The Benefits of Fentanyl Addiction Treatment
Fentanyl addiction treatment is essential for anyone who has been abusing this drug. The benefits of seeking out professional treatment include a greater chance of recovery and long-term sobriety, a reduced risk of experiencing a fatal overdose, getting better support from family, and identifying and managing underlying mental illnesses that may contribute to addictive behaviors. Fentanyl is extremely dangerous to abuse, and overdose deaths involving this prescription are on the rise. Treatment saves lives.
Fentanyl is a prescription painkiller that belongs to the opioid family of drugs that also includes morphine, hydrocodone, heroin, and many others.
It is a schedule II controlled substance because of its high potential for abuse and dependence.
The only approved uses for fentanyl are to treat breakthrough pain in cancer patients who are already using another opioid and have become tolerant to opioids and for round-the-clock management of long-term, severe, and chronic pain.
The Dangers of Fentanyl Abuse
Any type of addiction is dangerous and can have serious and lasting consequences, but fentanyl is more dangerous than most. Seeking treatment for addiction to this drug is important for reducing the risks. For instance, abuse can increase the risk and severity of a number of fentanyl side effects:
- Abdominal pain, gas, and heartburn
- Vision changes
- Trouble urinating
- Depression and anxiety
- Unusual thoughts and dreams
- Back pain
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite
Fentanyl overdose is the most serious risk of abusing the drug. It is between 50 and 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin. Fentanyl can easily cause a fatal overdose in anyone from the first-time user to a person who has been abusing opioids for years. Fentanyl overdoses have been increasing in recent years, even though prescriptions for it have been decreasing. This may be a result of it being added to illicit drugs, like heroin and cocaine, without the user’s knowledge.
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What Are The Benefits of Fentanyl Addiction Treatment?
The consequences of Fentanyl addiction can be serious. Receiving proper treatment can help the Fentanyl abuser prevent the dangerous consequences of long-term health issues or overdose, improve relationships, and avoid potential legal problems. Inpatient care at a residential treatment facility provides those addicted to Fentanyl the safest and most successful option for recovery.
Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction Reduces Overdose Risk
The single most important benefit of seeking out treatment for fentanyl addiction is to prevent a fatal overdose. In fact, seeking treatment for abuse of fentanyl, not just addiction, can help prevent accidental deaths because it is so easy to overdose and die when misusing this drug, even the first time. Signs of an overdose include dizziness and drowsiness, confusion, slowed breathing, shallow breathing, and loss of consciousness. An overdose can be treated with naloxone, but it needs to be administered quickly.
Treatment Helps Manage Fentanyl Withdrawal
Anyone who tries to stop using fentanyl without professional support and treatment runs a very serious risk of failure and relapse. Withdrawal and the resulting cravings can be intense enough to cause most people to use again, and then the cycle of abuse begins all over. There are medications that can be administered during professional detox treatment that reduce the severity of withdrawal and make the entire process more likely to be successful.
Treatment Helps Identify Underlying Mental Illness
A good treatment program for fentanyl abuse and addiction will include screening for mental illnesses. They often co-occur with substance use disorders and can contribute to substance abuse. Treatment for addiction will always be more successful when mental illnesses are addressed and also treated. If they are ignored, a patient runs a greater risk of relapsing and going back to old patterns of negative behavior that led to substance abuse in the first place.
Treatment Involves Family
Many treatment plans involve the family of the patient, which helps to increase the chances of a positive outcome and longer-term sobriety. Treatment that includes family provides education and training in how to better support a loved one who will be struggling to avoid relapse once back at home. Trying to overcome fentanyl abuse without real treatment can leave family in the dark, unaware of how to help and provide support.
A Fentanyl Treatment Plan Includes Aftercare for Relapse Prevention
Relapse after stopping use of a drug is not uncommon, but it is dangerous and can lead to binges that may be fatal. Professional treatment involves strategies to prevent relapse, including aftercare planning and programs that help patients transition from intensive treatment to life back at home. Relapse is always possible, but with treatment and aftercare the risk can be significantly reduced.
There are many reasons to seek out treatment for fentanyl addiction and abuse. It can be hard to reach out and ask for help, though. It is crucial that loved ones offer support and treatment options to help more people get the care they need to stop using this harmful and very risky drug.