After realizing that you have a fentanyl addiction, you should seek professional treatment. Since fentanyl is so powerful and its effects are both physical and mental, the treatment needs to address both aspects too. The first step, definitely, is detoxification.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a powerful painkiller. It is also highly addictive and abusing it recreationally can lead to drug dependence. In the worst case scenario, overdose and death. Therefore, it’s important to know the facts about fentanyl abuse and addiction. Fentanyl is:
- A schedule II prescription drug. This means that it has medical value, but is also known to have a high potential for abuse.
- More powerful than morphine.
- Often prescribed to post-surgery patients and chronic pain sufferers who don’t respond to other opioids.
- Is sold under the brand names of Sublimaze, Actiq, and Duragesic. As a street drug, it is known by many names, including “Murder 8,” “TNT,” “China Girl,” and “Jackpot.”
- More than 2 million people in the U.S. are addicted to prescription opioids, according to the World Health Organization. Fentanyl is categorized under opioids.
- Most teens and young adults who develop opioid addictions start out by taking their parents’ leftover prescription medicines, especially from those that undergo post-surgery pain management.
How Does A Detox Work?
A medical detoxification works by removing access to fentanyl and other drugs, minimizing exposure to stimuli that could trigger a relapse and observing the person for medical problems or complications. The detox cleanses the body and removes the effects that have accumulated due to prolonged use of the drug. The person under is undergoing detoxification is monitored around the clock until the withdrawal phase is over.
The detox may include the use of medications to treat cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, thereby increasing the detox’s chance of success. Some medications used to treat withdrawal sickness and cravings include buprenorphine and naloxone (Suboxone), methadone (Dolophine), and clonidine (Catapres). However, detox treatment centers work on a case-by-case basis to decide the best course of action for each individual.
During the detox process, medical monitoring is essential in order to minimize the risk of relapse and subsequent overdose. Oopioid abusers may also be suffering from various infectious diseases or other health issues; hence, medical monitoring has become more important. Additionally, seizures are not usually associated with opioid withdrawal, but may occur during fentanyl withdrawal due to the drug’s ability to lower the seizure threshold in a similar way to meperidine (Demerol).
Without a medically-assisted detox, fentanyl withdrawal is not only unpleasant. It is, above all else, highly dangerous. Withdrawal causes the body’s tolerance for a drug to drop, and if a person relapses (a high risk for opioid users), taking the same dose of fentanyl that they formerly did can overwhelm their body and lead to respiratory failure and death.
If you or your loved ones are suffering from fentanyl abuse or addiction, treatment is needed to address it because even legitimately-prescribed fentanyl can quickly lead to harmful abuse.
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