What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is an extremely potent, synthetic opioid. Fentanyl is a highly addictive chemical drug, even the smallest amounts of fentanyl are absolutely lethal. In its prescription form, fentanyl is also known as Actiq, Duragesic, or Sublimaze. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that fentanyl is actually 100 times stronger than morphine.
Fentanyl was created in the 1960’s to treat severe pain. Fentanyl in its prescription form is only used in extreme surgeries, or for patients with severe pain— like cancer patients or those with extreme chronic pain. Fentanyl can be prescribed as an injection, patch, lozenges, or lollipop.
Fentanyl Short Term Effects
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the short term side effects of fentanyl include:
-Decreased heart rate
-Stiff or rigid muscles
-Tight feeling in the throat
How Does Fentanyl Work?
Fentanyl binds to receptors in the brain that control pain and emotions, using fentanyl will flood the brain with dopamine to cause a state of euphoria. However, some of the same receptors in the brain that fentanyl binds to, also control breathing— so even a small dose of fentanyl can stop someone from breathing, resulting in death.
Fentanyl in Recent Years
Many addicts have used fentanyl without even knowing. Many drug dealers these days are using fentanyl to cut up the cocaine and heroin they sell, to create a stronger effect with less of the illicit drug they are mixing it with. Drug dealers have been mixing their own powders using doses of fentanyl to press pills that they will then sell later as Xanax, Oxycodone, Percocet, etc.
The dangers of buying your drugs on the street have never been so massive. Fentanyl is everywhere these days, being used in heroin bags and pressed pills around the country. Even just a grain too much of fentanyl will result in an overdose and death. Fentanyl is so dangerous, that in a 4-year period, it contributed to almost 400 deaths just in the state of Georgia.
Symptoms of Fentanyl Overdose
An overdose on fentanyl mimics most of the drug’s short term symptoms. Symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include the following: pinpoint pupils, weak muscles, dizziness, extreme sleepiness, loss of consciousness, slowed heart beat, alarmingly low blood pressure, dangerously slowed or stopped breathing, and a blue-like tint to nails and lips.
A fentanyl overdose can be treated using Naloxone, like Narcan or Evzio. Naloxone is a medication that can quickly reverse an opioid overdose by blocking opioid receptors. Some strains of fentanyl are so potent however, that they may be immune to Naloxone. Many strains of fentanyl may be so powerful, that they require multiple doses of Naloxone to reverse their overdose effects.
Rehab for Drug Addiction Treatment
The first step of drug addiction treatment is reaching out for help, and then attending a medical detox facility. Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid— which causes extreme symptoms of withdrawal, and is lethal even in small doses. Many addicts have used Fentanyl without knowing, as a lot of the heroin these days are cut using fentanyl to make the illicit drug even stronger. Drug rehab like Royal Life Centers Detox for addicts who are using fentanyl, knowingly or unknowingly, is crucial for their safety.
How to Treat a Fentanyl Addiction
It is not uncommon for addicts to enter our facility who claim their drug-of-choice as fentanyl. Fentanyl is an extremely scary drug, not only because of its potency, but because it is becoming more widely available— some people even order the synthetic opioid from labs in China and Mexico. Fentanyl is being trafficked all over the United States, and with each shipment it is claiming thousands of lives.
Royal Life Centers Detox treats fentanyl addiction by first assessing our guest’s signs and symptoms of withdrawal, and then evaluating that guest for any co-occuring disorders. Withdrawal symptoms from fentanyl can be severe, as it is an extremely strong opioid. Treatment programs should address the symptoms of withdrawal using medication and behavioral therapies, while also providing the guest with other intensive therapies to uncover the root cause of their substance use disorder.
Those addicted to fentanyl are at an extreme risk. Especially with many who engage in fentanyl substance abuse are using intravenously, it is way too easy to accidentally overdose on fentanyl. This substance is so potent, and unregulated, that its potency is never consistent, nor is it known. To treat a fentanyl addiction, like any substance use disorder, guests should follow treatment options laid out in a comprehensive addiction treatment model.
Royal Life Centers Detox is a medical detox center that is the first step in addiction treatment and recovery. Royal Life Centers also offers a variety of treatment programs, both short and long term— to treat any drug or alcohol addiction. Our centers focus on giving guests the guidance, support, and tools they need to build a happy, healthy, and successful life in sobriety. Our drug rehab center is nationally accredited, recognized for using the highest standards in addiction treatment and only the best practices. Royal Life Centers only uses proven effective methods of addiction treatment, which is why we incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapies, individual therapy sessions, and educational groups that teach guests about substance use disorder and how to prevent a relapse.
If you, a loved one, or a family member is in danger of being exposed to fentanyl, please don’t hesitate to call our addiction specialists to discuss treatment options. Our team is available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (877)-RECOVERY or (888) 559-5109. Fentanyl is deadly and dangerous, and setting up treatment could make the difference between life and death. Please let us help you. Because We Care.