Fentanyl is an extremely potent synthetic opioid narcotic, one that is lethal when taken in high dosages and is responsible for hundreds of untimely overdose-related deaths on an annual basis. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that the chemical structure of fentanyl is similar to that of morphine, though fentanyl is generally between 50 and 100 times more potent. While fentanyl is a prescription painkiller, it is very often made illegally and used illegally – in recent times, low-level drug dealers have been adding fentanyl to heroin in order to increase its potency and therefore its street value. This has led to a sharp increase in overdose-related deaths over the course of the past several years. NIDA also reported that in the year 2017, a staggering 59.8 percent of opioid-related deaths were directly linked to fentanyl. This number increased from 14.3 percent of opioid overdose deaths in the year 2010.
How is Fentanyl Taken?
When prescribed by a medical professional, fentanyl is taken in extremely small doses for short periods of time – and only in the case of severe pain-related disorders. Because this chemical substance is so dangerous and habit-forming, a doctor will never prescribe it to be taken long-term. When manufactured illegally, fentanyl is sold in a powdered form, added to nasal sprays or stored in eye droppers or made into pills that closely resemble prescription opioid narcotics. It is important to note that heroin is not the only chemical substance that is commonly cut with fentanyl. Drug dealers frequently add the substance to drugs like cocaine, MDMA and methamphetamine. Because fentanyl is so frequently used in the illicit drug market, many individuals will develop a fentanyl dependence without even realizing they have been regularly ingesting the chemical substance.
If you or someone close to you has been suffering at the hands of a fentanyl abuse disorder, Pine Tree Recovery Center is available to help.
Fentanyl Abuse and Addiction
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that fentanyl abuse, addiction and overdose are all on the rise, and have been for several years. From 2017 to 2018, fentanyl-related death rates increased by 10 percent nationwide. Law enforcement officers suggest that the dramatic increase in fentanyl-related deaths can be largely attributed to man-made fentanyl, which is always made and distributed illicitly. If you believe that you (or someone close to you) has been suffering at the hands of a fentanyl addiction disorder, there are several signs and symptoms to look for.
- Persistent headaches
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Nausea, vomiting and constipation
- Itching skin
- Blurred vision/in inability to see straight (which can contribute to dizziness)
- General feeling of mellowness or euphoria, depending on the dose
There are also many behavioral symptoms associated with fentanyl addiction, including:
- Attempting to obtain more fentanyl once a prescription runs out, even it was only intended to be taken short-term
- An increased need for privacy – more time spent isolated from friends and family members
- Mood swings, typically characterized by increased agitation and irritability
- An increase in risk-taking behaviors
- A lack of attention paid to personal hygiene
- Neglecting basic personal needs like adequate nutrition and exercise
- Erratic behavior based on impaired judgment
Our Fentanyl Detox Services Include
Opioid withdrawal most often begins to take place between 12 and 30 hours after the final dose is taken. The US Food and Drug Administration reports that Duragesic, which is a brand name for the drug fentanyl, is extended release – meaning that the effects of the final dose could last for up to two full days. This also means that on most occasions, fentanyl withdrawal symptoms will take hold around one day after the final dose – leaving a relatively short window of opportunity during which an individual can enter into medical detox and begin being treated for these symptoms.
When fentanyl first begins to leave the bloodstream, the following symptoms will occur:
- Excessive yawning
- Runny nose and watery eyes
- Cills and low-grade fever
- Pain in the muscles and joints/backache
- Stomach cramping
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- An inability to eat/loss of appetite
- Elevated heart rate
- Quickened breathing/hyperventilation
- Insomnia and other sleep-related issues
- Extreme anxiety/panic attacks
After the first one to three days, these symptoms will temporarily worsen. Individuals who are coming off of fentanyl generally feel immense physical discomfort unless they admit themselves to a medical detox facility immediately. At Pine Tree Recovery Center we provide each of our clients with a pain-free, safe and comfortable withdrawal experience. While fentanyl addiction is not typically life-threatening, it can lead to immense physical pain when not adequately and professionally treated.
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Why is Medical Detox Necessary?
When it comes to fentanyl withdrawal, medical detox is always a necessary first step on the lifelong road to recovery. An abrupt discontinuation of this specific opioid narcotic will lead to harsh physical and psychological symptoms. At Pine Tree Recovery Center, the way we treat these symptoms will always vary on a person-to-person basis. In most cases, when it comes to fentanyl, tapering is an ideal choice. This essentially means slowly lowering the dosage until the chemical substance is completely eliminated from the bloodstream. This will help alleviate physical discomfort while reducing psychological cravings. Tapering will be closely monitored by a prescribing physician, and if any symptoms do arise they will be thoroughly treated as they occur.
In the vast majority of cases, an individual will first be switched off of fentanyl to a less dangerous and habit-forming opioid before the tapering process begins. Fentanyl is one of the most potent and dangerous opioid narcotics on the market, therefore removing it from the system sooner rather than later is always an ideal choice. For example, if a client comes to us with a severe fentanyl addiction, we might begin administering suboxone until he or she is stabilized, then slowly reducing the dose of suboxone until physical stabilization is achieved. When Medication Assisted Treatment is utilized, the medications we substitute are reduced by 20 to 50 percent daily, ensuring that no severe and life-threatening complications occur. We combine proven medical techniques with therapeutic intervention and effective holistic detox methodologies.
Our Straightforward Admissions Process
Grappling with a fentanyl addiction is certainly stressful enough as it is, and we understand that finally coming to terms with having a serious problem and becoming willing to seek professional help can be very overwhelming in and of itself. For this reason, our team of addiction specialists, medical professionals and case managers have worked together to develop a simple and straightforward admissions process. All you have to do is give us a call and we will take care of the rest. Pine Tree Recovery Center accepts most major insurance providers, and our Treatment Advisors conduct free, no obligation insurance benefit checks over the phone. If you are currently insured, there is a very good chance that your treatment experience is partially or fully covered. We also provide brief pre-assessments over the phone, which help our medical team determine which level of clinical care is right for each unique case. When it comes to fentanyl detox, however, medically monitored care is always a necessary first step on the road to recovery. Those who have been suffering at the hands of a fentanyl abuse disorder of any severity are likely to experience moderate to severe symptoms of withdrawal, considering that this specific opioid narcotic is so potent and habit-forming.
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If you have been suffering from a fentanyl addiction and you are ready to begin living an entirely new way of life – one that is happy, fulfilling and free from the devastation associated with addiction – give us a call today. Our Treatment Advisors are standing by 24-hours a day to answer any additional, program-related questions you might have. Give us a call at (888) 693-1751, or complete this form online click here to get started today.