If you have a family member using fentanyl, you might wonder what exactly it is. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times more potent. It is typically prescribed for severe pain relief, but because of its high potency, it has a high potential for abuse and addiction. In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about fentanyl so that you can better understand what your loved one is going through.
Fentanyl is an opioid drug and one of the most potent and dangerous drugs available today. It is a synthetic opioid often prescribed to treat severe pain, especially cancer patients. Unfortunately, fentanyl is also highly addictive and can have devastating consequences when abused or misused. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 28,000 people in the US died from fentanyl overdoses between 2017 and 2018. Addiction treatment for those who struggle with opioid addiction is available from Origins Behavioral HealthCare.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is an opioid medication that has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its effectiveness and strength. It is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, making it the most potent opioid available for medical use. Fentanyl can be found in many forms, such as lozenges, patches, tablets, and injections, allowing healthcare providers to customize treatments to meet their patients’ needs. Unfortunately, this powerful opioid has been misused outside of the medical field with devastating consequences. It’s important to remember that while fentanyl is an incredibly useful medication when used correctly in a monitored healthcare setting, it can be incredibly dangerous if not used as prescribed.
What Makes Fentanyl Dangerous?
Fentanyl is a powerful drug that has gained notoriety for its role in the opioid epidemic. It’s much stronger than heroin and can be extremely dangerous when mixed with other drugs. Even worse, some drug dealers have been known to secretly mix it into street drugs without warning consumers. The unfortunate reality is that fentanyl can lead to accidental overdoses, so people need to be careful when taking unknown street drugs because they could wind up in a very dangerous situation.
How Many People Die from Fentanyl Use?
With the opioid crisis continuing to plague the United States, fentanyl abuse has emerged as one of its most deadly elements. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 71,000 people in the US passed away from fentanyl overdoses between 2021 alone, a shocking figure that only continues to grow with each passing year. Even more alarming is that nearly two-thirds of those deaths occurred among people aged 25 to 44. Despite increased awareness campaigns and safety measures, it’s still clear that far too many young adults are falling victim to fentanyl-inflicted fatalities.
Symptoms of Fentanyl Use
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, symptoms of fentanyl use can include euphoria, a sense of relaxation, and a heightened sense of alertness. Other symptoms of fentanyl use can include nausea, dizziness, confusion, and difficulty breathing. Those using fentanyl may also experience a rapid heartbeat and seizures.
Fentanyl Overdose Signs
Using fentanyl can be extremely dangerous and has the potential to cause a deadly overdose. Knowing the signs of a fentanyl overdose can help you act quickly if someone you know is at risk. Common signs of a fentanyl overdose include slowed breathing, confusion, loss of consciousness, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, slow heart rate, and extreme drowsiness. If someone you know is exhibiting any of these signs, it’s important to get medical help right away.
The Benefits of Narcan
Narcan (naloxone) is a life-saving medication that can be used to reverse an opioid overdose. It is a powerful antidote to opioids like fentanyl, and when administered quickly, it can save the life of someone experiencing an overdose. Narcan blocks the effects of opioids, allowing someone to get the medical attention they need in order to survive. Anyone can administer it, but medical attention should always follow a dose of Narcan.
Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
Fentanyl withdrawal can be a difficult and unpleasant experience. Common symptoms include severe body aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, depression, insomnia, restlessness, and agitation. People who are dependent on fentanyl may also suffer from intense cravings and the feeling of needing the drug to function normally. The duration and intensity of fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the individual’s level of opioid dependence and how long they have been using fentanyl.
Fentanyl Treatment at Origins Behavioral HealthCare
At Origins, fentanyl treatment begins with a medically-supervised detox. Medical detox is an important part of the recovery process for people who are addicted to opioids such as fentanyl. It can help to reduce the intensity and duration of withdrawal symptoms, as well as help to prevent a possible fentanyl overdose. During medical detox, patients will receive medications that can help reduce cravings and reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Doctors will also closely monitor patients and make any necessary changes to the treatment plan if needed. Once detox is complete, a treatment program personalized to a patient can begin. During the course of treatment involving evidence-based therapies, a former fentanyl user can make plans for how to sustain sobriety through continuing care resources.
Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.
For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1296.