The CDC recently confirmed that there were an estimated 107,622 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2021. This is an increase of nearly 15% over the previous year. Reports confirmed that opioids like fentanyl killed 65% of those who died due to overdose.
In this blog post, we’ll learn what fentanyl is, why it’s so addictive, and some of the effects of fentanyl addiction.
What is fentanyl
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid. It’s similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times more potent. It’s used to relieve extreme pain. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was originally developed as a pain management treatment for cancer patients.
Some brand names of fentanyl include:
Illicit fentanyl is illegally manufactured in laboratories that are typically outside of the United States. According to the DEA, illicit fentanyl is smuggled through Mexico into the United States and then distributed across the country and sold on the black market.
Drug dealers often add it to heroin, meth, and cocaine in order to increase the potency of the drugs. However, the people buying these drugs don’t know that they contain fentanyl, which makes them very dangerous to users.
Fentanyl is so powerful that just a few grains can be fatal. In fact, fentanyl is now the most commonly used drug in overdoses, according to the CDC.
Like other opioids, there is a high risk of abuse when it comes to the use of fentanyl. Some symptoms that a person may exhibit if they are abusing fentanyl include:
- Slowed breathing
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting
How does fentanyl abuse lead to overdose?
Abusing fentanyl can depress the respiratory system which can lead to death. In these overdose instances, the person begins to lose sensitivity to carbon dioxide levels, and their reflexes to take a deep breath never kick in and the oxygen levels in their bodies drop.
Why is fentanyl so addictive?
There are a few reasons why fentanyl is so addictive. First, it’s very potent. A small dose of fentanyl can produce a feeling of euphoria. This feeling is much stronger than what’s produced by other drugs like heroin. Second, fentanyl works quickly. The effects of fentanyl can be felt within minutes after taking it. And finally, fentanyl is easy to access, since it’s often sold as heroin or mixed with other drugs without the user knowing it.
Effects of fentanyl addiction
Fentanyl addiction can have devastating effects on a person’s life. It can lead to problems at work or school, financial difficulties, and relationship problems. Fentanyl addiction can also lead to legal problems, as well as health problems like overdose and death.
Treating fentanyl addiction
Fentanyl addiction is treated similarly to the way most other addictions are treated.
When people who have been abusing fentanyl stop taking it, they can experience painful withdrawal symptoms as their bodies detoxify. Medication can be used to help avoid some of the discomfort associated with withdrawal.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.
Medications like suboxone block the effects of opiates on the brain. People being treated with suboxone typically take a daily dose of it instead of taking pain pills or street opioids.
Treating fentanyl addiction also involves counseling and behavioral therapies. These therapies can help people to identify the underlying causes of their addiction, as well as develop coping and problem-solving skills.
Support groups can also be helpful in fentanyl addiction treatment. These groups provide a forum for people to share their experiences with fentanyl addiction and recovery. They can offer support and motivation, as well as practical advice. There are many treatment options that can be tailored to meet your needs. With the right treatment, you can overcome fentanyl addiction and live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Fentanyl addiction treatment at Isaiah House
Isaiah House is an addiction treatment center that treats fentanyl addiction along with other substance use disorders. We believe in treating the whole person with a holistic approach addressing spiritual, physical, mental, financial, legal, and educational aspects of our clients’ lives.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to fentanyl or any other substance, recovery is possible. We have helped thousands of men and women break free from the grip of addiction. Contact us today and take the first step to recovery. We would love to walk with you every step of the way.