Fentanyl, like other opioid medications, can be very addictive. Addiction can quickly take over your life, impacting not only your physical health and mental health, but your finances, relationships, and other areas of your life too.
The first step towards recovery is understanding your addiction, and knowing that you need help. What is fentanyl addiction, and what makes fentanyl addictive? And how exactly do you overcome fentanyl addiction?
That’s what we’re going to explore on this page. Read on to learn all about fentanyl, fentanyl addiction, fentanyl withdrawal, and of course, the fentanyl rehab process. We’ll also be exploring how our team at Help4Addiction can help you overcome your addiction.
Fentanyl is a prescription drug that is used to treat chronic pain/ severe pain – for example, cancer patients may be prescribed fentanyl for pain relief.
Likewise, people who have tried other painkillers such as codeine may be prescribed fentanyl. Fentanyl may also be administered during operations to relieve pain.
It is a strong synthetic opioid that is around 50 times more potent than heroin, and up to 100 times stronger than morphine. Synthetic opioids such as pure fentanyl should always be used carefully.
As it is an opioid drug, fentanyl binds to your body’s opioid receptors – ultimately relieving the sensation of pain as well as the anxiety that can be caused by pain. Prescription fentanyl can make you feel calm and relaxed.
It is a dangerous and addictive drug, which means that it is only available through prescription in the UK. You may have heard of fentanyl patches – fentanyl transdermal patches are a common form of fentanyl.
Patches last around 72 hours, meaning you’ll need to change your fentanyl patch every three days. As it is a strong drug, it’s imperative that you follow the recommended dose as prescribed by a doctor.
Some other forms of fentanyl include lozenges, nasal sprays, or tablets that dissolve in your mouth. Some people may also be administered fentanyl via injection for intense pain – however, this is only usually conducted in hospital environments.
Fentanyl can also have negative side effects – for example, blurred vision, constipation, nausea and more.
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Even with short-term fentanyl use, you can develop a tolerance to the drug – meaning you’ll need to take more of the drug to feel the same effect. It is an extremely addictive drug, so tolerance can quickly turn into physical dependence and psychological addiction.
Opioid addiction can be particularly debilitating and difficult to overcome – however, with the right support at the right treatment facility, the path to recovery is sure to feel easier. Some symptoms of fentanyl addiction include:
Drug addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disease that requires effective rehab treatment. It is characterised by the lack of control over taking a substance, whether it be prescription medication or illicit drugs.
This is something we can help with at Help4Addiction. If you notice these signs in yourself or a loved one, contact us today to discuss the treatment options available to you.
There are two types of fentanyl – pharmaceutical fentanyl (prescription fentanyl), and fentanyl that has been illicitly manufactured.
This type of fentanyl can be dangerous and can increase the risk of having a fentanyl overdose. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl isn’t regulated, which means that it is much more dangerous than pharmaceutical fentanyl.
Because fentanyl is so potent, people will often illicitly mix it with other drugs (e.g street drugs) to increase the overall strength. This is a form of substance abuse, and can also increase the risk of overdose.
A fentanyl overdose can be fatal and usually requires hospital treatment. It’s important that you’re aware of the signs of an overdose if you or somebody you know takes fentanyl. Some signs to look out for include:
Some other forms of fentanyl abuse include taking a higher dose than prescribed, mixing with other substances and alcohol, or sourcing fentanyl through illicit means (for example, drug dealers). Taking fentanyl in any way other than prescribed by a medical professional is drug abuse.
f you have become dependent on fentanyl, you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop taking the drug, or when you go from a very high dose to a low dose.
Symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal, like all opioid withdrawal, can be unpleasant – and may require medical assistance. See ‘Fentanyl Detox’ to learn more.
In many cases, pharmacological management is needed to address the physical and psychological opioid withdrawal symptoms. This may involve medical professionals administering methadone or buprenorphine during a medical detox.
When withdrawing from opioids, you may experience a range of both physical symptoms and psychological symptoms. Some withdrawal symptoms you may experience include:
Drug addiction rehab can be daunting if you’re unsure of the process. However, treating fentanyl abuse/ fentanyl addiction follows the same process as other opioid drugs.
Read on to learn more about fentanyl addiction treatment: specifically detoxification, addiction therapy, and secondary treatment.
Detoxification is when you stop taking a substance in order to cleanse your body of it – ultimately, this addresses the physical dependence you have on a substance.
If you have a severe addiction or are detoxing from a particularly addictive substance such as fentanyl, you may require a medical detox. This is when you are monitored by medical professionals. You may also be given detox medication to streamline the detox process.
Therapy in drug addiction treatment has numerous benefits and is an integral part of any rehab plan.
There are a range of therapy options in rehab – for example, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and one-to-one counselling with a qualified counsellor.
Different therapies can help you in different ways. For example, CBT can teach you effective coping strategies that you can implement into your everyday life to help you deal with stress and other negative emotions. It can also help to deal with the emotional symptoms associated with recovery.
The support you receive doesn’t have to end when you leave the gates of your chosen rehab facility. The transition from rehab to your ‘normal’ life can be daunting, but secondary treatment can streamline this process.
Receiving ongoing support along your recovery journey can improve your confidence and ultimately help to prevent relapse. The thought of relapsing can be scary, but having ongoing support can help you get back on your feet in the event that you do relapse.
Our team at Help4Addiction has been helping people around England and Wales overcome their addictions for years. We do this by sourcing the right rehab plan at the right treatment facility – whether it be inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment.
We’ll begin by discussing your preferences, and requirements – and learning your story. Then, we’ll spend time sourcing the right treatment plan for you – whether it be residential rehab, NHS-operated rehab, or even luxury rehab.
We understand how overwhelming it can be not only to admit you have a problem but reaching out for help and beginning your fentanyl recovery journey. This is why we aim to make things easier for you by taking the stress of sourcing rehab out of your hands.
Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.
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