Fentanyl is a useful opiate when used according to a doctor’s prescription for severe pain, injury, or post-surgical pain relief. For example, the drug works quickly and eliminates the perception of pain. However, many people engage in fentanyl abuse for its remarkable high. This presents many potential dangers, as fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine. It’s also created the need for a fentanyl addiction treatment center for many.
Doctors prescribe fentanyl as patches, lollipops, a dissolving tongue film and dissolving pills. Moreover, hospitals administer fentanyl to surgery patients and others in severe pain. This makes the drug accessible to people working in hospitals. As a result, people abusing fentanyl include healthcare workers. When doctors prescribe fentanyl, patients easily become dependent even when using it according to prescription.
Street dealers or illicit drug makers combine fentanyl with cocaine, heroin, and other drugs for a greater, more addictive high. Other people seek the drug specifically for its effects, knowing the risks of abusing it. Fentanyl misuse or abuse of any kind, especially when combined with other drugs, includes many health risks.
In fact, fentanyl is highly addictive. Tolerance and dependence on fentanyl loom heavily over anyone abusing the drug, even when using the prescription according to your doctor’s instructions. Once tolerance sets in, you need more and more of the drug with each dose to feel its effects.
Fentanyl Addiction Facts
Opioids have become some of the most popular drugs of abuse. Because so many people use and abuse opioids, it has become one of the most common drugs of addiction and overdoses.
One of the most common of all the synthetic opioids is fentanyl. In fact, in 2016, synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, passed prescription opioids as the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths in the United States.
The death rate from these drugs has increased by a whopping 1,125% between 2011 and 2017, according to mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the opioid and fentanyl epidemic is nationwide, there are certain areas of the country that are more greatly affected than others. One of those areas in the eastern part of the United States, which includes North Carolina.
In fact, here in North Carolina, fentanyl and other synthetic opioids accounted for 1,300 overdose deaths just in 2017 alone. That means that out of the roughly 28,000 overdose deaths that occurred nationwide, nearly 22% of those came just from North Carolina.
Fentanyl can be found in many different forms, including in powder form, dropped on blotter paper-like small candies, in eye droppers or nasal sprays, or made into pills that look like real prescription opioids. That’s why fentanyl can be so dangerous. Many people who are ingesting the drug don’t even know they are doing so. They might think they are taking a regular opioid when it is really laced with fentanyl. Given its potency, it can be significantly more deadly when mixed with a standard opioid.
In addition to its different forms, fentanyl can have many different names. Some of those names include:
Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse
Common signs of fentanyl abuse include confusion, depression, walking problems, slurred speech, muscle stiffness, slowed heartbeat, labored breathing, and weakness. Moreover, you feel weak, lightheaded, shaky, sleepy, and itchy. You suffer nausea, vomiting, weight loss, visual hallucinations, and pinpoint pupils as well. Furthermore, other risks of fentanyl abuse include unconsciousness, coma, and death.
Overcoming fentanyl addiction requires treatment in a fentanyl addiction treatment center that includes addiction therapy services. Psychotherapy provides the potential for lasting recovery through your understanding of why you abuse fentanyl in the first place. It also helps you understand your mental condition and how to prevent relapse in the future.
Effects of Abusing Fentanyl
Abusing fentanyl for the long term leads to many negative side effects. These include both mental and physical problems, beyond the signs and symptoms of the drug abuse.
Physical side effects of fentanyl addiction include severe digestive tract problems, including constipation, possible bowel obstruction, and tearing of the bowel. In addition, your immune system weakens, making you ill more often and more vulnerable to infectious diseases. You suffer breathing difficulty, seizures, mental problems, paranoia, social withdrawal, delusions, lack of motivation, and personality changes.
Combining fentanyl with other drugs, like heroin and cocaine, makes the drug abuse more dangerous. With heroin and other depressant drugs, you make yourself vulnerable to respiratory distress, coma, and death.
The only pathway to lasting recovery from fentanyl includes detox and rehab. For example, rehab takes place after you go through withdrawal, a natural step into sobriety. Withdrawal brings many negative side effects of its own, but these feel much more bearable in a detox facility. Specifically, through medical supervision during detox, you avoid the worst effects of fentanyl withdrawal and remain safe from the possibility of relapse.
Withdrawal effects of fentanyl addiction include chills, confusion, weakness, diarrhea, joint and muscle pain, irritability, stomach cramps, shaking, tremors, restlessness, and loss of appetite. After detox, you enter a rehab facility where you gain the therapies you need for lasting recovery. Without rehab, you experience a much higher risk of relapse and, as a consequence, deadly overdose.
How Is Fentanyl Addiction Treated?
Like all other opioid addictions, a fentanyl addiction can be treated with detox and by going to a treatment center. As with any other substance, it is important to remember that detox should be done at either a designated detox center or a medical facility. Self-detoxing, or detoxing at home without the supervision of medical professionals can be deadly.
During the treatment process, counseling will be used to help reprogram the brain to not feel dependent on the substance and learn how to live a sober life after treatment is completed. Cognitive behavioral therapy is popular as it helps modify the patient’s drug use expectations and behaviors, and effectively manages triggers and stress.
In some cases, small doses of medications might even be used. Medications such as buprenorphine and methadone work by binding to the same opioid receptors in the brain as fentanyl, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors and prevents fentanyl from having an effect. Your treatment professional will likely recommend this option if they feel it is helpful in your recovery.
At Crest View Recovery Center, your treatment and sobriety is our number one priority. That’s why we offer a variety of different options to help you on your road to recovery.
What You Need from a Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Program
Deciding to quit using drugs is a huge step into a better future. When it comes to fentanyl, a fentanyl addiction treatment program may be your only chance for an exciting future. To find the right treatment, think about what you need from rehab. If you abuse fentanyl-laced heroin, cocaine, opioids, or even fentanyl purposefully, you need a quality addiction treatment program. In this program, you need many types of therapy to gain the most complete recovery from your addiction.
Quality addiction treatment program help comes from a high-quality rehab center. Furthermore, accreditation is important. It proves the program works for people who engage in it. Accreditation also ensures the rehab provides the highest quality programs, facilities, staff, treatment methods, and therapies.
What is a Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment Program?
Many people start abusing drugs or alcohol because they suffer from mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Many mental illnesses exist, so these require professional diagnosis through a psychiatrist or other medical professional. A dual diagnosis disorder includes two or more co-occurring conditions. Specifically, the first condition is your addiction. The second is the mental illness that likely led you into substance abuse in the first place. Self-medication through drugs or alcohol commonly happens, even when you don’t realize it. Other people develop mental illnesses during their substance abuse. However, it does not matter which of your co-occurring conditions came first. What matters is how you gain treatment, with both requiring this treatment at the same time. If you leave one of your conditions untreated, it forces your other condition into relapse.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Center in the Mountains of North Carolina
In Asheville, NC there is a dual diagnosis addiction treatment program accredited by the Joint Commission. Moreover, this program of Crest View Recovery Center starts with off-site detox and progresses into rehab treatment, where you learn how to gain lasting recovery and the better life you truly crave
This treatment includes the therapies, support, and education you deserve for lasting recovery from substance abuse. Substance abuse treatment programs at Crest View Recovery Center include:
- Rehab treatment program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Reality-based therapy
- Gender-specific group therapy
- Comprehensive wellness program
- Trauma treatment
- Family therapy program
If you or someone you love suffer addiction to fentanyl, other drugs or alcohol, contact Crest View Recovery Center now. In fact, you can overcome drug addiction. Learn more about our unique rehab programs today.