Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, has become a deadly public health concern in recent years due to its high abuse potential and potency. While fentanyl can be an effective pain reliever for patients with severe or chronic pain, it can also be deadly if misused or abused. Let’s discuss various fentanyl side effects and treatment options for those struggling with an addiction to it. To learn more about fentanyl rehab in Pennsylvania, call us today at 844.442.8673.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It’s typically used in hospitals to manage pain after surgery or for patients with severe pain due to cancer.
Fentanyl is available in different forms, including tablets, patches, and injections. It works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, thereby reducing pain and producing feelings of euphoria.
Why Has Fentanyl Abuse Become Such a Big Problem?
Fentanyl abuse has become a significant and alarming problem in recent years due to various factors. One of the reasons is its relative ease of illegal acquisition, making it accessible to those seeking it unlawfully. Moreover, fentanyl’s highly addictive nature exacerbates the issue, as individuals can quickly develop a dependence on it.
Illicit production of fentanyl in illegal labs adds to the gravity of the situation. These clandestine operations produce the drug and distribute it through the black market, reaching individuals who are searching for a potent substance. Furthermore, diversion from legitimate sources is another way fentanyl finds its way into the hands of those who abuse it.
The affordability of fentanyl also contributes to its widespread use. As it is often cheaper than prescription painkillers and other opioids, individuals who cannot afford the costlier alternatives may turn to fentanyl as a more economical choice.
However, the devastating consequences of fentanyl misuse cannot be overlooked. Its high potency sets it apart from other opioids, making it significantly more dangerous. Tragically, this has resulted in thousands of overdose deaths each year, underscoring the urgent need for awareness, prevention, and effective intervention strategies.
What Are Fentanyl Side Effects?
Fentanyl side effects can vary depending on the dose, method of administration, and the individual’s tolerance. Some common side effects of fentanyl use include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slowed breathing
- Muscle stiffness
Long-term use of fentanyl can lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction. It can also increase the risk of respiratory failure, seizures, and overdose.
How to Combat an Addiction to Fentanyl
The treatment of any substance typically involves a combination of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and therapy. MAT uses medications such as methadone or buprenorphine to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These medications can be tapered down over time, allowing the individual to gradually wean off of opioids.
Therapy helps individuals understand the underlying causes of their addiction and develop coping skills to avoid relapse. Some common types of therapy used in treatment include:
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to addiction.
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
MI is a collaborative, patient-centered approach that helps individuals increase motivation to change their behavior.
Contingency Management (CM)
CM is a rewards-based system that provides incentives for positive behaviors, such as attending counseling sessions or staying drug-free.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT helps individuals develop skills to regulate emotions and manage stress in a healthy way.
Get Help Today From PAATC
If you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl addiction, it’s essential to get help as soon as possible. At Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge (PAATC), we offer a comprehensive addiction treatment program that includes MAT, therapy, and peer support. Our licensed and experienced professionals are here to help you start your journey to recovery. Call us today at 844.442.8673 or use the PAATC online contact form to learn more about our programs and services.