Fentanyl is one of the most powerful synthetic opioids in existence. Originally manufactured for use as a painkiller, fentanyl quickly made its way into the street market, increasing the risk of abuse, addiction, and overdose. The intense potency of fentanyl makes it especially dangerous. If you or someone you know has become hooked on fentanyl or a similar opioid, reach out to learn about Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge’s fentanyl addiction treatment program.
Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge (PAATC) treats addictions to alcohol as well as all controlled substances. Opioid addiction in the U.S. and globally reached epidemic proportions in the 1990s and has continued to ravage countless lives ever since. Learn more about how painkiller abuse can become a fentanyl addiction, how a fentanyl treatment program can help you, and what the side effects of fentanyl are so you can be on the lookout for them. Call 844.442.8673 to speak to one of our staff or use this online form.
Heroin and morphine, opiates derived from the opium poppy, have been around for millennia. Prescription opioids like Oxycodone contributed greatly to the opioid epidemic. Fentanyl is stronger than all of those. Below are some facts about this addictive drug:
- Fentanyl was synthesized in 1959 as an anesthetic
- It is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine
- The drug began to be used illicitly by dealers as an adulterant in other drugs to lower the cost of getting high and increase addiction
- Street use of fentanyl increased dramatically over the last 20 years and contributes significantly to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the United States
- Fentanyl is still produced by pharmaceutical companies for severe pain but it is also manufactured illicitly
- Most fentanyl overdoses are the result of the street form of fentanyl
- Prescription painkiller abuse often leads people to acquire fentanyl on the street
Fentanyl is a seriously dangerous drug. Highly addictive and potentially deadly, the best and safest way to combat its hold is through professional fentanyl addiction treatment.
Side Effects of Fentanyl
When people use fentanyl recreationally, they seek the euphoria that all opioids create when the brain’s receptors are flooded with the drug and produce high amounts of feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine. Tolerance builds quickly, meaning that more of the drug is needed simply to maintain the brain’s status quo. It becomes more difficult to achieve a euphoric high and yet not taking the drug results in severe withdrawal symptoms. Essentially, fentanyl and other opioids become necessary simply to avoid withdrawal. To feel their effects, the dosage must continue to increase, which can lead to severe health problems and overdose.
For someone who regularly abuses fentanyl or is addicted, the effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramping
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of balance
- Inflammation or rash
- Incoherence and slurring of speech
When someone experiences opioid poisoning, it is called an overdose. When that happens, the above symptoms will likely become more severe, but there are even more dangerous side effects to look out for, such as:
- Stupor or unconsciousness
- Slowed breathing which can lead to respiratory failure
- Bluish skin from inadequate oxygen supply
- Cold and clammy skin
- Pinpoint pupils
If any of these urgent signs appear, immediate medical help is necessary to avoid death by overdose.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment at PAATC
Painkiller abuse often goes unnoticed because the original reason for taking the prescription is legitimate—to reduce pain. If someone doubles their dose or takes the next dose early, it may not seem that big a deal at first. Undetected painkiller abuse can easily lead to fentanyl addiction.
Find out more about the addiction facts and the side effects of fentanyl by reaching out to PAATC today. We can answer your questions and walk you through the wide range of evidence-based treatment options, inpatient and outpatient opportunities, and how to get started on your recovery. Just call us at 844.442.8673 or submit this online form to connect.