Fentanyl is an opioid which is frequently used for anesthesia. This allows doctors to perform surgeries or medical procedures which would otherwise be too agonizing for patients to endure without any anesthetic. It differs from other opioids because its primary mode of administration is through injection rather than being consumed orally. Fentanyl is injected into the muscles directly, or into a vein through the usage of an IV. These injections will be provided by doctors prior to surgery, and they must closely monitor the oxygen, breathing and blood pressure levels of the patient.
Because fentanyl is used for surgery, it is one of the strongest opiates available. A formulation of fentanyl which is designed to reduce pain over time is also used, and it will come in the form of either a patch or a lollipop. It can also be taken as a film which will dissolve beneath the tongue. These various modes of administration increase the chances that someone can become addicted, and this substance can be hazardous as a small mistake in the dosage can even lead to death.
Warning Signs of Fentanyl Addiction
The warning signs for fentanyl abuse are very similar to other opiates. Users will display euphoria, as well as lethargy. When taken in high doses, fentanyl rapidly creates a tolerance, so the user will need to progressively increase their dosages over time, which is very dangerous. Those abusing this drug may appear unusually mellow, and they may also display high levels of drowsiness. Other warning signs that may indicate a fentanyl addiction are:
- A feeling of lightheadedness
- Mouth becomes unusually dry
- Breathing is suppressed
- Chronic constipation
- Difficulty when urinating
- Vomiting and reduced appetite
- Increased itching
- Headaches and vision problems
- Nightmares or hallucinations
Side Effects of Fentanyl Abuse
Those who misuse fentanyl will display many unwanted side effects, some of which may be life threatening. Sleep deprivation is a common side effect, as well as profuse sweating or trembling. Addicts may also develop swelling on various parts of their body. Some of the most dangerous side effects which are seen with this substance include pain or tightness in the chest, as well as convulsions. Additional fentanyl side effects consist of:
- Stool appears black or tarry
- Confusion or disorientation
- Persistent cough
- Abnormal thirst
- Heart beat which is irregular
- Frequent mood swings
- Cramps or pain in muscles
- Numbness in the feet or hands
- Eyes become sunken
Those that become addicted to fentanyl will need assistance coming off this drug, as the effects of withdrawal can be horrendous, increasing the chances of relapse. Rehab services offer an ideal method for assisting addicts through withdrawal, and ensuring that they receive the professional help needed to recover completely.
Those that enter rehab will first need to be assessed to determine their level of addiction. The next phase is usually medical drug detox, unless a client is not suitable for this procedure. Once detoxification is completed, the client can choose between inpatient or outpatient modes of treatment. While rehab services can be costly, the results are worth it, as patients can achieve full recovery from addiction. Numerous types of payment plans are also available, including private insurance coverage so the treatment costs do not have to be prohibitive for those who are considering rehab services.
At NeuroPsychiatric Addiction Clinic, our goal is to ensure that you obtain a full recovery from your addiction. Contact us by email or phone today to learn more.