Fentanyl Addiction Symptoms
The opioid crisis is reaching epidemic levels. This is in part due to the fact that new, manufactured types of the drugs keep reaching the streets. Among these is the highly addictive and deadly Fentanyl. Said to be heroin’s stronger, synthetic cousin, this drug works faster than morphine and is often taken without users even realizing they are taking it. However, even though Fentanyl is very dangerous, the addiction to this drug is treatable. This article will take a look at what Fentanyl is, Fentanyl addiction symptom, Fentanyl overdose symptoms and possible treatment options.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl was originally used as an analgesic. When doctors realized how effective it was at relieving pain, they started using it for that purpose.
Like heroin, Fentanyl binds to the mu opioid receptor in the brain. However, it gets to the brain very quickly due to its ability to easily pass through the fat that is plentiful in the brain. It also hugs the receptor so tightly that a tiny amount is enough to set off the opioid’s effects on the body.
Fentanyl looks identical to heroin and the two drugs are often sold on the street laced together. Users who buy this deadly combination are usually not aware this is the case. In instances like this, when users take their usual dose of heroin, they could end up with a deadly dose of the substance.
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Fentanyl Addiction Symptoms
Because Fentanyl is such a dangerous drug, it is important to determine how to know if someone is on Fentanyl. There are several physical symptoms of Fentanyl abuse which include the following.
- Difficulty walking
- Muscle stiffness
- Slowed/altered heart rate
- Labored breathing
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting
- Slurred speech
- Weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Itching and scratching
- Pinpoint pupils
With the prolonged use of Fentanyl, more serious side effects may begin to appear. These are serious mental, physical and behavioral manifestations that could result in permanent damage to the users. These Fentanyl addiction symptoms include:
- Severe gastrointestinal problems including bowel obstruction and perforation
- Weakened immune system
- Difficulty breathing
- Withdrawal symptoms occurring when Fentanyl use stops or the familiar dosage is decreased
- Social withdrawal
- Lack of motivation
- Delusions and personality changes
- Users may want to stop taking the drug but are unable
- Users may need to increase dosage in order to feel the effects they are used to feeling or even to feel normal
- Users may resort to illegal means to obtain the drug
- Withdrawal from social activities
- The person continues using Fentanyl despite the fact it is causing various problems
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Signs of Fentanyl Overdose
As stated before, Fentanyl is a very dangerous drug and an overdose can lead to death. It’s important to be familiar with Fentanyl overdose symptoms so you can recognize them quickly and call emergency services as soon as you suspect someone may be suffering from having taken a deadly amount of the drug. These Fentanyl overdose symptoms include:
- Pinpoint pupils
- Weak muscles
- Extreme sleepiness
- Loss of consciousness
- Profoundly slowed heart beat
- Very low blood pressure
- Dangerously slowed or stopped breathing
- Bluish tint to nails and lips
The effects that a Fentanyl overdose can have on the user’s heart rate and breathing present the greatest risk of death and permanent damage. Even if a user survives a Fentanyl overdose, the side effects may result in lasting negative effects on a person’s body. One example of this is respiratory depression that can lead to hypoxia and can cause permanent brain damage.
Despite the fact that Fentanyl is a very dangerous drug, addiction to this substance is treatable. If you or someone you know is suffering with addiction, there are many resources that can help you find a treatment center that is convenient. Those in need may be advised to look on the internet or consult a community center. There, you will be able to find a caring specialist that can assist you in getting the help you need.
Once you find a treatment center that is right for you, the first step of the rehab process is detox. During this time, the body will go through uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms as the it tries to get used to functioning without the drug present in its system.
Because withdrawal symptoms are so uncomfortable, it is not unusual for patients to relapse during this time as they turn back to the drug as a means of reducing these symptoms. That is why it’s a good idea for patients to undergo detox in a residential treatment facility. There, a knowledgeable specialist will see to it that the patient goes through detox as comfortably as possible and does not run the risk of relapsing.
Once a patient has safely gotten through the detox process, it is recommended that they stay in an inpatient facility to undergo therapy and counseling. The goal of the therapy is to determine the underlying cause of what might have lead the patient to begin using. By treating the problem at its root, the hope is that the patient will find healthy ways to cope with their issues without turning towards drug use. Once a patient completes this stage of their inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment may be recommended for follow up.
With opioid addiction on the rise, it’s a good idea to be familiar with Fentanyl addiction symptoms and other forms of opioid abuse. That way you can identify dangerous situations and, hopefully stop them before they escalate. If you or someone you love is suffering with opioid addiction, there are many resources available for getting help. Reach out to find out how you can stop Fentanyl addiction from ruling your life.
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If you or someone you know needs help with Fentanyl abuse Find Addiction Rehabs is here to help. Call anytime 7 days a week 24 hours a day.