For patients who have cancer or severe excruciating pain, Fentanyl is saving grace. A synthetic opioid, Fentanyl’s pain-relieving ability, is over 50 to 100 times better than morphine. It is a prescription drug used to treat post-surgical pains or, in some instances, where the body has grown resistant to the effects of other opioids.
This synthetic drug is sold in a powder or disguised as regular pills sold like common prescription medications. The drug is a blessing for people suffering from long-term chronic pain at normal doses. However, the drug is also made and used illegally and is associated with overdoses. In cases of inappropriate and recreational uses, it may seriously impact the body.
The Impact of Fentanyl Addiction
Once introduced into the body, Fentanyl binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, responsible for controlling the feeling of pain and generating emotions. Repeated use of Fentanyl makes the body crave it. Eventually, the body becomes habitual to its use and cannot seek pleasure from anything else but the drug. In cases where people become addicted to Fentanyl, drug-seeking behavior and its continuous use consume their lives.
Withdrawing from any addiction is a tiresome process associated with numerous symptoms of withdrawal and discomfort. However, though it is difficult, it is not impossible. Rehabilitation centers are now accessible to people with all kinds of addiction, including Fentanyl. People who find rehabilitation challenging and wish to understand the process can reach out at serenityatsummit.com, which could be the first step towards recovery from addiction.
Effect on the body
Recreational use of Fentanyl allows people to feel a pleasurable high. Once Fentanyl enters the body, it reaches the brain and influences the perception of pain and emotions. The drug user feels immense happiness and becomes euphoric. Once in the system, the drug makes the body feel more relaxed and calm. The medicine allows the person to swiftly shift between being actively awake and to the state of partial consciousness. The enjoyable feeling lasts while the drug flows through the blood.
The first high experienced after fentanyl use is intense and often cannot be felt again. The body becomes resistant to its action and craves its effect with continuous use. Addicts go into a spiral, seeking to achieve the same high they felt the first time around. Such frantic efforts often result in overdose, causing significant harm to the body.
Fentanyl overdose is associated with a reduction in heart rate and slowed breathing. In severe cases, it may also cause sudden respiratory failure. Due to slow breathing, oxygen depletes in the blood. The amount of oxygen reaching the brain is compromised, resulting in a coma, significant brain damage, or sudden death.
Management of Fentanyl addiction and withdrawal
Regular use of Fentanyl can induce a feeling of dependence on the drug. In such cases, not using the medicine can cause symptoms of withdrawal. Over-dependence on the medication can subsequently lead to addiction, considered the most severe form of substance use disorder. People dependent on Fentanyl crave the drug and have uncontrollable urges despite its harmful consequences. If addicted to Fentanyl, the user pays no heed to its impact on social life, school, family or even work.
The effects of withdrawal are so intense that people addicted to Fentanyl find it very hard to stop taking it. Withdrawal symptoms include muscular pain, diarrhea, alterations in sleep habits, cold flashes, involuntary limb movements and extreme cravings. There are several ways to overcome the cycle of addiction. Several medical and non-medical programs exist that can serve as the first step towards the path to recovery. Such rehabilitation programs are well-equipped to manage the complicated journey of overcoming Fentanyl addiction.
Medicines have been introduced to help overcome Fentanyl addiction by easing the withdrawal process and managing symptoms. Non-opioid medications such as lofexidine and buprenorphine are approved drugs that are now widely used to manage these symptoms. Additionally, nerve stimulating devices have also been used to soothe the immediate impact of withdrawal.
Though a medical detox is highly beneficial, a holistic treatment program can also prove worthwhile. Rehabilitation programs can help deal with cravings and the psychological impact of withdrawal from a drug. With therapy sessions and rehabilitation courses, users can be taught how to manage negative behavioral and psychological symptoms. Through a medical and psycho-social approach, a long-term recovery plan can be drafted.
Managing Fentanyl overdose
A person suffering from a Fentanyl overdose may have a slow or shallow breathing pattern, with the skin and mucosal surfaces such as the lips turning blue. Some may also show chest pain, fits, confusion and irrational behavior.
A drug administered as soon as a Fentanyl overdose is ascertained Naloxone. The drug reverses the action of opioids by completely blocking their receptors. Naloxone can be administered by any person, even if they lack medical expertise. The drug is readily available in pharmacies in nasal sprays or multi-dose syringes. According to experts, it is imperative to keep a naloxone spray at hand when someone in your proximity is using Fentanyl.
A person taking Fentanyl may eventually become tolerant to its effects in the long term. Once tolerance is developed, its dosage will need to be raised to achieve the same result. Developing tolerance to Fentanyl increases dependence on the drug, and people who come dependent experience severe withdrawal symptoms. It is often the complex and often unbearable withdrawal symptoms that make it challenging to stop taking the drug. Thus, people develop a drug-seeking behavior, which is associated with severe consequences. However, managing withdrawal symptoms and overcoming Fentanyl addiction is now possible through medical detoxification and rehabilitation programs. Though medical therapies allow the withdrawal process to be swift, effective rehabilitation therapies can help drug users overcome the urge and cravings they experience during withdrawal. Through therapeutic programs, people can help navigate negative emotions and thoughts, which can help strengthen their minds and make them better equipped to deal with the challenge.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with Fentanyl or opioid addiction, they can access inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs that are now widely offered. By seeking care, experts and staff members can work as a team to help you overcome the addiction with the best kind of treatment suitable to your needs.