Fentanyl is one of the deadliest drugs available today. It’s potency, availability, and also deadliness makes treatment essential for anyone struggling with abuse of this substance. In fact, many people who take fentanyl believe they are taking another substance. Due to its cheap cost and high potency, it is often used to cut other opiates. What are some of the fentanyl side effects? Most importantly, how can you avoid them and also find recovery?
What is Fentanyl?
For some, the sustained release fentanyl patch is the source of their highs. Others either knowingly or unknowingly abuse fentanyl-laced heroin in a white powdered form. A few grains of this substance can be enough to kill the individual who uses it. Of course, the tragedy here is the fact that you might not know what’s in the drug that you’re taking. Fentanyl side effects, including deadly overdoses, are possible and often occur when this is the case.
Fentanyl Side Effects
Some of the common side effects of fentanyl use include:
- Breathing trouble
- Anxiety and irritability
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle and joint pain
- Euphoria (intense happiness)
When a person uses fentanyl in excess, it’s possible that the individual may suffer an overdose. As a result of a fentanyl overdose, a person may experience the following symptoms:
- Slowed breathing
- Hypoxia (decreased oxygen flow to the brain)
- Brain damage
In some cases of overdose, people may stop breathing. Unfortunately, death is also a possible result of a fentanyl overdose.
More About the Dangers of Fentanyl Abuse
Often, people who are suffering from fentanyl abuse struggle to break free from this issue. This is mainly due to the fact that substance dependence changes the structure of the brain. This causes people to develop an uncontrollable craving for the drug they’re abusing. (In this case, that would be fentanyl.)
Fentanyl abuse is more than a recreational drug use problem. It can cause major health issues and affect a person’s life permanently.
Sometimes, individuals who abuse fentanyl mix it with other substances in order to intensify the drug’s effects. They may use fentanyl with heroin or cocaine. Although the effects may feel “pleasant”, the results of this substance abuse may prove to be life-altering and even fatal. This is why it’s so important to seek professional help in dealing with fentanyl dependence and abuse.
Getting Treatment for Fentanyl Abuse
Chemical dependency is a treatable condition. A synthetic fentanyl addiction treatment center focuses on helping individuals to break the physiological and psychological addictions. Fentanyl side effects are just as strong as the drug itself and will almost always require highly focused treatment efforts.
Medical supervision throughout the withdrawal process reduces discomfort and can keep the patient from relapsing. Similarly, it protects your overall well being by preventing or dealing with withdrawal symptoms as they occur. This takes care of many of the purely physical side effects but does not remove psychological dependence.
Rehab focuses on your reasons for abusing the fentanyl. During the treatment program, you work with therapists to uncover what made you susceptible to developing a chemical dependency. From there, you establish new coping skills that prevent you from having to go through this process again. During this process, you’ll move past fentanyl withdrawal symptoms and side effects and on to a life of recovery!
About the Treatment and Recovery Processes
Treatment for substance dependence and abuse often involves a continuum of care. First, those who are seeking to recover from fentanyl abuse may enter a detoxification program. The detox process works to help people to cleanse their bodies from the toxic and harmful effects of fentanyl. This allows them to begin focusing on recovery.
Treatment may also involve an inpatient program. (Sometimes, people refer to inpatient rehab using the term “residential”.) This type of program allows recovering individuals to live at their rehab center during the treatment process. As a result, people can have 24/7 access to assistance and support. Individuals are also constantly surrounded by people who understand their journey. It’s often much easier for people to focus on their recovery when those around them are also working toward the same goal.
Another type of treatment program individuals may enroll in is the intensive outpatient program (IOP). When people go through an IOP, they receive benefits that are similar to those offered in an inpatient program. As the name would imply, IOPs are still very intensive. Although individuals don’t necessarily live at a rehab facility, individuals may live at a sober living facility. An intensive outpatient treatment program generally seeks to combine independent living and therapy. IOP usually lasts for about 4-6 weeks. During this time, individuals visit with therapists multiple times per week in order to learn more about relapse prevention and life in recovery.
