Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

Fentanyl is an opioid drug that causes intense side effects when abused. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most potent opioid drugs on the market, which means people are misusing it more and more. Those who become addicted will require fentanyl addiction treatment.

The Dangers of Fentanyl

Fentanyl is so dangerous because it is more potent than almost any other opioid drug. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states it is 50 times more potent than morphine and even more potent than the illicit opioid drug heroin. Fentanyl abuse can lead to a number of serious side effects.

  • When people misuse fentanyl, it is usually the type that is manufactured illegally rather than the drug that is prescribed by doctors.
    • While doctor prescribed fentanyl can also cause problems for those who take the medication in large doses, those who misuse street manufactured fentanyl can be unaware of the many impurities often found in the drug.
    • Those who buy fentanyl illicitly are also sometimes likely to be unaware of the fact that the drug is present in the substance they are buying or that so much of it is present. Many people who have tried to cut heroin with fentanyl or taken fentanyl-laced heroin experience overdoses as a result.
  • Overdoses are the main danger associated with this drug because of its intense potency. A person who overdoses on fentanyl will likely experience
    • Respiratory depression
    • Coma
    • Fatigue
    • Delirium
    • Pinpoint pupils
    • Nausea and vomiting

There are many ways a person can die of a fentanyl overdose, and in many cases, people do. The NIDA states that illicitly produced and sold fentanyl was the main cause for the increase in synthetic opioid overdose deaths. These numbers more than tripled from 3,105 in 2013 to 9,580 in 2015.

Treatment for Fentanyl Overdose

Patients who overdose on fentanyl need medical help immediately. If you think someone has experienced this deadly and dangerous syndrome, call 911 right away and stay with the individual until the first responders arrive. Then, treatment can begin.

  • Many first responders are now carrying Narcan, a brand name drug containing naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that can treat an overdose and reverse the effects of the drug (National Library of Medicine).
    • It can be administered as an injection or a nasal spray.
    • It causes the effects of the opioid overdose to stop almost immediately, and while this saves the individual’s life, it can also be painful.
    • The person may require more than one administration of Narcan in order to avoid the reoccurrence of symptoms.
  • The patient should be brought to a hospital as soon as possible.
    • In a 24-hour care center with hospitalization, patients can be monitored for further symptoms and re-administered Narcan if necessary.
    • The individual will need to be stabilized after the overdose and assessed for any permanent issues such as brain or lung damage.

After the individual is cleared for release, it is highly necessary that they receive treatment for fentanyl abuse and addiction. Without it, they will most likely return to using the drug and experience another life-threatening overdose.

Fentanyl Abuse Treatment Methods

When a person overdoses on a dangerous drug, it is usually a sign that they will require treatment to avoid relapse and to begin recovery. There are a number of treatment options one can expect to find in a fentanyl rehab center, including

  • Medications
    • Medications can treat withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping fentanyl abuse, dual diagnosis including mental disorders, and cravings for the drug. Some of the most often used medications for treating fentanyl addiction include 
      • Methadone: an opioid agonist drug
      • Buprenorphine: a partial opioid agonist drug
      • Naltrexone: an opioid antagonist drug
  • Behavioral therapies
    • Behavioral therapies can help patients learn the skills they will need to avoid relapse and live their lives without drug abuse. These programs can also help patients determine the reasons behind their drug abuse, develop coping skills or attitudes that can assist them in their recoveries, and avoid triggers or other issues that could lead to relapse.

In addition, holistic programs and aftercare can be helpful to those recovering from fentanyl addiction. Depending on the facility, one can find the treatment options that work for their needs and build a personalized program for recovery along with their caregivers.  

Fentanyl treatment can be highly successful for those who need help recovering from an overdose, going through withdrawal, and stopping their drug abuse. The NIDA states patients who seek treatment often fare better than individuals who do not get professional help for addiction. However, there is always a threat of relapse associated with an addiction to a drug as strong as fentanyl.

This is why it is important to choose the right rehab program by finding a facility near you that offers the care you require. When you call 877-959-7271, we can help you locate these programs and get yourself into treatment now.