Fentanyl is an extremely potent opiate that can be up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Because of this, it’s highly addictive and prone to abuse. If you or someone you love is struggling with a fentanyl addiction, it can be difficult to know when things have gotten out of control. Fentanyl has a number of tell-tale signs that indicate if someone is abusing the drug and risking their long term health. Because of the high risk of fentanyl addiction, many doctors are reluctant to prescribe it as a painkiller unless absolutely necessary. Those who do receive the drug sometimes struggle with its side effects and an inability to stop taking it once the pain is gone. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these signs, it may be time for professional help before things get worse:
How Does Fentanyl Abuse Start?
Like all drug addictions, fentanyl abuse starts with an individual’s decision to use it. There are a couple of different ways that people decide to begin abusing fentanyl. First, some people choose to abuse fentanyl because it gives them a good feeling. Others choose to abuse fentanyl because they are experiencing pain and feel that it is the only way to get relief. Some people decide to take fentanyl as a way to try to boost their mood when they are feeling depressed. Others take fentanyl when they have psychological disorders like anxiety, PTSD, or OCD and feel that it helps calm their symptoms.
However, it is important to understand that fentanyl is often also used as an additive by drug dealers. They may add fentanyl to heroin or cocaine to make the drugs seem more potent to users. However, the end result is that recreational drug users end up unwittingly taking fentanyl. This can result in them becoming addicted to fentanyl – or, even more dangerously, it can result is a fatal overdose.
Physical Signs of a Fentanyl Addiction
As an opiate, fentanyl has a number of physical signs that indicate an addiction has developed. In the beginning, you may notice that the person is taking the drug at higher doses. Fentanyl addiction begins with drowsiness and mental fog. It may also cause constipation, nausea, and vomiting. Over time, the body develops a dependence on the drug, and these issues may worsen. As the person continues abusing fentanyl, they will likely experience weight loss as they start to prioritize opioid abuse over other life-sustaining activities, including eating.
Psychological Signs of a Fentanyl Addiction
As the body becomes dependent on fentanyl, the individual will have to increase their dosage to get the same effects. Many people who have developed an addiction to fentanyl will continue to take more and more of the drug even though their pain is gone. People who are taking fentanyl for pain are often able to stop taking it when the pain subsides. People with a dependency may not be able to stop taking the drug even though they no longer need it. Fentanyl abuse can cause a person to become depressed even when they are not taking the drug. They may have trouble sleeping and feel constantly anxious.
Long-term Effects of Opioid Abuse
Fentanyl is a prescription opioid that has gained popularity as a street drug in recent years. While most people know it’s dangerous to use opioids like oxycodone or heroin, many don’t realize fentanyl poses an even greater risk. It’s far stronger than other opioids and can lead to addiction more quickly.
Long-term opioid abuse can have a devastating effect on the body, leading to a number of serious health issues – including fatal opioid overdoses. Fentanyl is often prescribed as a “last resort” option to treat severe and chronic pain. When it comes to the route of administration, the drug often takes the form of lozenges or a patch, making it easier to manage than pills. However, long-term use of opioids like fentanyl can cause a number of serious issues. Even when the drug is being used to treat a terminal disease, it is important to seek help if an addiction begins.
Over the long-term, opioid users drop out of their own lives in order to single-mindedly pursue their drug abuse habit. They may abandon their families – or be kicked out of their homes. Many suffer from unemployment, homelessness, and various legal and financial consequences. Moreover, as mental and physical illnesses compound, they may be further driven to abuse opioids to treat these conditions. The result is a vicious cycle, where comorbid conditions drive fentanyl addiction and fentanyl addiction worsens these conditions.
How to Help a Loved One with a Fentanyl Addiction
While fentanyl is a highly addictive drug, people can recover from an abuse or addiction to the drug. It is important to seek help as soon as you confirm that the person you love is certainly struggling with addiction. The longer you wait the more difficult it will be for the person to get clean. The best way to help someone with an opioid addiction is to encourage them to get help. Sober living homes are generally the ideal environment for individuals recovering from a substance use disorder. These sober residences give people in recovery a chance to build new skills, develop new relationships, and create joyful and fulfilling lives in sobriety for themselves.
Beat Opioid Addiction at Sober Living East
If you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl addiction, help is available. You can find the assistance you need at Sober Living East. At Sober Living East, we understand the challenges that come with fentanyl and opiate addiction. We offer a safe and supportive environment where you can heal. Our dedicated staff will help you through every step of the way.
During your stay, you will work closely with our team to create an individualized plan for recovery. We know what it takes to overcome addiction and we are here to help. We offer a wide range of services that will help you regain control over your life. When you are ready to take back control, contact us to learn more about our services.