3 Million people in the United States have been prescribed Suboxone to treat opioid addiction.


Fentanyl has been directly linked to over 1,000 deaths within the course of two years.


There are over 7.5 million fentanyl prescriptions written each year.

Fentanyl

What is Fentanyl and Who is at Risk?

FFentanyl is an incredibly strong opiate. It is 100 times stronger than Morphine and 50 times the potency of Heroin. Because this drug is so strong it must be administered carefully to avoid an overdose. Often this drug comes in the form of a patch or lollipop, however there are also sprays, pills, and it can be injected. This potent synthetic opioid has a rapid onset and lasts for only a short duration. Due to its short lived, yet intense effects, it is commonly used during and post-surgery. In some cases, it can be prescribed to people who already take prescription opiates but are dealing with pain higher than their opiate barrier. Fentanyl is extremely addicting and overdose of the drug is unusually easy to achieve. This is a schedule II drug, which means that it is a controlled substance and requires a prescription to obtain.

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Fentanyl Abuse Detox

Fentanyl Abuse Detox

Treatment begins with a detoxification process. The best way to do this is go into an inpatient treatment center so you can be sure to have the help and support you need during this difficult time. A medically managed detox program is considered the best as medical professionals will be able to ensure your safety and alleviate discomfort with medication and other techniques. Withdrawal can be a frightening prospect, however, remember that you are not alone. There will be people supporting and helping you every step of the way. With around the clock monitoring you can relax, knowing that you are in good hands.
Fentanyl Abuse Rehab

Fentanyl Abuse Rehab

Deciding to get help is a big step. After detox, there is residential treatment, where you typically stay in a facility for 30, 60, or 90 days, however program lengths vary. Most people are nervous about going into treatment, however there is nothing to fear. Many people get addicted to prescription painkillers after taking them for a legitimate pain issue. For people who deal with chronic pain, life without narcotics can be a frightening thought, however, it is better than living enslaved to drugs. Addiction treatment centers handle many cases of prescription painkiller addiction. Through therapy and the guidance of professionals, you will get your life back and learn new, better ways to handle stress and pain in the future.

Dangers of Fentanyl Abuse

Fentanyl uses a time-release formula. This means it is made to slowly releases its pain relieving effects. It is most commonly prescribed either as a patch, or as a lollipop. However, there are also dissoluble strips that are placed under the tongue, or pills that are lodged in the cheek. Fentanyl can also be injected by a qualified medical professional, however, this is generally avoided as it is incredibly dangerous.

When Fentanyl is abused, it is even more dangerous than taking the drug as prescribed and will, more often than not, lead to overdose and death. Fentanyl is so strong that there is almost no difference between a therapeutic dose and a deadly one.

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Effects of Fentanyl

Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse

When using Fentanyl, people tend to feel euphoric, lethargic, drowsy and mellow. Tolerance to the drug is built up very quickly, which means that dosages need to be increased on an almost weekly basis. This very fast increase in dosage makes the drug even more dangerous, particularly among those who take it illicitly. Addiction to Fentanyl also has various other consequences. It often leads people to engage in behavior that seems out of character. Additionally, the person may become increasingly withdrawn from life and things that used to bring joy.

Short Term Effects

Fentanyl abuse is likely to cause a number of the following short term side effects: dry mouth, lightheadedness or dizziness, breathing suppression, urine retention, hives and itching, severe constipation, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, headaches, confusion, hallucinations, lethargy seizures, and swelling of hands, feet and ankles. Use of Fentanyl for any amount of time can lead to tolerance, dependence and addiction.

Long Term Effects

Long term abuse of fentanyl is extremely dangerous. Some of these effects include increased risk of anoxic injury (damage due to significantly decreased oxygen in the body tissues), multisystem organ damage, significant risk of overdose and death, harm to personal relationships, exacerbating pre-existing mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Fentanyl abuse for in long term cases almost ensures that the person will experience tolerance, dependence and addiction.

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FAQ

Is Fentanyl Addictive?

Yes. Fentanyl is highly addictive and is perhaps one of the most addictive opiates available by prescription.

Can I Drive While on Fentanyl?

No. Fentanyl is a strong depressant and as such causes side effects like confusion, drowsiness, poor coordination, among others that would negatively affect your ability to operate a car.

Can I Drink While on Fentanyl?

No. Alcohol and Fentanyl have very serious interactions. You should avoid alcohol while on Fentanyl.

How Long Does it Take to Become Addicted?

You can become addicted to Fentanyl very quickly. People can develop an addiction to opiates within a week, however given Fentanyl’s high potency and quick action rate, addiction could set in quicker than normal opiates.

How Long do Withdrawals Take?

The duration of withdrawal is going to be different for everyone. Withdrawal symptoms could be a few days or weeks. The length of the withdrawals depends on the amount used, duration of use, genetics, physical condition, and other factors.

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Infographics

Learn more about Fentanyl with our infographics.

Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from Fentanyl can be extremely unpleasant and dangerous. It is best to go through this stage while inpatient in a detox center. Medical professionals will monitor you around the clock, ensuring your safety and peace of mine. Often doctors will prescribe medication to alleviate discomfort as well, ensuring a successful and complete detox. Some of the withdrawal symptoms you may experience are extreme restlessness, yawning, sweating, watery eyes, runny nose, muscle and bone pain, chills, anxiety, irritability, weakness, stomach cramps, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, and high blood pressure.

