Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Abuse

In recent years, a massive opiod epidemic has taken the United States by storm. You’ve likely heard about it on the news or read about it online. Every day, it seems like new statistics about this crisis are being revealed. Many people associate this epidemic with prescription pain killers, such as Vicodin and OxyContin. While these are forms of opiods, and they are certainly addictive, there’s another type of opiod that is even more addictive: Fentanyl.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl synthetic and highly powerful opiod; in fact, it’s about 50 times more potent than other opiods, such as morphine. Originally, it was used intended to be used as an anesthetic for surgeries; the purpose was to mix with other medications to completely relax the patient prior to surgical treatment.

Due to the pain relieving effects that Fentanyl provides, medical researchers and scientists started to use it as a way to treat extremely pain. A Fentanyl patch was created to provide relief for patients who suffered from chronic pain, for example. The patch was so effective that other forms of Fentanyl were created, such as sprays, chewable tables, and pills.

The popularity of Fentanyl really took off, and by 2012, it was the most widely used prescription pain medication. It’s highly effective and, when used properly, it is considered safe. It’s usually prescribed to people who are suffering with severe pain that other types of painkillers cannot alleviate. However, the drug not only relieves pain, but it also creates a feeling of euphoria and relaxation, which makes it extremely popular among people who are seeking to find a “pleasurable” recreational high.

Because of the increased potency of Fentanyl, it is even more addictive than other opioids, and the dangers are far greater.

How Fentanyl Works

Fentanyl works like any other opioid does; it attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain. The body naturally produces opioids, and their function is to block the brain from feeling pain. They also slow down breathing and create a calming effect. With mild to moderate levels of pain, the body can produce enough opioids to moderate the pain, but it cannot produce enough to prevent the feelings that are associated with chronic or severe pain. Hence the reason synthetic opioids were produced.

The opiod receptors are linked to the reward system in the brain. This reward system is intended to encourage human beings to do things that are good for them; for instance, when you work out, you feel a “high”, of sorts, and since working out is good for your health, you’ll be more inclined to continue working out because you experienced that positive feeling. The same idea can be applied to taking opioid drugs, like Fentanyl. When you take them, your brain’s reward system is activated, and you want to continue taking the drug in order to experience that positive effect again. It’s for this reason that opioids are extremely dangerous. The fact that Fentanyl is so potent, it’s even more addictive than other drugs of the same class. Of course, the effects of abusing this drug can be even more devastating.

Signs of Fentanyl Use and Abuse

Though Fentanyl is can be helpful for patients who are suffering from severe pain, it does have negative effects on the body. It slows heart rate and breathing rate, so if taken in high doses, it can cause death. Other side effects of Fentanyl use and abuse include:

  • Labored, shallow breathing
  • Loss of motor functions
  • Confusion
  • Muscle spasms
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hallucinations
  • Cold sweats
  • Itching
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Coma

If you notice that someone you love is exhibiting any of these signs, there is a good chance that he or she might be abusing Fentanyl.

Getting Help for Fentanyl Abuse and Addiction

Fentanyl is a highly addictive and extremely dangerous drug when used for recreational reasons. If you or someone you love is abusing or is addicted to Fentanyl, it’s extremely important to seek help. Without help, there is a serious risk of dangerous side effects, and even death.

Many drug rehabilitation centers in the United States offer treatment programs for Fentanyl. With the right program, recovery from Fentanyl addiction is possible. Contact us today and we will help you find the best treatment program for your needs. Take your life back from Fentanyl, once and for all.