The Side Effects, Withdrawal Symptoms, and Treatment Options of Fentanyl Addiction

What is Fentanyl and Why Is It Prescribed?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is around 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is often administered for the treatment of chronic pain in individuals who have developed a tolerance to the less strong opioids, or for the management of very severe pain (such as that experienced after surgery or a traumatic injury). Fentanyl is available in the form of injectables, patches, lozenges, pills, sprays, and films.

Among the many fentanyl brand names include:

• Sublimaze.
• Duragesic.
• Subsys.
• Fentora.
• Actiq.

For the most part, fatal overdoses are associated with IMF or illicitly produced fentanyl. Fentanyl is used as a filler in many other illegal substances, such as cocaine, heroin,  MDMA, and methamphetamine, due to its low cost of illicit production and potent psychoactive effects.

Side Effects of Fentanyl Abuse.

The side effects of fentanyl are comparable to those of morphine and heroin. It binds chemically to the brain’s opioid receptors, which regulate pain and emotion. Some of the fentanyl’s short-term negative effects are:

• Euphoria.
• Breathing problems.
• Nausea.
• Vomiting.
• Insomnia.
• Confusion.

When fentanyl is used frequently, the brain changes such that higher doses of the medication are required to provide the same level of pleasure. Eventually, the brain will correlate unrelated stimuli with the drug, and this will cause the addict to have a strong desire to consume more of the substance.

Fentanyl Overdose

The pupils will contract, and the skin will become blue when a fatal amount of fentanyl is consumed, whether by mistake or on purpose. As oxygen levels drop (a condition known as hypoxia), the risk of unconsciousness, brain trauma, and death rises if the patient is not treated. Warning signs of fentanyl overdose should prompt an emergency 911 call. Fentanyl overdoses can be reversed using the drug Naloxone, but only if it is administered promptly after the overdose begins. If you have a family member or friend who you think may have an opioid use issue, you may be able to get a prescription for Naloxone, so you always have it on hand.

Medical Detox and Fentanyl Withdrawal

Fentanyl abuse may result in dependency, an adaptive physiological response in which the body develops to need a substance to prevent withdrawal symptoms. In the event that an individual dependent on fentanyl or another opioid suddenly stops taking the drug or dramatically reduces their dosage, they may experience withdrawal symptoms: The common fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include:

• Chills.
• Muscle aches.
• Insomnia.
• Vomiting.
• Diarrhea.
• Strong cravings for opioids.
• Body aches.

Effective Fentanyl Addiction Treatment.

Detox is the first step towards a successful recovery, but inpatient rehabilitation programs thereafter are essential for long-term success. These types of programs are often housed in residential treatment centers that provide 24-hour care and rehabilitation. After completing one to three months of inpatient care, patients can move on to either a therapeutic community (where they may stay for between six and twelve months) or recovery housing. The other alternative is to receive treatment on an outpatient basis, which entails attending rigorous therapy sessions at a hospital several times each week. These sessions are characterized by various behavioral therapies such as CBT, MI, DBT, etc.

Skyward Treatment Center in Houston, Texas, takes pride in offering all of these treatment options to our clients. We believe that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to addiction recovery. As a result, our programs are tailored to the specific needs of our clients. Contact Skyward Center today and begin your journey to sobriety.