As with many illicit drugs, fentanyl was originally created as a synthetic opioid meant to treat high levels of pain caused by accidents or surgery. As a painkiller, fentanyl works so well because it requires smaller amounts to be effective due to its strength. Fentanyl is up to 100 times stronger than morphine which makes it a common choice for combating extreme pain in patients. Unfortunately, this same strength is what has led to fentanyl being one of the easiest drugs to overdose on when trying to chase the feeling the drug can provide.
The Effects of Fentanyl
Opioids such as fentanyl help relieve pain by blocking certain receptors that transmit pain signals to the brain to tell us which part of our body is hurt. Not only does this remove the negative feelings, it also creates a strong sense of euphoria in users. It’s this feeling that so many Americans have died trying to achieve as once you start using fentanyl regularly, your tolerance increases and so too does the amount you need to feel inebriated.
The longer you abuse fentanyl, the more negative side effects start appearing. Constipation, blurred vision, shallow breathing, and frequent nausea are all possible signs of fentanyl abuse and should be a cause for concern. Any fentanyl use comes with a risk of developing these symptoms and early prevention is necessary to protect the individual as only 2mg of fentanyl can be enough to cause a fatal overdose.
How Fentanyl Abuse Starts
Knowing how people typically become addicted to fentanyl can help you watch out for yourself or a loved one should they be prescribed the opioid as most stories of painkiller addiction start with a valid prescription. Even when taken as directed, the presence of fentanyl for a period of time will change how your brain functions and become dependent on the drug to operate normally.
For fentanyl, this alteration comes in the form of how the brain produces a natural feeling of euphoria through chemicals such as dopamine. Since fentanyl is acting as the trigger for dopamine, the brain stops its own production since it no longer needs to work so hard. After fentanyl use ends though, your central nervous system fails to create any dopamine making it extremely difficult to feel pleasure until you’ve fully detoxed from fentanyl.
Breaking the dependencies your brain has on drugs or alcohol leads to a period of withdrawal symptoms while your mind and body heal. Withdrawal symptoms come in both physical and psychological forms which makes it a challenge to do alone. In cases of severe abuse, detoxing on your own can even be fatal due to stronger withdrawal symptoms so it’s always suggested to seek out medical detox from a trusted treatment center.
Get Help for Fentanyl Addiction
When the goal is to kick fentanyl for good and live a long, sober life, America’s Rehab Campus is your go-to source of treatment. Our comprehensive and individualized treatment plans provide you with support from the moment you walk through the door and all the way through to aftercare help with relapse prevention.
Anyone in need of addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one are encouraged to reach out to the ARC team today. Our staff will answer all of your questions and help you get started on intake or to schedule a pick up to begin treatment based on any schedule.