Fentanyl like all narcotics delivers a powerful and immediate high; however, this high does not last long. Fentanyl has legitimate medical uses and is most often prescribed for what doctors call “break-through” pain, pain that other forms of medication cannot alleviate or control. For this reason, doctors prescribe fentanyl most often after surgery. When used under a doctor’s direction, fentanyl can be both safe and effective. However, because of the intense feelings of euphoria the drug produces, fentanyl is often misused as a recreational drug.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and is part of the opioid epidemic that is responsible for an increasing amount of abuse, addiction-related issues, and deaths in the United States and worldwide. A synthetic opioid is a manufactured compound that mimics natural opioid drugs, blocking opioid receptors in the body. When blocked, these receptors allow dopamine to remain flowing freely in the body and produce the pleasurable, euphoric highs associated with pleasurable anticipation — the same sensations produced by narcotic drugs.
The drug comes in multiple different forms which can also add to its dangers. For example, you can take fentanyl as a lozenge, patch, injection, or “lollipop.” However, since there is such a small difference between a medically tolerable and a lethal dose, you can easily overdose on fentanyl, and the variety of methods to take the drug makes it very easy to take too much. For this reason, there is a higher chance that you will overdose while using fentanyl than if you took any other drug.
Statistics from recent studies confirm the dangers of the drug. Over the last five years, a Centers for Disease Control study show that deaths from opioids as a class of drug, including fentanyl, have doubled twice, killing over 30,000 users in the same time frame. In 2016, according to the same government study, fentanyl deaths specifically reached 64,000, and that represents a 540 percent increase in deaths over a three-year period and a 22 percent increase over 2015.
The dangers of fentanyl use and addiction coupled with the strong risk of death from an overdose that recent statistics show make a clear case for seeking a medically-supervised detox if you use fentanyl as well as obtain ongoing addiction treatment. Since you face even greater risks of an overdose after a failed detox attempt, detoxing on your own increases dangers to your physical well-being instead of diminishing them. The safest route to sobriety includes professional help from experienced and compassionate addiction professionals.
THE EFFECTS OF FENTANYL USE ON THE BODY
You will experience many negative, uncomfortable, and often painful side effects from using fentanyl, which may include some or all of the following:
- muscle stiffness
- dizziness and lightheadedness
- impaired motor skills
- pupil constriction
- nausea and/or vomiting
- difficulty breathing
- slower than normal heart-rate
- slurred speech
- weight loss
SIGNS OF FENTANYL ABUSE AND DEPENDENCY
Fentanyl abuse symptoms can be severe and can adversely affect your physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. These symptoms include:
- avoidance of social situations
- personality changes
LONG-TERM DAMAGE FROM FENTANYL USE
If you use fentanyl for a long-time, you will experience many serious and sometimes life-threatening side-effects which include:
- difficulty breathing
- severe gastrointestinal problems
- impaired immune system function
THE DANGERS OF FENTANYL WITHDRAWAL
Fentanyl withdrawal can produce many of the same intense side effects that you might experience when withdrawing from other narcotic substances, and it can have similarly devastating effects on your emotional and physical health and safety. These side-effects include:
- gastrointestinal pain
- loss of appetite
- muscle and joint pain
- shaking and/or tremors
WHY FENTANYL DETOX REQUIRES MEDICAL SUPERVISION
You will most likely not break free from fentanyl’s addictive power on your own. Once your body has acclimated to the presence of the drug, you will experience powerful cravings. Also, as the drug passes from your body, the negative symptoms you will experience will often quickly lead you back to using it as a way to eliminate them. Only a medically supervised detox can ensure your comfort and safety and provide you with alternative ways to manage your transition without a relapse.
The Serenity Oaks Wellness Center also understands that many individuals may have a fear or aversion to doctors based on previous negative experiences. For this reason, our medical staff prioritizes your medical needs and your emotional needs as well. Our holistic medical approach ensures you will have the best possible detox experience as well as the highest level of physical safety.
HOW AN INTEGRATED DETOX SOLUTION CAN HELP YOU BREAK FREE FROM FENTANYL
Addiction has many pathways which make treatment and recovery difficult even in the best of circumstances. You will first have to face your body’s physical dependency on the drug which, depending on your length of use, can pose a significant challenge. You will then have to face the emotional and psychological needs which either lead you to use in the first place or kept you using once introduced to the drug.
Treating only one of these conditions in isolation almost guarantees that you will use again to meet your physical or psychological needs. Recognizing this, The Serenity Oaks Wellness Center takes a holistic and integrated approach to fentanyl detox, treating both pathways to addiction. While our doctors help you break free from chemical dependency, our therapists and counselors can help you better understand your needs, find healthier forms of satisfaction and teach you ways to resist future use.
GETTING HELP FOR YOUR FENTANYL ADDICTION
Fentanyl addiction can easily be life-threatening, and detoxing can pose many dangers to your emotional and physical health as well. To break free from fentanyl safely and successfully, you will need the help of experienced and caring addiction specialists. Call Serenity Oaks Wellness Center at 833-725-0071 to learn more about how an individualized recovery plan can help you leave addiction behind and live a life free of drugs.