If you keep your ear to the ground, it’s possible you might have heard the term fentanyl thrown around lately. The drug has been making headlines as it’s been the cause of numerous overdose deaths in the country.
But what exactly is Fentanyl? and what does Fentanyl do? Let’s have a look!
What Is Fentanyl
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is commonly prescribed for pain relief. The drug is mainly used to treat severe pain, such as cancer at advanced stages. Being an opioid, fentanyl belongs to the same category as substances like heroin, oxycodone, and morphine.
Like other drugs in this category, Fentanyl can be highly addictive and deadly.
What Does Fentanyl Do To The Body
These are some of the most common physical signs of Fentanyl abuse:
- Pinpoint pupils
- Respiratory depression
- Slow heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Extreme happiness
What Does Fentanyl Do To Addict’s Behaviors
These are some of the most common behavioral signs of Fentanyl abuse:
- Secrecy or mysterious behaviors
- Social withdrawal
- Lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Financial problems
- Lying compulsively
- Disappearing for long periods of time
- Changes in mood
- Issues at work or at school
- Ignoring responsibilities
- Changes in appearance such as weight loss or poor hygiene
Risks of Taking Fentanyl
Fentanyl can hurt addicts in many ways. Like many opioids, prolonged use of the drug could lead to permanent organ damage and even cause death.
Users are at high risk of overdosing on Fentanyl. In fact, overdose deaths are most often caused by Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.
There were over 70,000 overdose deaths reported from the use of synthetic opioids in 2021. Fentanyl was the primary driver behind those numbers.
Most cases of fentanyl-related overdoses are actually linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl and not prescription drugs.
Why Are So Many Addicts Overdosing on Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is deadly when taken out of proportion, and it doesn’t really take much of the drug to send addicts into overdose. This is one of the primary reasons behind the increasing number of Fentanyl overdoses in America.
In fact, the drug is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and more than 100 times stronger than morphine.
During the past few years, Fentanyl has become a major contributor to the opioid epidemic in the United States.
Drug users and distributors use the more affordable Fentanyl to “cut” heroin. By mixing both drugs, distributors are able to increase their earnings. They also enhance heroin to make it stronger and more addictive.
Since fentanyl is deadly when consumed in large quantities, it causes users to overdose when both drugs are not blended together thoroughly.
Fentanyl is also commonly used to cut cocaine and methamphetamine
Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction
If you or someone you love is suffering from fentanyl or opioid dependency, it is critical to act before it’s too late.
Fortunately, fentanyl addiction is treatable. However, in most cases, it requires professional help. Opioids are highly addictive drugs that make it extremely difficult for addicts to quit on their own.
Withdrawal effects from the drug could also be high risk since they could cause death. In such cases, Fentanyl addicts will require a pharmacological detox to be able to sober up safely.
In fact, SAMHSA—a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—points to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as the most effective treatment for opioid addiction.
The goal of MAT is to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms by combining medication and therapy.
It is also possible for addicts to benefit from evidence-based therapies, like CBT therapy, group therapy, and medication-assisted treatment, during rehab. Treatments like these can help people overcome addiction, manage their withdrawal symptoms, and prevent relapse.
Finding Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction
Now that you know what fentanyl is and how dangerous it can be, you might want to seek out help if you’ve been using fentanyl.