Dangers of Fentanyl Overdos

Dangers of Fentanyl Overdose

Fentanyl is such a strong opiate that the difference between a therapeutic dose and a deadly one is very little. Fentanyl is rarely used intravenously because it is unusually easy to overdose on. Some of the symptoms of overdose are difficulty swallowing, extreme fatigue, dizziness, fainting, shallow difficult breathing, respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, obtundation (altered level of consciousness), non-responsive to painful stimuli, and severe confusion. If you suspect that someone has overdosed on Fentanyl, contact emergency medical professionals immediately.

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Best Treatment Centers


Interventions

Inpatient Fentanyl Rehab

Inpatient Fentanyl Rehab

Inpatient treatment is considered the best option as it offers the most comprehensive programming. While attending treatment in a residential facility, the person is surrounded by a relaxed and supportive environment, where everyone encourages healthy living. Each person is guided by professionals around the clock, allowing the team of experts to monitor progress and make adjustments if needed. Intensive therapies are provided in a variety of forms to ensure that everyone experiences a wide range of techniques and finds what works for them. Therapists help each person identify the underlying issues driving their addiction and equips them with better, healthier coping skills for the future.

Outpatient Fentanyl Rehab

Outpatient Fentanyl Rehab

Outpatient treatment has individual and group therapy on a less intensive, non-residential basis. Program participants continue to live at home and travel several times a week to the treatment facility for sessions. While this is very good for people who want to still work or go to school while completing the program, it is important to note that the person will still be living in the same situation and temptation to use may be too much for some. Outpatient treatment is perhaps best when it follows inpatient treatment as the two are not redundant. The more treatment the better the odds of a completed and successful recovery.

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Dual-DiagnosisDual-Diagnosis

The best treatment centers typically offer integrated programs, which mean that they take into account dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis is when a person has two separate and co-occurring disorders. In cases of addiction, it typically refers to when a person has substance abuse problem and a mood disorder, such as depression, anxiety, bi-polar or another. People with mental illness often try to self-medicate their symptoms and may have a greater chance of developing an addiction. In order to ensure a successful and complete recovery, the co-occurring disorders must be identified and properly treated.

Common Dangers of FentanylCommon Dangers of Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a highly addictive opiate. Many people start taking Fentanyl for after other opiates have stopped working. Regardless of whether this drug is prescribed or used illicitly, people who use Fentanyl have worked their way up from a less potent opiate painkiller. Most people who abuse Fentanyl start when their tolerance level for other substances is so high that they can no longer get the feeling they are looking for from other opiates. There is a high risk of overdose when it comes to Fentanyl abuse and this addiction quickly turns deadly.

Survivors of Substance Abuse

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Intervention
Intervention

Fentanyl is extremely addictively and highly potent. The potency is 100 greater than morphine and 50 times greater than heroin. There are a growing amount of Fentanyl overdoses each year and the only way to stop the growth is by making sure your loved one gets help. If you suspect someone you know is addicted to Fentanyl, an intervention may be necessary. Before staging the intervention, you may want to consult a professional interventionist to find the best way to get your message across. There are many different ways to stage the event. Essentially, the intervention is a conversation where the person’s using and behavior are confronted and he or she is strongly encouraged to enter an addiction treatment center. The most important aspect is to keep the conversation non-judgmental and compassionate. Your intervention could very well be the difference between life and death for your loved one.

Travel for Treatment
Travel for Treatment

Traveling for treatment can be a very helpful tool to someone who is looking to get help. There are various reasons why a person would decide to go out of state or out of town to get treatment. One of them is that the treatment centers or rehabs in your area may not be as equipped to treat your addiction as one that is further away. Another common reason why people decide to travel is that getting out of familiar surroundings allows them to break old habits and create new healthy ones more quickly. Getting away from areas of temptation and people who might enable drug use creates a much higher chance that the person will finish their treatment successfully. It is important to get away from the negative influences and allow yourself time to work on your recovery. Travelling for treatment ensures that you can relax and focus on what you need.

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TherapyTherapy

The disease of addiction affects as many as one in ten American adults today, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Fentanyl addiction is typically a sign of another underlying issue. In order to ensure successful, long-term recovery, the root cause driving the person to abuse drugs must be identified. Through various forms of therapy, the person in treatment will learn to identify these issues and how to overcome them. Individual therapy works one-on-one with a counselor to pin-point negative thought patterns and replace them with more positive ones. Core beliefs that are not healthy are also challenged and replaced. Group therapy also helps heal the person. Each group member gives and receives advice, allowing for each person to benefit from multiple view points and perspectives. Groups are conducted in an atmosphere of compassion and brotherly love.

12-Step Programs12-Step Programs

Fentanyl is not only highly addictive, but often deadly. Addiction is one of the biggest problems facing the United States today, however one of the best ways to combat addiction is also the oldest. 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have proven to help millions of people worldwide recover. Everyone is encouraged to choose a sponsor and with his or her help, work the 12-steps of recovery. These 12-steps are an easy to follow, simple solution to the problem of addiction. Through working the steps people learn a better, healthier way to live. Most treatment centers are 12-step based and encourage people to continue going to meeting once their stay in rehab is complete. 12-step programs welcome anyone with a desire to stop using, regardless of whether they have attended a rehab program. If you are struggling with substance abuse, find a meeting in your area and get connected to a sober group of people. Fellow meeting members help each other overcome stressors and triggers. Together, we can triumph over addiction.

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