Fentanyl Addiction Treatment
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic, or man-made opioid compound, that is chemically related to other opioids such as morphine or heroin. As one of the strongest painkillers on the market, fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine. The powerful strength makes it effective for alleviating severe pain in clinical settings, but it also makes this drug potentially high-risk drug for addiction.
As the opioid epidemic continues in the United States, approximately 2 million people are suffering from abuse of prescription pain relievers. Fentanyl, a compound related to morphine, is among the most commonly abused substances. Fortunately, rapid fentanyl detox is a safe, effective treatment for fentanyl addiction.
Some available brand names and forms of fentanyl include:
- Actiq— A lozenge, used under the tongue like a lollipop.
- Duragesic— A patch prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain; its effects can last for up to 3 days.
- Sublimaze— An injectable form of fentanyl, mostly administered in hospitals, sometimes alongside anesthetics.
- Subsys— A sublingual spray administered under a patient’s tongue, used for immediate pain relief.
- Abstral— A quick-dissolve tablet placed under the tongue for opioid-tolerant patients with breakthrough pain.
- Lazanda— A nasal spray, predominantly used to treat pain in cancer patients.
Signs of Fentanyl Tolerance and Addiction
Fentanyl causes a significant dysregulation to the central nervous system, causing excessive amounts of dopamine to flood, which chemically alters the normal brain function. The continuous use of an opioid pain reliever creates tolerance. Drug tolerance is described as the essential need for more and more of the drug to reach the previous sensations. Sometimes individuals may use opiate drugs to temporarily relieve physical or emotional pain. However, given how quickly tolerance and addiction might occur, what was intended as a temporary fix often turns into a challenging situation.
Fentanyl addiction is characterized by excessive drug-seeking behaviors regardless of the negative results. Some of the most common signs of fentanyl addiction include:
- Spending a significant amount of time thinking of how to obtaining and use the medication.
- Taking large amounts of the drug or over greater period than intended
- Intense cravings
- Failing to meet obligations at work, home, or school
- Sleep disruptions
- Relationship conflict
- Defensiveness about drug use
- Spending excessive money on fentanyl
- Denial of a problem
- Secretiveness or increasing isolation
Fentanyl Abuse and Side Effects
People first begin to take fentanyl because of its positive side effects: euphoria, numbing, a “high” feeling, and ability to escape. However, repeated fentanyl use also causes adverse effects. One is a physiological dependence on the drug as your body begins to crave more and more of the drug to function “normally”. Fentanyl abuse also leads to a range of physical and psychological effects, including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Weight loss
- Shaking or muscle convulsions
- Slowed breathing and heart rate
- Difficulty sleeping
If you notice a combination of these signs in yourself or someone else, they may be indicators of fentanyl abuse. Fentanyl abuse can be deadly, so it is important to seek treatment immediately.
Addiction Risks and Fentanyl Overdose
Fentanyl’s high potency is one of the things that gives people the euphoria and numbing they crave. However, it also makes the drug highly dangerous. Fentanyl is a leading cause of overdose in the United States. Just 3 mg of the drug (equivalent to a few grains of powder) is enough to kill an average adult male. Furthermore, heroin is increasingly likely to be laced with fentanyl and other substances. Unwittingly using heroin laced with fentanyl can cause various side effects, ranging from extremely shallow breathing to death.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
As the body develops a physiological dependence on fentanyl, it becomes harder and harder to quit because of the challenging withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal is a physiological response to the absence of the drug.
Fentanyl withdrawal can be particularly challenging. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fast heart rate
- Runny nose
- Intense muscle aches
The desire to avoid these painful withdrawal symptoms are a leading reason that people addicted to fentanyl find it difficult to quit.
Due to relief from what may have started as a legitimate chronic pain condition combined with the highly pleasurable effects of the drug, many individuals do not realize they have become addicted until it is too late.
Fortunately, there are effective options for treatment for fentanyl addiction. For a treatment to be effective, it must address the physiological dependence as well as the behavioral addiction.
Rapid Fentanyl Detox and Addiction Treatment
Rapid fentanyl detox is a medical procedure designed to reverse physiological dependence on opioids. While a patient is sedated in the ICU of a full-service hospital, particular drugs are provided to cleanse the body’s receptor sites. This Rapid Detoxification process, allows the patient to overcome the withdrawal phase faster, more comfortably and under constant medical monitoring.
Rapid Detox has one of the highest success rates of any medical opioid detoxification in history. When performed in an accredited hospital, by an experienced anesthesiologist, Rapid detox is a safe and effective solution for the treatment of fentanyl addiction.
Supportive Aftercare for Fentanyl Addiction
It is crucial to the success of a Rapid Fentanyl Detoxification, that the patient is professionally assisted throughout the transitional period post detox. Organs are working hard to find a new baseline, and while this phase can be relatively smooth for some, others may find it challenging.
After treating the physiological dependence, it is important to address the underlying issues fueling the addiction. It could include unresolved trauma, emotional conditions, or unhelpful lifestyle patterns. A supportive environment, allows individuals to address some important matters while regaining their physical and psychological strength.