Fentanyl is an opioid painkiller medication that is used to treat chronic pain. Fentanyl is much stronger than other pain medications such as morphine, and is intended to prevent or diminish severe pain and discomfort in individuals who suffered a major injury or who have just underwent surgery. The drug is also known to be given to individuals who need temporary relief from pain, but who have an existing tolerance to opiate medications. For people who are already taking opiate drugs, morphine is simply incapable providing the appropriate amount of relief from pain, and therefore fentanyl is the better option. Due to the fact that fentanyl is known as one of the strongest painkillers available, it is incredibly dangerous, as well as potentially lethal, when taken outside of a hospital setting. There is little variation between a medicinal dosage of fentanyl and a lethal dosage of fentanyl, meaning it should never be used recreationally, without medical supervision, or without a prescription from a licensed doctor. Even when taken as intended and as prescribed by a doctor, patients can easily become hooked on the drug following treatment for their pain. Similar to all opioid drugs, fentanyl is highly addictive, and fentanyl abuse is vastly common because of its intense, euphoric effects. The effects of fentanyl abuse can be physical and/or psychological, depending on the individual and his or her motive for abuse.
Physical Effects of Fentanyl Abuse:
- Depressed breathing
- Withdrawal upon cessation
- Swelling of hands and feet
- Weight loss
- Deteriorated immune system
- Itching and scratching
- Irregular heart rate
- Issues with motor functioning
- Trouble sleeping<
It is important to understand that fentanyl abuse can have several adverse effects, and there is high risk for overdose associated with abuse and addiction of this drug. Fentanyl abuse can also significantly augment a person’s mood and behavior, causing them to make decisions and actions that greatly damage their life. The person’s life may become completely revolved around obtaining and using fentanyl. Their work and personal obligation may be put to the side and remain unfulfilled over time. Social activities and previously enjoyed hobbies may become unimportant. Relationships with friends, family members, and loved ones will become damaged. The individual may engage in criminal activity such as stealing, or may run into trouble with the law in other ways. Lying may become second nature to the individual. Financial problems due to fentanyl abuse will likely occur over time. Despite all the negative consequences that stem from fentanyl abuse and addiction, the person may still not recognize they have a problem, or even desire to seek drug addiction treatment for help. Unfortunately, there are more than physical effects associated with fentanyl addiction; the psychological effects can be vastly damaging.
Psychological Effects of Fentanyl Abuse
- Difficulty concentrating
Fentanyl abuse can greatly change a person’s personality, and if they did not begin using for the purpose of numbing emotional pain or to escape problems happening in their life, then they will certainly develop these psychological symptoms after long-term use. In addition to these psychological effects and personality changes, people who abuse fentanyl will also experience social withdrawal, a severe lack of motivation, and inability to make rational decisions. These effects can take a large toll on an individual, especially their sanity.
Treatment for Fentanyl Abuse and Addiction
Fentanyl is stronger and more dangerous than most other opioid drugs, and therefore it is extremely dangerous to misuse. A tolerance to fentanyl is known to build very fast, which is the potential for abuse and addiction is exceptionally high. Overdose and overdose-related deaths from fentanyl and other opioid drugs is rapidly growing throughout the United States, and drug addiction treatment is needed now more than ever. Due to the severity and danger associated with fentanyl, it is vital that anyone who abuses the drug or is dependent on it, seek drug addiction treatment right away. Not only can treatment eliminate the chances of overdose and death, but it can fully improve and heal a person, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Comprehensive treatment programs will address and treat all aspects of an addict in recovery, so that they can reenter the world as a productive member of society. If you are struggling with fentanyl abuse and want help putting an end to your battle with using, an accredited drug addiction treatment center can give you the tools and skills to achieve and maintain lifelong sobriety. Correspondingly, if someone you love is showing any of the signs and symptoms previously listed above, contact an addiction specialist to learn about how to get your loved one the help they need.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.