A great controversy surrounding fentanyl is its associated high risk of overdose. Even prescription fentanyl use can be risky because of how powerful the substance is. However, illicit fentanyl is particularly dangerous. A single dose of fentanyl can have devastating effects, but it is the continued, uncontrolled use that carries the most risk.
How Does a Fentanyl Overdose Happen?
An overdose on fentanyl happens when a dose is taken that is too great for the human body to handle. Opioids affect the receptors in the brain that are connected to breathing. When taken, the individual will likely become drowsy and their breathing will slow. Slowed breathing is normal when in a relaxed state, but in some cases, the breathing slows significantly or stops completely. This prevents oxygen from reaching the heart and being transported to the rest of the body. When untreated, oxygen deprivation of the brain can lead to a coma, brain damage, and death.
Treating Fentanyl Addiction
Most of us have heard the saying that “admitting you have a problem is the first step”. This is the first step, but getting help is the next step. Recovery is a process, but one that begins with detoxing the body from the presence of any drugs and continues indefinitely. Following a detox program, lower levels of care provide continued physical and emotional support to those in recovery. Recovery programs also help clients develop tools and coping mechanisms for fentanyl relapse prevention.
Even individuals who are not addicted, but are dependent on opioids, could benefit from the assistance and support of a fentanyl addiction treatment program.
The first step for individuals struggling with fentanyl addiction is to complete a fentanyl detox program. Detox involves processing any drugs in their system and allowing the mind and body to return to its normal way of functioning. This process will look different for everyone but may require medical assistance due to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. There are 2 general approaches to detoxing from fentanyl: going “cold-turkey” or weaning off the drug over an extended period of time (typically a few months).
Fentanyl Fast Facts
- Fentanyl can be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
- Fentanyl can be found in the form of prescription medications or illicit street drugs.
- Illicit fentanyl is sold in the form of powders, dropped on blotter paper-like small candies, in eye droppers, nasal sprays, or in pill forms that mimic prescription fentanyl.
- Fentanyl initiates the release of neurotransmitters that bind to receptors in the brain controlling pain and emotions.
- Between 2012 and 2015, the rate of synthetic opioid-related deaths (predominately fentanyl) increased by 264%.
Get Free From Fentanyl at Level Up
If you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl addiction, or addiction to other opioids, get started at Level Up Lake Worth. Our dedicated and passions team takes a holistic approach to recovery, providing an array of treatment therapies. Your recovery is our goal.