Table of Contents
- The Signs, Symptoms, Effects, and Treatment of Fentanyl Addiction
- What Is Fentanyl?
- How Does Fentanyl Affect the Brain?
- What Are the Side Effects of Fentanyl?
- What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse and Addiction?
- The Effects of Fentanyl Withdrawal and Overdose
- The Symptoms of Drug Addiction
- The Treatment for Fentanyl Abuse
The Signs, Symptoms, Effects, and Treatment of Fentanyl Addiction
Fentanyl is an opioid drug that can be used to relieve pain. The effects of fentanyl are similar, but not the same as those of morphine, heroin, and other opioids. Fentanyl works in a different way than these drugs and has several side effects that make it dangerous to use.
What Is Fentanyl?
The drug is a synthetic opioid, first introduced in the 1960s, commonly used to treat patients who suffer from chronic severe pain or even severe post-surgery pain. Similar to morphine, it works by changing how the brain responds to pain. It is an odorless, white to light yellow powder.
It is often mixed with heroin or cocaine, but it can also be a stand-alone drug. It is Schedule II controlled substance that is similar to morphine but about 100 times more potent. Fentanyl is legal under the supervision of a licensed medical professional for legitimate medical use but patients should be monitored closely for potential misuse or abuse. Some of the street names for this drug are Apache, China girl, goodfella, jackpot, murder 8, Tango and Cash, TNT, and China white.
There is a flood of illicit fentanyl that is manufactured in foreign laboratories and smuggled into the United States primarily through Mexico. The drug is mixed in with other illicit substances to increase its potency and sold as powders and nasal sprays. Nowadays, the powder is found to be increasingly pressed into pills to mimic legitimate prescription opioids.
As there is no quality control, these fake fentanyl pills often contain lethal doses of .02 to 5.1 milligrams (more than twice the lethal dose) of fentanyl per tablet. Two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance, and past usage. Also, many drug dealers mix fentanyl with other drugs including methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine, increasing the likelihood of a fatal result.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration analysis of seized counterfeit pills found that 42% of these fake pills tested for fentanyl contained at least 2 mg of fentanyl, which is considered a potentially lethal dose. Organizations that smuggle and distribute illegal drugs do so in kilograms and one kilogram of fentanyl can potentially kill 500,000 people.
It is possible for drug users to take a pill without knowing it contains fentanyl or take a pill knowing it contains fentanyl, but not knowing that the dosage is lethal.
Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl are the primary driver of overdose deaths in the United States as reported by the CDC. In comparing 2019 and 2020, opioid overdose deaths increased by 38.1% and overdose deaths involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl went up by 55.6%.
How Does Fentanyl Affect the Brain?
As with other opioid drugs, fentanyl, like other opiod drugs, binds to the receptors in the brain that affect pain and emotions causing feelings of euphoria and relaxation, and inhibiting pain. The drug affects different people differently and are based on te person’s size, weight and overall state of health. The effects depends on the amount a person takes, if they take it in combination with other drugs and whether the person is used to taking opioids.
What Are the Side Effects of Fentanyl?
It is found that younger people have less adverse side effects from fentanyl han older people particularly with respiration issues. Fentanyl can cause nausea, sweating, flushing, confusion, weakness, dry mouth, constipation, drowsiness, difficulty in concentrating, slowen berating, constricted pupils, decreases heart rate, stiff muscles, tight feeling in the throat and unconsciousness.
Some of the more serious effects are abnormal thoughts, clumsiness, extreme sleepiness, hallucinations (visual, audio, and tactile), headaches, less responsiveness to stimuli, muscle jerking or twitching, problems walking and balancing, seizures, severe constipation, slowed or fast paced heartbeat, stomach or abdominal pain, and trembling.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse and Addiction?
Fentanyl is a narcotic analgesic (pain reliever), and it can be used in the treatment of acute pain, chronic pain, or cancer-related pain. Fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, which are found in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions. Because fentanyl interacts with these receptors, it can produce a sense of euphoria and relaxation.
There are a total of over ten possible physical, mental and behavioral signs of fentanyl abuse. The more symptoms that are present, the higher the grade of use disorder along a continuum from mild to moderate to severe.
- More of the drug is taken, or it isused for a greater length of time than initially intende.
- The user has the ongoing desire to stop abusing fentanyl, or at least cut down on the use, but is not able to do so.
- Considerable energy, time, and money is used to obtain the drug.
- Constant urges or cravings to use fentanyl.
- Unable to adequately meet obligations at home, work, or school due to fentanyl use.
- Continued abuse of this drug knowing it is causing various problems.
- Withdrawal from or reduction in work, social, recreational, and other opportunities participation to abuse fentanyl.
- Abuse of the drug even when there is awareness of the dangerous or risky situations that arise, such as while driving.
- Abusing Fentanyl even if t is causing or exacerbating a psychological or physical problem.
- Developing a tolerance to the drug.
- Withdrawal symptoms occur when the fentanyl use stops.
When using fentanyl, it is easy to become addicted. The drug is extremely powerful and addictive and can quickly lead to tolerance and dependence. If you notice any of the following symptoms in yourself or a loved one, , contact a drug rehab center such s West Valley Detox immediately. We will guide you and provide you with the information to treat this addiction provided in a compassionate addiction treatment facility.
The Effects of Fentanyl Withdrawal and Overdose
Fentanyl is a potent painkiller that is used to treat patients with chronic, severe pain. It can be administered as an injection or a transdermal patch, and it’s very effective for pain management. Unfortunately, it’s also very addictive. When patients stop taking fentanyl, they may experience a number of unpleasant symptoms and effects that can be dangerous if not treated properly.
Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include:
- Fast breathing
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Irritability or anxiety
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Overall weakness
- Runny nose or watery eyes
- Stomach cramps
- Sweating or chills
- Widened pupils
Fentanyl overdose signs include:
- Blue colored lips and fingernails
- Changes in pupillary size
- Cold and clammy skin
- Decreased heart rate
- Limp body
- Low blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Reduced or loss of consciousness
- Slowed or stopped breathing
If a person is shows symptoms of overdosing on fentanyl, the medication Naloxone can help reverse the overdose.
The Symptoms of Drug Addiction
Some of the typical symptoms of drug addiction may include:
- Weight loss.
- Issues with money.
- Inability to reduce or control drug use.
- Engaging in risky behaviors, despite knowing the negative consequences.
- Difficulty completing tasks at home, work, or school.
- Craving drugs.
- Changes in physical appearances, such as having a poor complexion or looking ungroomed and haggard.
- Changes in appetite and sleep patterns.
- Bloodshot eyes and looking tired.
The Treatment for Fentanyl Abuse
Fentanyl abuse can be treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medications. The most common treatments are naltrexone, acamprosate, or disulfiram. These drugs reduce cravings and help a person to stop abusing fentanyl and are used in a medically assisted detox.
After undergoing detox, an inpatient rehab where patients can attend therapy programs under aroud-the-clock supervision, cognitive behavioral therapy, medication assisted treatments, and holistic treatment suplemented after by outpatient programs to provide on-going support is the recommended option for fentanyl addiction treatment. The duration of treatment takes time and cannot be achieved quickly. Opioid dependency and addiction generally takes at least a year of treatment to help the user return to a life of drug-free normalcy.
Our fentanyl rehab center in California, West Valley Detox provides the ideal setting for people to recover from addiction’s mental and physical toll. Learn more about our facility or how to overcome fentanyl use from our caring team today by calling 1 818-600-9392 or filling out our online form.