Fentanyl Addiction Treatment: Understanding How to Conquer Your Addiction
Hecato, an Ancient Greek philosopher belonging to the Stoic school of Western thought, once wrote,
“What progress, you ask, have I made? I have begun to be a friend to myself.”
In essence, what Hecato is saying can be simplified to two words that seamlessly sum up the heart of the truth he was attempting to shed light on: self-knowledge and self-care. Although Hecato wrote his philosophy thousands of years ago in a world that would be considered unrecognizable by today’s standards, his personal ethics still ring loud and true to this day. In many ways, his words speak directly to addiction and recovery.
When dealing with addiction to drugs and alcohol, including fentanyl, it is important to learn that you are worth the fight, and you are deserving of a better, healthier, more fulfilling life. Realizing that you’re loved by others, and more importantly, that you deserve to love yourself, is often the first, difficult step in deciding to aim for recovery and treatment. Let’s face it: addiction can be a force within your life that constantly grinds you down. That’s why Alta Mira Recovery is dedicated to serving you on an individual level to guide you through your fentanyl addiction treatment.
Fentanyl, popular brand names of which include Duragesic, Abstral, and Subsys, has recently become one of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States; however, despite this fact, many people do not know what the drug actually is. So, let’s tackle this from the beginning: what exactly is fentanyl?
Understanding Fentanyl: One of the World’s Most Powerful Drugs
Here’s the reality: In recent years, fentanyl has become one of the most frequently abused drugs. The ease and frequency with which it is taken has led to thousands of deaths over the last 10 years. How could this be? Why has fentanyl become such a commonly abused drug in a relatively short span of time?
Fentanyl is a powerful, man-made, narcotic pain reliever that is said to be 50-100 times more powerful than morphine—another incredibly potent, highly-addictive narcotic painkiller. Aside from fentanyl’s sheer strength, users and researchers alike have noted that the drug has an incredibly rapid inception and duration. This suggests that fentanyl has almost immediate effects that last for only a short period of time, which could explain why the drug has become regularly abused and has a high risk of addiction.
The origins of fentanyl can be traced back to a laboratory in the 1960s. Initially, the drug was typically used to treat patients with pain from surgery, or patients who were physically tolerant to other narcotics, and was administered via a medically supervised injection. It wasn’t until the 1990s and 2000s that fentanyl took the following user-friendly forms and evolved into an easily abused drug for pain:
- Fentanyl Patches—Applied directly to the body, fentanyl is absorbed through the skin
- Fentanyl Lozenges—Tablets consumed by dissolving directly in the mouth or in liquids
- Fentanyl Lollipops—Typically used for extended release situations. Very similar to lozenges, as it is absorbed via the mouth
- Fentanyl Spray—A sublingual spray that is absorbed through the skin in the mouth
It has been reported that as of 2012, fentanyl is the most widely used synthetic opioid in the world. It is commonly used in surgeries. Even though the drug can be prescribed by a medical professional, it can also be sold illegally by itself or mixed with heroin. Common street names for fentanyl include:
- China White
- Dance Fever
- Tango & Cash
Since fentanyl has become so easily accessible, what should you do if you or a loved one are addicted to fentanyl? The answer: seek fentanyl addiction treatment.
The Physical and the Mental: Fentanyl Addiction Symptoms and Treatment
If you or a loved one are suffering from fentanyl addiction, what are the symptoms you should be keeping an eye out for? There are many signs and symptoms of fentanyl use and/or abuse that can be harmful to both the body and mind. Some fentanyl addiction symptoms include:
- Swollen extremities
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Hallucinations and Delusions
- Nausea or vomiting
- Suppression of breathing
- Shaking and sweating
- Depression and anxiety
- Unexpected weight loss
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
In addition to these symptoms, if your usage of fentanyl begins to interfere with your day-to-day professional, personal, or spiritual life, it may be time to take back control. Also, it is not uncommon for individuals suffering from fentanyl addiction to also have co-occurring medical and psychiatric issues. Fentanyl addiction isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Addiction is something that can take your life hostage and threaten to never give it back.
In addition to the various negative symptoms of fentanyl abuse, there are other frightening and life-threatening events that could potentially accompany fentanyl addiction, including overdosing.
Fentanyl Overdose Treatment: The Reality of Fentanyl Addiction
Overdosing on fentanyl is something that affects thousands of regular Americans, but it is also something that haunts the mainstream of Hollywood and the entertainment industry. In 2016, Prince, one of the best selling pop artists of all-time, died unexpectedly. So many of us waited anxiously for the autopsy results, fearing that drugs were involved. After weeks of speculation, law and medical professionals announced that Prince’s death was the result of a fentanyl overdose. Indeed, fentanyl has proven itself to be one of the deadliest drugs in the world, with its reach spanning all social classes.
To put things into perspective and illustrate how deadly fentanyl can be, and how easily one can overdose, let’s take a look at how fentanyl’s strength compares to heroin. According to the New Hampshire State Police, a lethal dose of heroin is equivalent to roughly 30 milligrams. What do you imagine a deadly dose of fentanyl to be? According to the same source, a deadly dose of fentanyl is only about 3 milligrams. That is a staggering difference.
If someone overdoses on fentanyl, a paramedic should immediately administer the drug naloxone to block the effects of the narcotic to help the individual begin breathing again. In fact, multiple doses may be indicated for someone who has overdosed on fentanyl. If you think someone is experiencing an overdose, examine them for the following symptoms:
- Small pupils
- Pale face
- Difficulty speaking, thinking, or walking
- Choking sounds
- Slow or troubled breathing
- Blue skin
- Nodding off or loss of consciousness
- Slow or erratic heartbeat
If an overdose does occur, emergency fentanyl overdose treatment is essential, with ongoing follow-up care playing an integral role in your continued sobriety. Here at Alta Mira Recovery, we offer the following services as part of your fentanyl addiction treatment plan:
- Individualized therapy sessions
- Educational classes and seminars
- Relapse prevention medications like Vivitrol, as indicated
- Continuing Care and aftercare planning
One of the most serious aspects of an individual’s recovery is the withdrawal process. What exactly are withdrawing and detoxing?
Fentanyl Addiction Withdrawal: Taking the First Step Towards Recovery
What helps with withdrawal? Many individuals do not seek the fentanyl addiction treatment they need because they are frightened of the withdrawal symptoms. At Alta Mira Recovery, we are dedicated to making sure your withdrawal process is safe, comfortable, and supportive. Our dedicated staff believes in your ability to overcome what may now seem to be impossible.
Some of the symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal include:
- Muscle pains or cramps
- Fever and shakes
- Increased heart rate
- Intense stomach pain
- Vomiting and Diarrhea
Our experts will ensure that you receive the withdrawal treatment you deserve. You may be thinking to yourself, “How long does fentanyl withdrawal last?” The answer to that question is not simple: depending on the level of your addiction and how well you respond to the detox process, withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from one week to a month. However, one constant we can promise is that no matter how long your fentanyl addiction withdrawal process lasts, we will be there by your side every step of the way.
Embark on the Path to Sobriety Today
At Alta Mira Recovery, we believe in providing the best treatments available to help you solve the interconnectedness of drug abuse and your mental health. If you’re in need of fentanyl addiction treatment, our professional staff is here to dedicate themselves to helping you achieve your main goal: continued recovery!
If you have any questions, please contact us today. Your new chapter is just one phone call away.