Individuals in treatment for addiction may also take part in an outpatient program. This type of treatment program involves therapy like IOPs and inpatient programs. But, outpatient rehab is different in that it allows individuals to spend more time outside of treatment. Many people who are in an outpatient program attend classes at school or hold jobs throughout the duration of their treatment. Some live at home while others may opt to live at a sober living facility.
Often outpatient rehab is one of the final steps of the treatment process. In other words, people may first go through inpatient and intensive outpatient programs. Then, they may enter an outpatient program.
Therapy for Fentanyl Abuse
Therapy is a very critical part of the recovery process. When people suffer from substance abuse and dependence, they experience related issues in various areas of their lives. Addiction is not just a physical problem. It has below-the-surface effects, too. Many times, individuals who have substance use disorders feel an emotional and physiological connection to the substance. Treatment should address these issues along with the physical effects of addiction.
While detox often helps people to overcome physical dependence, therapy works to help people end emotional and mental dependence. There are various types of therapy that can help people who are working to overcome substance abuse.
This type of therapy involves groups of people in recovery and one or more therapists. During group therapy sessions, people can learn more about the recovery process and how to work through their challenges. It can be difficult to get through recovery without support. But, group therapy helps to remind people that they are not alone. Individuals can gain more confidence as they work toward a sober and healthy way of life. Group therapy also provides people with a “safe space” where they can share their stories without the fear of judgment. After all, everyone around them knows how they feel!
Sometimes, individuals engage in individual therapy sessions throughout treatment. In these sessions, people speak one-on-one with a therapist. This type of therapy allows people to feel comfortable as they discuss more personal matters. It also enables individuals and their therapists to uncover any underlying issues and determine ways to avoid relapse.
Also known as CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy works to help people develop healthy cognitive processes. In other words, CBT is a type of therapy that helps people to think more positively. Often, negative and harmful thoughts actually contribute to and encourage addiction-related behaviors. CBT attempts to help people to identify and change those thought processes. In doing so, individuals can continue to avoid relapse and fight against addiction.
Dialectical behavior therapy is much like CBT in that it helps people to identify and address harmful patterns in their lives. Often referred to as DBT, dialectical behavior therapy helps people to evaluate their actions and reactions. It helps individuals to uncover the reasons why they may react to situations the way they do. Sometimes, people’s reactions may be harmful, leading them to do things that are harmful (i.e. abuse alcohol or drugs). DBT seeks to help individuals to develop healthier ways to address the challenges in their lives.
Contrary to what some people may believe, the effects of addiction extend well past the individual who suffers from substance abuse. It actually affects the people around these individuals, too. This includes family members. It’s important to recognize the effects of addiction on the families of those who are suffering from addiction. Likely, people’s close family members experienced quite a bit of pain and heartbreak as a result of addiction.
Family counseling works to help family units to work through the impact of addiction. It helps families to learn more about the addiction and challenges their family member experienced. It also helps to prepare families for the ups and downs of recovery. Also, family counseling helps give people a place where they can safely discuss the effects of their loved one’s addiction.
This therapeutic approach includes several components. Individuals may engage in:
- Art therapy
- Fitness therapy
- Nutrition therapy
- Acupuncture therapy
- Wilderness therapy
Could You Benefit from Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
Any good-quality fentanyl treatment program assesses you for a co-occurring condition. This is a condition in which addiction is accompanied by another mental health disorder. Examples include anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, or other mental health challenges. Frequently, these conditions interfere with healthy coping skills development. Besides that, they might cause you to reach for fentanyl as a way of self-medicating bothersome symptoms.
The majority of people struggling with fentanyl side effects don’t have a formal diagnosis. Therefore, they don’t realize that they struggle with depression or anxiety. They might call it something different and just try to get rid of symptoms. When you learn to manage the condition itself, you eliminate a contributing factor to chemical dependency.
Getting the Help You Need for Fentanyl Dependence and Abuse
No matter what exactly you’re dealing with, treatment for your fentanyl side effects is essential. Crest View Recovery Center continues to deal with an ever-increasing number of fentanyl addictions. Treatment here is an excellent opportunity to work through the situation and limit its long term effect on you. At Crest View Recovery Center we help you dig deep to get to the root of your personal drug abuse. We can help guide you to sobriety!