Fentanyl Addiction: A Growing Epidemic
What is Fentanyl?
Over the last several years, Fentanyl has become one of the most widely abused drugs in the United States. A synthetic opioid with a similar chemical makeup to heroin, it is commonly prescribed for a variety of medical ailments. It can be 50-100 times more potent than morphine. It is typically used for those in severe pain, for anesthesia, and for patients who have recently undergone surgery. Fentanyl is extremely potent. It can be useful when administered by medical professionals but should be carefully monitored.
Fentanyl should never be used in a recreational capacity. It is highly addictive and very dangerous. Abusing Fentanyl puts users at significant risk of respiratory depression, overdose, and death. When purchased for recreational use, Fentanyl is commonly combined with heroin in order to increase potency. It is responsible for thousands of deaths in the United States. This has led to a thorough investigation of legitimate pharmaceutical markets and street markets alike.
How is Fentanyl used?
When used medically, Fentanyl can be administered in the form of lozenges, a skin patch, or intravenously. Occasionally, pharmaceutical forms of the drug are circulated as a street drug. But more often than not, black market forms of Fentanyl are non-pharmaceutical in nature.
These incarnations of the drug are usually produced in makeshift laboratories – typically sold as a tablet, a powder, on blotter paper, or mixed with heroin. Fentanyl is among the most potent opioids in the world. When used illegally, it can be snorted, swallowed, injected, or ingested.
How does Fentanyl affect the brain?
Classified as an opioid, Fentanyl works similarly to heroin and other related opioid drugs. When ingested, Fentanyl binds to opioid receptors in the brain – releasing dopamine and other chemicals that manage emotion and pain. By synthetically manipulating the brain’s reward center, dopamine levels are amplified, resulting in feelings of relaxation and euphoria. Withdrawal symptoms and side effects of Fentanyl are similar to that of heroin.
These include drowsiness, confusion, nausea, constipation, increased tolerance, sedation, addiction, respiratory depression, potential cardiac arrest, unconsciousness, coma, and death. Those attempting to detox from Fentanyl should do so under the strict medical supervision of trained professionals.
Treatment for Fentanyl addiction
Seldom is withdrawal from Fentanyl life-threatening, but it can be an intensely unpleasant experience. People who have abused Fentanyl (or other opioids) for a long duration of time tend to develop a physical dependence. This puts them at risk for withdrawal symptoms such as n chills, fever, nausea, aches and pains, and intense cravings. During detox, professional medical supervision can drastically reduce withdrawal symptoms, as well as minimize cravings. This can reduce the odds of relapse.
MD Home Detox
For those attempting to detox themselves from a Fentanyl addiction – don’t face withdrawal symptoms alone. MD Home Detox provides monitoring, medical care, and support. Our unique solutions to drug detox offer privacy, comfort, and convenience.
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Our addiction treatment services are comprehensive. We offer intervention services, behavioral health counseling, family counseling, and private nurse services. Contact MD Home Detox today to learn about how we can help free you or your loved one from the shackles of addiction.