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Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that can cause deadly overdoses and addiction when it’s abused. The drug is used to treat severe pain, typically for terminally ill patients who haven’t responded to other pain medications. Its potency can cause a fatal overdose in amounts that are the same weight as a snowflake. It’s often mixed into illicit drug supplies without users knowing, which is believed to have contributed to a spike in overdose deaths in the past few years. Individuals who have used fentanyl and survived invariably develop an intense addiction. Fortunately, Harmony Hills has an experienced team of addiction treatment professions in our fentanyl addiction treatment program.
Opioids have been notorious for their strength and ability to cause addiction. Still, over the last few years of the opioid crisis, a synthetic drug is known as fentanyl has swept the nation. The drug is much cheaper to buy and easier to produce, making it ideal for drug cartels. While the drug is used medicinally for severe pain cases, illicit versions have hit the street in the past five years. Fentanyl is up to 50 times more potent than heroin, and in some cases, a fraction of the price.
Fentanyl works by binding to opioid receptors designed to regulate pain. Prescription opioids are powerful as they are meant to treat persistent pain. However, fentanyl is stronger than most other opioids, and medicinal use has to be carefully regulated. However, it’s cheap and easy to make, so it’s mixed into other drugs to increase profits. The powerful opioid can cause euphoria, leading to opioid use disorders that are difficult to overcome.
Fentanyl is a dangerous drug because of its high potency. It’s not often that someone abuses it without experiencing a dangerous overdose. People who take the drug recreationally often are addicted to heroin and take the drug with fentanyl mixed into it without knowing.
In some cases, people with a high tolerance may seek out fentanyl for a more intense high. However, fentanyl withdrawal is similar to most other opioid withdrawals. It’s often compared to a bad case of the flu, with fever, nausea, and vomiting are common.
Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous substances found in illicit drugs today, mostly due to its potency. It’s difficult to tell whether heroin or another drug has fentanyl in it unless it is tested. And it’s difficult for black market dealers to carefully measure out proper doses of the drug that won’t be deadly.
Opioid addiction increases your risk of encountering a deadly dose of fentanyl or other extremely potent opioids. However, opioid withdrawal symptoms aren’t known to be life-threatening, but they can be extremely unpleasant.
Medical detox is reserved for people with high-level medical needs while they go through drug withdrawal. For the most part, these medical needs are directly related to withdrawal, especially in cases involving depressants like alcohol.
However, medical detox may also help people who have other medical conditions alongside withdrawal symptoms. When you enter an addiction treatment program or speak to your doctor about getting treatment, they can do a medical exam to determine the care level you need.
Addiction is a severe disease characterized by compulsive drug use despite any consequences. There is no known cure, but the science behind treatment and prevention continues to evolve. Addiction is a disease that will progressively worsen over time, but there are warning signs you can look out for in the meantime.
One of the first signs that indicate a growing opioid addiction is becoming tolerant to fentanyl. If you increase the dosage because it’s weaker than when you started, you will likely become tolerant to the drug. If you continue using and take more, you will begin developing a chemical dependency, which is when the body adjusts to the presence of fentanyl. Your brain chemistry adapts to the presence of the chemical, and when you stop using, you’ll notice uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Although fentanyl addiction is still less common than heroin or prescription opioid addiction, it is more likely to cause a fatal overdose. The first step in the continuum of care is to check into medical detox, the highest level of care. It’s designed to help those with pressing medical needs or those who will experience deadly withdrawal symptoms.
In most cases, those who are using fentanyl have severe addictions if they can handle its strength. When this is a case, our fentanyl addiction treatment program at Harmony Hills encourages entering residential treatment. Here, individuals can stay for a period of up to 90 days as they work through detox and therapy. Yet, Harmony Hills offers a range of treatment programs to meet the specific needs of individuals, such as: