Fentanyl is a synthetic pharmaceutical drug. It is an opioid painkiller that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. You can obtain Fentanyl both legally and illegally in the US.
Typically, Fentanyl is used to treat severe pain, usually after an operation or significant injuries, or on occasion to treat those with chronic pain who may have built up a tolerance to other drugs or cannot get pain relief from other medications. When talking about tolerance to drugs, it is when users require more significant or more doses to get the same relief over time.
Fentanyl is prescribed under the following brand names and applications:
- Actiq – a lozenge on a stick like a lollipop
- Duragesic – a wearable patch
- Sublimaze – injected in hospitals typically with anesthesia
- Subsys – spray delivered under the tongue
- Abstral – quick dissolve tablet placed under the tongue
- Lazanda – nasal spray
When obtained illegally, Fentanyl is known as:
- China Girl
- China White
- Dance Fever
How Does Fentanyl Work?
Fentanyl works by blocking the pain receptors in the brain and increasing dopamine production, which is often referred to as the “happiness chemical.”
Other effects of taking Fentanyl include:
- Extreme happiness
- Slow breathing
Fentanyl is highly addictive due to its potency, whether obtained legally via a doctor or illegally. However, upon continued use of the drug, the brain builds up a tolerance leaving users to seek higher quantities of the drug to get the same effect. This is when taking Fentanyl becomes an addiction, and drug use and seeking take over a person’s life as they chase that high. It is worth noting that a person can depend on a substance without being addicted. However, dependency can lead to addiction.
Whether taken recreationally or for a medical purpose, Fentanyl can be highly volatile and potentially lethal. If you have noticed any changes to your behavior or lifestyle due to the use of Fentanyl, such as;
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Changes in exercise habits
- Problems sleeping
- Intense cravings
- Stealing to purchase Fentanyl
- Stealing prescriptions
- Frequent trips to medical facilities to obtain prescriptions and more
You may have a Fentanyl addiction, and you should seek assistance to support your recovery as soon as possible.
How is Fentanyl Addiction Treated?
When treating a Fentanyl addiction, most treatment centers use a combination of medication and behavioral therapies for maximum effect.
Users of Fentanyl will likely experience undesirable side effects if they decide to quit cold turkey or gradually reduce their intake over time. The withdrawal symptoms can be hard to deal with, although not often life-threatening, so doing so under medical supervision can afford you the best care and support during this time.
Medical assisted detox services, such as at Grand Falls Recovery, can offer a safe environment to commence your sobriety journey with the proper medical care and mental health support.
Treatment of Fentanyl addiction can be managed via the use of medication such as Buprenorphine and Methadone. These medications work the same as Fentanyl does, by binding the brain’s receptors to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Naltrexone can block opioid receptors in the brain and stop Fentanyl from working, thus eliminating the need to take it.
Behavioral therapies can work alongside treatment with medication or alone as the primary form of treatment. Regardless of the type of treatment, it isn’t a quick fix, and Fentanyl treatment can take up to a year and require ongoing support to maintain a sustainable sober lifestyle.
At Grand Falls Recovery, our highly specialized and experienced staff work with opioid users to help them overcome their addiction in a personalized way.
Combining an evidence-based treatment plan with holistic methods creates an individual treatment plan to help find the right approach for a sustainable recovery and maximum success. We appreciate that each person will have their own unique circumstances and challenges when it comes to treating their addiction. Approaching each person on a one-on-one basis allows for a more effective recovery program with improved chances of success.
When attempting to overcome an opioid addiction alone, users can often succumb to the intense cravings produced by the brain, and the need to consume Fentanyl can often overpower users who are attempting withdrawals and addiction recovery alone. This greatly increases the chance of relapse and can make the whole process longer and harder.
There is no quick fix for a Fentanyl addiction recovery plan. Working with addiction specialists can help you develop the tools and knowledge required to help support your recovery and improve your chances of long-lasting sobriety.