Did you know that Fentanyl is more potent than morphine? And did you know that more than 2 million Americans are addicted to similar prescription opioids?
If fentanyl addiction is something you or someone you love is suffering from, then there are a lot more things that you should know. We’ll cover all the basics through this helpful guide.
The first thing you need to know is what exactly fentanyl is. It is a synthetic opiate analgesic that’s similar to morphine, and chemically similar to meperidine (or Demerol). It is commonly used to relieve pain during and after surgery. It can also be used to treat cancer breakthrough pain, wherein the patient experiences severe surges of pain.
Compared to other pain medications, it is short-acting, and quickly inhibits the pain pathways to the brain. Despite its medical uses, fentanyl has a high potential for abuse because of the sense of euphoria it produces. Patients can get addicted to this pleasurable sedation if abused.
Someone who is addicted to fentanyl will need treatment in order to heal.
How does fentanyl addiction start?There are several outward signs that may point to fentanyl addiction. Decline in activity is the most obvious one, as fentanyl relaxes the body. However, it can also cause sleep disturbance, frequent vomiting, sweating, diarrhea, and even pain. There’s also a chance they’ll have a poor appetite, even for their favorite foods.
Aside from these physical signs, you can also tell that someone is abusing the medication if they are frequently giving renewal requests from pharmacists. They may also request other prescriptions that they know have euphoric effects.
One common effect of fentanyl abuse is tolerance, in which a person starts to want more and more of the drug to get the same euphoric effect it used to give him or her. When the drug’s use is decreased of stopped, withdrawal symptoms may appear.
Keep in mind that this is a very strong drug. In fact, it is approximately 100 times as potent as morphine.
Withdrawal effects can be too difficult for one person to bear, and so we encourage rehabilitation, so that the person can undergo a professional detoxification process.
Withdrawal effects stem from trying to quit the substance after becoming tolerant, and may include insomnia, sweating, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. They may also feel muscle pain, cramps, and an increased heart rate.
Detoxification is the gradual process of taking the drug-dependent individual off of a drug. It allows the body to rid itself of the drug, as well as minimize the pain and discomfort to reduce the risk of relapse.
It’s important to note that withdrawal from fentanyl can be dangerous for the user, so it is important that this process is done with medical assistance.
During the detox process, the various withdrawal effects are managed, while keeping the patient away from fentanyl, and triggering stimuli that may cause a relapse.
Finding a good rehab for a fentanyl user is not difficult, as long as you know what you are looking for. For starters, it’s helpful to know how the staff interacts with its patients, as well as their credentials. The facility itself must also feel good for the patient, as the physical environment can reduce stress and contribute to the detox process.
Fentanyl addiction can be very difficult to overcome – but it’s not impossible. With enough knowledge and the right support system, a patient can get the drug off their system. Click here to visit our home page and learn more about our process.
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Dr. Vikram Tarugu, M.D, is the CEO of Detox of South Florida, Inc and medical professional focused on addiction. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers. Patients travel from allover the US to seek his help with addiction and Hepatitis C treatment.
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