Signs of Fentanyl Abuse
Fentanyl alleviates severe pain from surgery or injury and is a potent and heavily monitored medication. Unfortunately, the signs of fentanyl abuse are present through the high numbers of overdose deaths due to this drug. Legitimate prescriptions facilitating the needs of those with high pain levels, fentanyl has put those with a substance use disorder in grave danger. Illegally produced fentanyl is the cause of death from unintentional fentanyl poisoning throughout the United States.
Illegal fentanyl is extremely attractive due to the euphoria it induces, but it is also highly addictive and unregulated, causing an escalating risk. Illicit fentanyl has unknown toxic substances that add to the dangerous consequences. Prescription misuse and abuse of fentanyl is another high-risk choice. It is essential to know and recognize the signs of fentanyl abuse because the fentanyl crisis is everywhere and deadly.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid in two types: pharmaceutical and illegally produced. The primary purpose of fentanyl was to treat cancer pain and other excruciating health conditions. Fentanyl binds to the natural opioid receptors in the brain immediately after ingestion to induce an intense sense of euphoria while relieving the extreme pain. Prescription fentanyl is available as a skin patch, dissolvable tablets, or film.
Opioids are highly addictive, and those with a legal prescription can quickly develop abuse or addiction, and fentanyl is one of the most potent opioids. It is possible to create an addiction after only one drug use. Fentanyl is fifty times stronger than heroin and one hundred times stronger than morphine. Small doses of fentanyl can be deadly; therefore, the signs of fentanyl abuse must be available when issuing a prescription.
The U.S. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) claims that over one hundred fifty people die daily from synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Illegal fentanyl contains unknown substances, which increases the risk of overdose. Unfortunately, contributing to the opioid crisis, illicit fentanyl is unknowingly added to other drugs, causing overdose and death. It is not uncommon to find a combination of fentanyl and heroin used intravenously.
The statistics surrounding fentanyl are grim. The Centers for Disease Control states that the rate of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids in 2021 was approximately 22 times greater than in 2013. Additionally, in 2021, nearly 71,000 deaths were related to synthetic opioids other than methadone. One-fifth of those taking prescription fentanyl were misusing it in 2021. And finally, an unbelievable statistic states that since 2017, fentanyl trafficking offenses have escalated by 950%.
The signs of fentanyl abuse can appear in those taking legal prescription fentanyl. Deaths from overdose as a result of legal prescriptions continue to rise. Prescription fentanyl is the answer for those who have tried other opioid pain medications without relief. Highly addictive and deadly if abuse is present. Thus, understanding what to look for that would indicate a problem is crucial.
Illegally made fentanyl (IMF) is a street drug in different forms, such as liquid or powder. Combination forms of illicit fentanyl include heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. The liquid form of fentanyl is sold as a nasal spray, eye drops, and dropped onto paper or candy. Other drugs can contain a small amount of fentanyl, with users unaware, thus causing overdose or death.
Street names for illegally made fentanyl include the following:
- Dance Fever
- Murder 8
- Tango and Cash
What Are The Effects of Fentanyl?
The signs of fentanyl abuse are recognizable through behavior, physical condition, and thinking changes. These changes accumulate, causing adverse consequences in all aspects of life. The signs and symptoms of abuse are warning signs resulting in the following effects.
Without treatment, those abusing fentanyl can face fatal or severe possibilities, including:
- Overdose and even death
- Physical damage to vital organs
- Possibility of contracting HIV or hepatitis
- Escalation in the severity of other health conditions
- Sexual dysfunction
- Lifestyle problems with relationships and work
- Loss of child custody
- Isolation, the result of the failure in relationships
- Legal difficulties
- Addiction to other illicit substances
Watching for the following signs and symptoms of fentanyl abuse could lead to treatment:
- Extreme drowsiness, fatigue, and even nodding off inappropriately
- Slurring of words and lack of coordination
- Inability to attend to responsibilities and relationships
- Swollen hands and feet
- Extreme moodiness
- Constipation, nausea, and vomiting
- Taking a prescription more often than the prescription calls for
- Financial troubles
After recognizing the signs of fentanyl abuse, it is imperative to seek treatment. Abusing fentanyl over a short time will develop a tolerance and dependence on the drug. The brain and the body require medication to maintain certain functioning levels. When dosages drop or cease, the body will experience withdrawal symptoms, which can be severe with fentanyl.
Withdrawal symptoms from fentanyl include any of the following:
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal cramps
- Runny nose
- Dilated pupils
- Extreme fatigue
What To Do If A Loved One Has A Fentanyl Addiction
Once the signs of fentanyl abuse are apparent in a loved one, it is time to search for a treatment center to treat fentanyl addiction. Medically monitored detox is the safest method, so making a list of centers with these criteria can be helpful.
It can be tough or challenging to voice concerns with a loved one about drug abuse. Taking a nonjudgmental and loving approach will help break through denial and defensiveness. Becoming a solid support system for a loved one may take some educational time to learn how to support in a healthy, positive manner.
Being supportive can be stressful at times but also life-saving. Those with a strong support system have better odds of successful treatment completion. Participating in family and other group sessions can be rewarding for all parties.
Due to the toxicity of fentanyl and the synthetic derivatives of fentanyl, detoxification is mandatory before treatment can begin. An assessment is the initial step upon intake to determine the personal factors of the habit. A healthcare provider must evaluate the patient’s condition and obtain a health history. Medically monitored detox is the safest form of detoxification.
Pharmaceutical intervention is also known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Medication management allows for using other drugs to ease withdrawal symptoms for the patient’s comfort. A professional healthcare provider prescribes medications, and the medical team monitors the medication’s effectiveness. Treatment can begin once the detox is done.
Find A Safe Detox Program for Fentanyl Abuse in Tennessee
With so many addiction treatment centers, searching for detox for fentanyl abuse may seem impossible. Freeman Recovery Center is the ideal treatment center for fentanyl detox, offering medically monitored detox programs which is the safest form of detox. Family and friends play an essential role in recovery, so we look forward to working with the loved one’s support team.
We welcome you to contact us, so we can answer questions, describe our successful treatment methods, and offer encouragement for a successful recovery.