Fentanyl Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles, California

fentanyl addiction treatment center in la

Table of Contents

If you are addicted to fentanyl or any opioid, treatment is available at West Valley Detox in Sherman Oaks, Tarzana, and Studio City, California. You can recover from fentanyl addiction, with the help and resources provided by the medical specialists at our rehab facility.

What is Fentanyl?

fentanyl addiction treatment in los angeles

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times more powerful. There are two types of fentanyl:

  • Pharmaceutical fentanyl
  • Illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF)

Like morphine, pharmaceutical fentanyl is usually used to treat patients experiencing severe pain, particularly after surgery and for advanced-stage cancer. Sometimes it is used to treat patients with chronic pain who have become physically tolerant to other opioids.

How Is It Used?

When fentanyl is prescribed by your doctor, it can be given as:

  • A shot
  • A patch for your skin
  • Lozenges/candy

The IMF associated with overdoses is made in labs. This synthetic type of fentanyl is sold illegally:

  • As a powder
  • As a liquid in nasal sprays, eye drops
  • Dropped onto blotter paper or candies
  • Made into pills that look like other prescription opioids

Street Names

Some of the street names for this drug are:

  • Apache
  • China girl
  • goodfella
  • jackpot
  • murder 8
  • Tango and Cash
  • TNT
  • China white

Dangerous Combinations

Very often, drug dealers mix fentanyl with other drugs such as:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • MDMA

They do this because it only takes a small amount of fentanyl to produce a high. This makes the original drug cheaper to produce, and the profits higher. It is very risky when people use drugs, not realizing that they may be combined with fentanyl as a cheap but very dangerous additive. The individual might be taking stronger opioids than their bodies are used to, making an overdose more likely.

Signs of Fentanyl Addiction

Because of its potency, fentanyl is a highly addictive substance. Fentanyl addiction is diagnosed by medical professionals as opioid use disorder (OUD). This means they compulsively use fentanyl despite the harmful consequences. Although only a medical professional can offer a formal diagnosis of OUD, it is useful to know the common signs of addiction. The standards outlined in the DSM-5 include:

  • Using fentanyl in larger amounts or for a longer time than originally intended.
  • Being unable to stop using or cut down on your use even if you want to.
  • You spend a lot of time getting, using, and recovering from fentanyl’s effects.
  • You have cravings, or intense physical or psychological urges to use it.
  • You are becoming unable to complete obligations at home, work, or school because of your fentanyl use.
  • You continue to use fentanyl even though experiencing interpersonal or social problems because of fentanyl use.
  • You gave up important activities or hobbies to use it.
  • You use it in situations where it is physically dangerous to do it.
  • You keep using it while knowing that you have a physical or psychological problem that is probably a result of using it.
  • Tolerance–needing to use more fentanyl to experience the same effects.
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop.

Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

Common fentanyl withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Pain in muscles and bones
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Uncontrollable leg movements
  • Intense cravings

How Does Fentanyl Affect Your Brain?

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The same as heroin, morphine, and other types of opioids, fentanyl affects your brain by attaching to the body’s opioid receptors which are found in the areas of the brain that control emotions and pain. If you’ve taken opioids many times, your brain adapts to the drug which lowers its sensitivity. This is called “tolerance” and it makes it hard to feel pleasure from anything but the drug.

Due to its potency, people can become dependent on fentanyl quickly. They will need to use it to avoid feeling uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. This drives the cycle of addiction. However, a person can be dependent on fentanyl, but not addicted. Still, dependence can lead to addiction.

The effects of fentanyl might feel pleasurable and make people want to use it, but other effects may be quite uncomfortable. The effects of fentanyl include:

  • Extreme happiness
  • Sleepiness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Confusion
  • Sedation
  • Breathing problems
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Tightening in the throat
  • Sweating
  • Constricted pupils
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Stiff muscles
  • Flushing
  • Weakness
  • Dry mouth

Some of the more serious side effects include:

  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Muscle twitching or jerking
  • Difficulty walking or keeping their balance
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Change in a heartbeat (bradycardia–less than 60 beats per minute or tachycardia–over 100 beats per minute)

Overdose in California

As of February 2022, fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths. Over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Even a small dose can be deadly.

A major contributor to drug overdose deaths in California is fentanyl. Based on initial data from 2021, there were 6,843 opioid-related overdose deaths. Of those, 5,722 were related to fentanyl. Among teens, 15 – 19 years old, there were 224 fentanyl-related overdose deaths.

More recently, there has been a brightly colored fentanyl called “rainbow” fentanyl circulating in the illegal markets. It can be purchased as pills, powders, or blocks that look like sidewalk chalk or candy. No matter the color or appearance, any substance that doesn’t come from a pharmacist or medical professional could contain fentanyl and be deadly.

Signs of Fentanyl Overdose

Knowing the signs of opioid overdose can save a life. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Limp body
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Constricted, “pinpoint” pupils
  • Loss of consciousness or falling asleep
  • Discolored skin, particularly on lips and nails
  • Shallow, slow, or no breathing
  • Gurgling or choking sounds

What is Fentanyl Addiction Treatment?

fentanyl addiction treatment in los angeles, ca

The same as most chronic diseases, addiction is treatable. Although no single treatment is right for everyone, you can recover and help is available for opioid addiction. Fentanyl addiction is an opioid addiction and it’s a chronic and relapsing condition that can happen to anyone. The fact is, millions of Americans struggle with an OUD.

Keep in mind that OUD treatment can:

  • Vary depending on the patient’s needs
  • Occur in a variety of settings
  • Use many different approaches
  • Last for varying lengths of time

Medically-Assisted Detox

Withdrawal from fentanyl includes some severe symptoms–so severe that many people who try to quit fentanyl (or any opioid) on their own, are seldom able to accomplish it. In a medically-assisted detox center, you will be under 24-hour medical supervision and be treated for your most severe symptoms. We can safely guide you through the medical detox process to break the cycle of physical dependence.

Residential Program

The purpose of detox is to prepare you to treat the psychological aspect of addiction. A residential program is the highest level of addiction care. In this program, you live in a safe, secure, drug-free environment, away from the triggers and distractions that can impede your recovery.

Evidence-Based Treatments

Medications and behavioral therapy are evidence-based methods of treating opioid addiction. Combining medication for opioid addiction with therapy increases your chance of success.


Medications support your recovery by:

  • Relieving cravings
  • Curbing withdrawal symptoms
  • Helping to normalize your brain chemistry

Behavioral and Experiential Therapy

Behavioral therapies work on the theory that all behavior is learned, therefore, it can also be unlearned. Evidence has shown that behavioral therapies are effective for treating addiction with faster results than typical talk therapy.

Experiential therapy allows you to use tools, activities, music, and other methods to help you address specific situations from the past and present. Under the guidance of a trained therapist, you can explore and learn to cope with issues that may have had a hand in your opioid abuse.

Aftercare Planning

After completing a program in a treatment center, you are not cured. Like any chronic disease, you must continue to be mindful and make plans after formal treatment. You may plan for going back to work, what social services may be of use, where you’ll live, and whether you’ll continue therapy as an outpatient.

What Can West Valley Do For You?

West Valley Detox is experienced in helping people struggling with addiction get their lives back on track. We aren’t just a detox center, although we do have a state-of-the-art detox center with qualified medical professionals.

West Valley can provide you with a homelike residential center with experienced staff, nutritious meals, and experiential and recreational activities. Our goal is to return people, like you or a loved one, to productive functioning in their workplace, family, and community. Contact us today. Remember: addiction is a medical condition, treatment can help, and recovery is possible.

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