugs and being the person back to consciousness. After administering Naloxone to a user who overdosed, they must be watched carefully for shortness of breathing.
Treating addiction, however, needs a different approach. This is done with medication and behavioral therapy. Some of the drugs used for treating addiction include Methadone and Buprenorphine that work by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain just like fentanyl and reduce the cravings for the drugs. Drugs like Naltrexone block opioid receptors and prevent fentanyl from having any significant effect on the brain.
Medication is mixed with counseling and therapy. This approach has made it possible to treat users addicted to fentanyl. It is possible for you to fight and overcome addiction when you’re ready. You will need a family like ours to help guide you and assist you on the journey to recovery.
JC’S RECOVERY CENTER CHANGES LIVES
Don’t believe us? Call our Addiction Treatment Hotline.
What do you have to lose?
Call Now: (844) 524-6873