Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate pain reliever that, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, is 50-100 percent stronger than morphine. It is also cheaper than prescription painkillers and illegal drugs like heroin. For these reasons, fentanyl addiction is on the rise.
Fentanyl and morphine are used in hospitals after surgery for the treatment of severe pain. Readily absorbed through fatty tissues, fentanyl is also used as fast-acting anesthesia during surgeries. Synthetic fentanyl is made in labs and sold illegally as a powder. The powder is made into pills or put in blotter paper, nasal sprays, and eye droppers. This is the illegal fentanyl most often associated with overdoses.
Drug dealers save costs by adding the highly potent drug to meth, cocaine, and MDMA. This puts users at high risk for overdose and death because their bodies are not used to processing such strong opioids.
Fentanyl gives users an extended euphoria or “high” like other opioids. But like other opioids, the brain adapts to fentanyl after repeated use. Users must take higher and higher doses to achieve the same euphoria. They eventually suffer higher stress levels and stop feeling pleasure from physical activities like exercise, eating, and sex. The negative effects can lead users to seek the drug at the expense of their mental and physical health.
Due to the potency of this opiate, fentanyl is among the most addictive painkillers. Those shouldering an addiction will likely experience painful withdrawals if they cease taking the drug or reduce their dose. Withdrawal can begin as soon as a few hours after the last dose. The symptoms can be severe. They include sleep problems, muscle and bone pain, diarrhea and vomiting, cold flashes and strong cravings.
Fentanyl Addiction Treatment
People find it difficult to stop using fentanyl due to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. We can help people overcome their physical and emotional dependence on fentanyl and other pain killers. Our treatment plan for fentanyl addiction makes use of buprenorphine and methadone to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
For more information on treatment for fentanyl addiction at New Horizon Hospital in Houston, Texas, call us at (281) 397-1530.