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Fentanyl 2018-09-06T14:09:04+00:00

Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse

Fentanyl is one of the drugs involved in the current opioid and heroin epidemic. It is a synthetic type of opioid found in a class of drugs that includes heroin, codeine, morphine, oxycodone and others.

The reason fentanyl and other opioids have led to a drug crisis is that they are so addictive, and fentanyl is also powerful. People often don’t start taking opioids with the intention of using them for a high or another illegal purpose. Rather, they are usually taken by prescription from a doctor, which can quickly turn into an addiction. It’s also possible that you became addicted to another opioid and later turned to fentanyl because it’s stronger. When you become addicted, opioids—including heroin—can become interchangeable, as they provide similar effects in the brain and body.

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Have you become addicted to fentanyl? You’re not alone, and treatment can help you get your life back from the powerful grip of fentanyl addiction. The support, guidance and tools of professionals can make it easier to quit and show you the way forward.

How the Body Reacts to a Powerful Opiate Like Fentanyl

If you have become addicted to fentanyl, try to understand that there were powerful processes working against you. Even when you are taking this opioid legally by following your doctor’s orders, the drug creates effects in the brain and body that can lead to addiction.

Opioids stimulate higher levels of dopamine in the brain than you would normally experience, creating powerful feelings of pleasure and well-being. An opioid does this because it interacts with the brain’s dopamine receptors. Fentanyl is much stronger than heroin, so it can greatly impact the brain and its normal system of reward.

Creating dopamine is a normal daily process for your brain, yet taking fentanyl or other opioids interferes with that natural process. When you stimulate dopamine release with fentanyl, over time you’re telling your brain it doesn’t need to do this job itself. It slows down or stops, and you rely on fentanyl to get any dopamine at all. This drug also makes you accustomed to higher levels of dopamine than you would not normally experience.

Fentanyl can also affect certain bodily processes. For instance, it could manage your coughing, slow your breathing and impact your heartbeat.

Fentanyl tends to be used legally for severe cases of pain and to manage pain after surgery. It is much stronger than both morphine and heroin and is meant to be used in smaller doses. Unfortunately, this powerful drug found popular use illegally and increases the risk of overdose because it’s so strong and works so fast. Just a small amount can lead to overdose, and many people have died because they were unprepared for fentanyl-laced heroin that made its way into society.

It’s hard to stop taking fentanyl in the first place because of the craving for another high and the cycle of dependence that presents itself. Stopping can be even harder when withdrawal symptoms arise. This is your brain and body reacting to the lack of dopamine-stimulating fentanyl they have been receiving and your brain taking time to remember that it needs to stimulate dopamine on its own.

You could experience a range of withdrawal symptoms from stopping fentanyl. You might have aches in your muscles, trouble sleeping, goosebumps and a rapid heartbeat. You could feel anxiety, restlessness and a variety of other symptoms.

Treatment Solutions for Opioid and Fentanyl Abuse

While withdrawal and recovery from fentanyl may be difficult, many people have successfully quit, and it’s possible for you to start over as well. Professional support through a treatment program can help you find the road to recovery.

If you need assistance getting through the withdrawal symptoms caused by quitting fentanyl use—especially when it’s sudden—a detox program can help. This stage of treatment provides medical monitoring and often medication to ensure that the process is safe and more comfortable than if you try it on your own without support. Even being away from the drug and the triggers associated with it for the time you are in detox could help you stick with the path of recovery.

After the drug is out of your body, a rehab program is recommended to help you work through the addiction. Were there factors that contributed to you becoming addicted? Do you have a co-occurring substance use disorder or mental health condition that is complicating the problem? Do you need healthier ways to cope with problems rather than turning to addictive substances? These are some of the issues you can explore in rehab with the support of professionals to guide you. Through therapy and other tools, you can gain empowerment to work toward a life free from addiction.

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment

At Transformations Treatment Center, we have certified addiction professionals who can guide you through the stages of treatment and help you on the road to recovery. We provide a detox program through our facility Summit Detox, which can help with the symptoms you may experience during withdrawal.

Our treatment center provides a holistic approach to rehab, with individualized treatment because we understand that recovery is a personal process. We have different programs and levels to fit your unique needs within our partial hospitalization, outpatient or intensive outpatient program options. We also offer nearby housing if it would support you to be away from your normal environment during treatment.

Moving past an addiction to fentanyl doesn’t have to feel so hard. Rely on the support and guidance of our addiction treatment professionals to empower you to find recovery on your own terms. Contact us today for more information.

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