How Is Fentanyl Addiction Treated

by | Nov 6, 2021

Addiction can be a challenging and isolating struggle, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. If you are seeking addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, there is hope.

Fentanyl addiction can be very hard to overcome, but someone with a strong will and proper treatment can make it. Professional help is highly recommended for anyone who is trying to break their dependence on this drug.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is an opioid pain medication that’s estimated to be between 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Most of the information in this article is based on fentanyl abuse, not prescribed use.

What Does Fentanyl Do?

When used as prescribed by a doctor or dentist, fentanyl can be helpful during surgery or other medical procedures because it has powerful effects on the body. However, when abused, the drug acts as a fast-acting and potentially deadly synthetic opioid.

How Does One Become Addicted to Fentanyl?

Fentanyl addiction often begins when someone becomes dependent on this drug after being prescribed it for pain relief due to some kind of accident or disease. There have even been cases where teenagers have become addicted after receiving a prescription from a doctor following wisdom teeth removal surgery. In another scenario, young adults have developed addictions after becoming hooked while trying to self-medicate their depression.

Can Fentanyl Addiction Cause Death?

How Is Fentanyl Addiction Treated

Yes. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, fentanyl is an opioid that can cause severe respiratory depression, making it extremely dangerous. Someone who overdoses on this drug will fall asleep and won’t wake up unless they receive immediate medical attention. 

Overdosing on opioids like fentanyl can lead to death within minutes if intervention is not administered right away. Even when taken according to a doctor’s instructions, an overdose of this medication still has the potential to cause death. That’s why it’s very important for anyone who is prescribed a fentanyl patch to wear one and only take the number of pills that have been prescribed.

What Are the Signs of Fentanyl Abuse?

Everyone’s experience is unique when it comes to opioid addiction, but some common symptoms may indicate a problem. The most obvious is intense cravings for fentanyl or other opioids, making it difficult to stop using even though the user knows there are negative consequences. 

Other signs include experiencing withdrawal symptoms after not taking fentanyl for just a few hours, stealing or engaging in illicit behaviors to obtain the drug, missing work or school because of substance use, and failing to keep up with responsibilities at home to a drug problem.

People who take fentanyl may not know they are taking the drug until it is too late. This is because fentanyl can be taken as a pill, which looks just like prescription painkillers such as OxyContin or Percocet, or it can be ingested, snorted, or even injected after being turned into a powder first. 

Around 100 times more intoxicating than morphine, fentanyl can quickly cause someone to stop breathing and possibly slip into a coma. Therefore, if there is any suspicion that someone has overdosed on this drug, medical attention should be obtained immediately.

Symptoms of Fentanyl addiction include:

  • Constricted pupils
  • Sedation
  • Drowsiness
  • Respiratory depression or arrest
  • Cardiovascular collapse (circulatory failure)

How Is Fentanyl Addiction Treated?

How Is Fentanyl Addiction Treated

There are many different ways to treat fentanyl addiction, including medically assisted detox, outpatient treatment, inpatient rehab, and counseling.

Treatment for fentanyl addiction usually begins with the detoxification process. Once the physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal are manageable, patients can begin participating in individual or group therapy

This type of therapy might explore why the patient began abusing opioids, to begin with, and it could also work to keep them from returning to drug use in the future. 

Family counseling is often helpful for loved ones who have been affected by a family member’s addiction. Aftercare programs might include ongoing treatment sessions, support groups, and follow-up assistance.

What Is Fentanyl Detox Like?

Withdrawal symptoms from fentanyl can range from mild to severe, depending on how long someone abused the drug before stopping suddenly. 

For example, someone who has been abusing this medication for just a few days will likely experience symptoms such as insomnia, watery eyes and runny nose, muscle pain, and diarrhea. 

Meanwhile, someone who has been using this drug for longer or taking higher doses will likely also experience symptoms like abdominal cramps, tremors, and seizures.

Additionally, if someone abuses other drugs in addition to fentanyl, there may be additional symptoms during withdrawal, due to interactions between the drugs.

What Is the Long-Term Outlook for Someone With Fentanyl Addiction?

People who engage in medication-assisted detox and then go through treatment will greatly increase their chances of long-term abstinence. 

For example, according to NIDA, about half of individuals who received any medication for opioid addiction during rehab remained drug-free six months after leaving treatment. 

Meanwhile, 90 percent of people who complete a month-long medically assisted treatment plan will likely remain substance-free one year later or even more.

Download this article

Our Latest Posts

How Can I Get Checked-In Anonymously To An Addiction Treatment Center?

Seeking help for an addiction can be difficult, but admitting you have an addiction in the first place can be even tougher. Everyone who seeks help for their addiction has to go through the process of admitting they need help, which isn’t always easy to do. While...

What to Know Before Asking for Time Off Work for Addiction Treatment

You can get the addiction treatment you need and still keep your job. In fact, your employer may be very supportive of the process.  After all, if you’re a good employee, they’ll want to hold on to you. That said,...

Intensive Outpatient Drug Treatment In Louisville

When you need support to overcome drug and alcohol addiction but also want to keep living your normal life without lengthy stays in rehab, intensive outpatient drug treatment in Louisville is the answer. By providing the best of both worlds, our team of friendly and...

Outpatient Drug Treatment In Louisville

Although an inpatient residential treatment program will often be the best course of action when it comes to severe substance addiction, this is not going to be necessary for everyone. Those who have a mild substance abuse problem with alcohol or drugs may well...

Navigating the Length of a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) in an Kentucky Addiction Treatment Facility

Addiction recovery is an intricate and deeply personal journey, with each step being as critical as the next. For many, the start of this voyage begins with what is known as a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). This phase in the rehab process is particularly...

Starting the Chapter of Dating in Recovery: Essential Tips for Success

Dating while in recovery from addiction can be both exhilarating and daunting. While forming new connections and relationships can be rewarding and is even encouraged, it’s essential to approach the dating scene while being cognizant of the challenges and prioritizing...

Beyond Denial: Facing Addiction’s Truth and Welcoming a New Beginning

Craving a sense of freedom, many set out on an individual journey to recover their lives from addiction. Self-realization and personal development result in learning one's truth. To find the power within ourselves and face our addictions is not only daunting but also...

The 24-Hour Rule: A Critical Element in the Blueprint for Long-Term Sobriety

Starting your recovery journey calls for courage and commitment. You may be nervous about what to expect and may worry that you won’t be able to remain sober in the long run. The trick is to remain focused on the present and not think too far ahead or anticipate all...

Insights into Xanax as a Controlled Substance and Why Rehab May Be Necessary

As we burrow deeper into the twenty-first century, awareness and conversation around mental health, and by extension, the medication designed to alleviate its symptoms, grows ever more critical. Indeed, anxiety disorders are one of the most prevalent psychiatric...

Our Video’s

Call Now Button