In recent years, the opioid epidemic has reached its most deadly phase with tens of thousands dead each year. While COVID-19 and the accompanying social isolation and economic hardship have exacerbated existing trends, illicit fentanyl had already eliminated early gains in fighting opioid abuse. However, education, advocacy, and rehab treatment make it possible to prevent new people from falling into fentanyl addiction and to help those who’re already struggling.
What to Know About Fentanyl Addiction
Everyone has heard of fentanyl, but people aren’t always clear on exactly what it is or why it’s so dangerous. Understanding these factors can help guide treatment and underline why treatment is necessary.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is an opioid drug similar to heroin and morphine in that it binds to the receptors in the brain that modulate feelings of pain and pleasure. Abusing opioid drugs can cause a euphoric high, but the accompanying withdrawals that follow addiction see symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, muscle fatigue, and more. However, the difference is that fentanyl is far more powerful than those drugs. Doctors only use it as a last resort to treat extreme pain that doesn’t respond to other drugs, as fentanyl can be up to 100 times more powerful than morphine.
Being as potent as fentanyl is, it binds tightly to neuroreceptors in the brain and disrupts normal brain function to make a person dependent on the drug. It takes up to two weeks for the brain to regain normal baseline functioning and other problematic symptoms can persist for months, which is why it’s so important to get help.
Risks of Fentanyl Addiction and Withdrawals
While many people still lack respect for the severity of addiction and withdrawal, withdrawal syndrome is a serious medical condition. While it’s symptoms are objectively mild similar to a severe flu, opioid withdrawal can result in fatal complications even for a healthy person. The trials that withdrawals subject the body to can cause severe dehydration, extreme sodium concentration in the blood, and other problems. However, the greatest danger of withdrawals is that they put a person in a state of being irrational and desperate while also reducing their drug tolerance. As such, untreated withdrawals represent an elevated risk for overdose, needle sharing, and other dangerous situations.
How Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Helps
As serious as fentanyl addiction is, there’s an answer to every challenge that it poses the person in recovery. Compared to the primitive addiction treatment methods of the past, modern evidence-based addiction treatment understands the social, economic, and medical complexity of the condition. There are distinct interventions that serve unique purposes from day one of recovery to day one hundred and beyond to help people stay clean.
While withdrawals can lead to fatal complications for a person who’s alone, these risks are non-issues with responsible medical supervision. While undergoing detox in the first two weeks of recovery, a person can count on professionals working to keep them stable and in good health. Today, it’s even normal to incorporate new medications into the detox process to gradually ease the brain back into normal function and reduce the shock of withdrawals.
Holistic Care to Support Enduring Recovery
Addiction is a disease, but it’s not purely medical. Staying clean requires developing your sense of self-understanding and fulfilling the role that drug abuse provides for you in a healthy way. No one wants to be addicted to drugs, and severe drug abuse is generally a form of escapism or a means of coping with grief and trauma. During a stay at an inpatient rehab facility, patients can count on a safe, supportive social network and professional psychiatric help. Upon graduating from the program, they’ll be able to start drug-free life on the right foot.
Build a Personalized Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Plan
Recovery is a lifelong journey that starts with your decision to get better. From there, it continues indefinitely as you work to build a life that you don’t need to escape from. At America’s Rehab Campuses, we provide a comprehensive spectrum of treatment options that can help you get clean and stay clean for life. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help you overcome fentanyl addiction.